Prescription charges increase yet again in a fortnight (to £8.60 each), so now's a good time to remind anyone having more than 12 prescriptions over a full year that a PPC (Prepayment Certificate) will save money - and potentially a lot of money.
The 12 month PPC costs just £104, and the 3 month one costs £29.10. And the 12 month PPC will cost just £10.40 a month (for 10 months only) with a direct debit.
IF YOU'RE BUYING JUST 2 ITEMS A MONTH THIS WILL SAVE YOU MONEY - £102.40 A YEAR WITH 2 ITEMS A MONTH, AND ANOTHER £103.20 FOR EACH ADDITIONAL MONTHLY PRESCRIPTION.
OVER £300 A YEAR SAVED ON 4 PRESCRIPTIONS A MONTH
Two additional things to remember, though:
1 Certain medical conditions will give you a completely free medical exemption certificate (see below*)
2 You can claim back previous prescription costs for up to 3 months after buying the PPC so long as you ask the chemist for and retain the receipt forms FP57.
If you have to pay for prescriptions while you are waiting for a new PPC and need to apply for a refund, ask the pharmacist for a refund and receipt form (FP57) in order to claim back the costs. You can claim for the refund of prescription charges up to three months after paying. The refund and receipt form (FP57) explains what to do.
*People with certain medical conditions can get free NHS prescriptions if:
they have one of the conditions listed below, and they hold a valid medical exemption certificate.
Medical exemption certificates are issued on application to people who have:
a permanent fistula (for example caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy) requiring continuous surgical dressing or requiring an appliance
a form of hypoadrenalism (for example Addison's disease) for which specific substitution therapy is essential
diabetes insipidus or other forms of hypopituitarism
diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet alone
myasthenia gravis myxoedema (that is, hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone replacement)
epilepsy requiring continuous anticonvulsive therapy
a continuing physical disability which means the person cannot go out without the help of another person. Temporary disabilities do not count even if they last for several months
Or are undergoing treatment for cancer: including the effects of cancer, or
the effects of current or previous cancer treatment
You can get free NHS prescriptions if, at the time the prescription is dispensed, you:
are 60 or over
are under 16
are 16-18 and in full-time education
are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)
have a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
have a continuing physical disability that prevents you from going out without help from another person and have a valid MedEx
hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
are an NHS inpatient
You are also entitled to free prescriptions if you or your partner – including civil partner – receive, or you're under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving:
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
Universal Credit and meet the criteria
If you're entitled to or named on:
a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate – if you don't have a certificate, you can show your award notice; you qualify if you get Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits with a disability element (or both) and have income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less
a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)