Published On: Sat, Feb 5th, 2022

Free prescription age: Britons applauded for efforts to keep eligibility at 60 | Personal Finance | Finance

There are ongoing fears the free prescription age is under threat due to a Government consultation on the issue. At present, raising the free prescription age to align with state pension age is being considered.

It would mean a rise from 60 to 66 and above for those who are resident in England.

Consequently, millions more may have to meet the prescription charge – currently set at £9.35, but expected to rise in April.

This notion has angered many older people who are worried about meeting the cost of NHS prescriptions.

Thousands took to the official Parliament website to sign a petition entitled ‘Protect free NHS prescriptions for over 60s’.

READ MORE: State pension: UK has ‘most rapidly’ rising retirement age in Europe

It said: “This Government values our older society and recognises their health, social care and economic needs.

“This petition, which currently stands at 43,077, and the consultation to align the upper exemption age from prescription charges with the state pension age that received over 117,000 responses, are testament to the strength of feeling within our community.

“We are encouraged to see so many people expressing their views.”

However, at this time no decision has been taken on the consultation and Britons will have to wait.

If more than 11 items are needed in a year, a 12-month PPC will help Britons save money – costing a little over £2 per week.

Certain health conditions and circumstances may also qualify a person for a free prescription.

This is worth checking via the NHS website, which offers further details. 

Referencing why the matter is being considered, the Government said: “Increasing the upper age limit for free prescriptions for people, who previously received free prescriptions based purely on their age rather than their inability to pay, would result in a transfer of resources from people to the NHS. 

“These funds could then be spent on improving services for patients, resulting in health benefits for wider society.”

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