NHS pre-payment certificate

Prescriptions increased on 1 April 2018 in England to £8.80. If you are one of those people who are never ill, there is no need to read on. If you are like me however and need regular medication (I have asthma), buying an annual pre-payment NHS certificate can be an absolute life saver!

What is a pre-payment certificate

Buying a NHS pre-payment certificate is like buying an annual pass. You are paying for all of your medicine all year round, no matter what you need. Potentially, it is something which can save you lots of money.

NHS pre-payment certificate

How much is it?

You are able to buy an annual NHS certificate for £104 pounds or a 3-month pass for £29.10. You can pay the full amount in one go or opt to pay in monthly instalments.

Am I eligible?

Anyone can buy a pre-payment certificate. However it’s always good to check if you are exempt from paying all together. For example if you are an NHS in patient, in full-time education and aged between 16-18, are receiving income support, then you won’t have to pay anything at all. The contraceptive pill by the way is also free. Check here.

How do I get one?

it is easiest to apply via the NHS prescriptions website for a pre-payment certificate. You can ring or send by post, but online is better!

Refunds for money paid

If you have already paid for medication, you can apply for a refund as long as your pre-payment certificate is the same date or earlier than when you paid for this prescription. You can backdate your PPC for one month and have 3 months to apply for a refund. You will need to ask for a FP57 certificate.

How much you can save

According to the NHS website, this is how much you can save. Obviously the more prescriptions you need, the more you can save.

Number of prescribed medicines you need each month Saving with a 12 month PPC Saving with a 3 month PPC
2 Over £100 a year Over £20 in 3 months
3 Over £200 a year Over £45 in 3 months
4 Over £300 a year Over £70 in 3 months

Cheaper alternatives

If you suffer from hay fever or need general drugs (i.e. painkillers and anti-histamines) it is often cheaper to buy these drugs over the counter rather than paying £8.80 for a prescription. I often pay for supermarket’s own brands as I usually need to pay for anti-histamines all year round.

My monthly savings

I have asthma, which means I need to be on constant medication: inhalers (Ventolin), a tablet (Singulair) and also Duoresp Spiromax (the steroid preventer). I have brittle asthma which can be controlled with these medicines. However, sometimes my asthma can be triggered off by things such as catching the flu, a change in the seasons, an allergy to dogs/cats/dust/feathers.

If you look at how much my every day medication costs, I should be paying around £44 pounds a month (4 x inhalers and tablets). At the moment I am taking Prednisolone (oral steroids) and Antibiotics, the course of which has had to be extended, which should cost £35.20 reflected by the new prices.

So without the pre-payment certificate, I would have paid £75.20 this month for my medication. I currently pay a monthly sum of £10.40, which means I have saved an amazing £64.80 in just one month.

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Author: Marie Ellis

People say write about what you know. So I did. I founded Broke Girl in the City – a smart girl’s guide to leading a fabulous lifestyle on a budget! A career spanning entertainment, bars & nightclubs (and frequenting them), film, music and TV, there isn’t much I don’t know about how to have fun in the city when completely broke.

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