Currently, residents in England are capable of claim free prescriptions once they turn 60 years of age. Nevertheless, the “freebie” profit could possibly be axed for a lot of older Britons because the eligibility for the NHS support could possibly be aligned with the state pension age, which is 66. In light of this potential change, people below the state pension age could should proceed paying for his or her medication after turning 60.
It ought to be noted that those that live in Scotland and Wales are eligible at no cost prescriptions irrespective of what age they’re.
As a part of its consultation, the Government is looking into two potential ways to roll out this policy change which could mean people can pay at different times.
The primary option is to axe free prescriptions for over 60s and making people pay immediately which is able to give the NHS extra money quickly.
Comparatively, the second option is to have a grace period which involves those between 60 and 65 who’re getting free prescriptions to proceed receiving the “freebie” profit.
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On their options, the Government stated: “Option B is to boost the qualifying age at no cost prescriptions to the state pension age (currently 66) but with a period of protection, which might mean that folks within the age range 60 to 65 would proceed to receive free prescriptions.
“This could mean that anyone aged 60 and over when the changes to the fees regulations are implemented would proceed to be exempt from prescription charges.
“Whereas those aged 59 and under when the changes to the Charges Regulations are implemented would should pay for his or her prescriptions until they reach the SPA (currently 66), unless they qualified for one more exemption.
“The above options would have various impacts for individuals who need NHS prescriptions, and will raise additional revenue for the NHS.”
Recently, the Government confirmed its plans to freeze prescription charges in a bid to mitigate the impact of the associated fee of living on claimants.
Because of this those that are paying at no cost prescriptions in England will proceed to pay £9.35 per item.
Moreover, those getting multiple prescriptions will pay £30.25 for a three-month prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) or £108.10 for a 12-month PPC.
Laura Cockram, the top of Policy and Campaigns at Parkinson’s UK and chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition, said freezing prescription charges is a crucial next step in combating the country’s economic issues.
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Ms Cockram explained: “We welcome the UK Government’s decision to freeze NHS prescription charges to assist with the associated fee of living.
“It can be a relief for many who need medicine to remain well. Nevertheless, it appears to be a short-term measure for resolving a long-standing issue.”
Nevertheless, Ms Cockram noted that many vulnerable people can be unable to afford prescription costs as they’re and warned the Government on mountaineering free medication eligibility with the state pension age.
She added: “We all know that folks with long-term health conditions like Parkinson’s, asthma, HIV, heart disease and MS have struggled to afford vital medication.
“When people miss, reduce or delay taking their medication, their condition deteriorates and so they usually tend to visit their GP more or find yourself in accident and emergency.
“We call on the Government to rule out aligning the charge with the state pension age and urgently commit to reviewing the outdated prescription charge exemption list.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Around 90 percent of community prescription items in England are freed from charge, and folks don’t pay in the event that they are on a low income, over 60 years old, or have certain medical conditions.
“The upper age exemption has not modified since 1995 and that’s the reason now we have consulted on restoring the link with the state pension age. We’re considering the responses rigorously and can respond in the end.”