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Calculator, pills and glasses

Help with health costs

Although health care is normally free on the NHS, there are charges for some things such as prescriptions, reading glasses and trips to the dentist. These costs can really add up, and with COVID-19 affecting many jobs and income levels, it’s worth knowing if you’re eligible for financial help with your health care costs.

Although health care is normally free on the NHS, there are charges for some things such as prescriptions, reading glasses and trips to the dentist. These costs can really add up, and with COVID-19 affecting many jobs and income levels, it’s worth knowing if you’re eligible for financial help with your health care costs.

So, if you’re on a low income, you receive certain benefits or if you’re over 60, read on to find out how much money you could save.

You could receive money towards or to cover the cost of:

  • Prescriptions
  • Dental costs
  • Sight tests
  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Wigs and fabric supports
  • Travel costs for NHS treatment

How much financial support can you receive?

If you are on a low income you could be eligible to receive full or partial help for your health care costs, depending on how much you earn. Check online to find out about your eligibility.

If you receive one of the following means-tested benefits you may get all your health costs paid in full:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment & Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Universal Credit

If you are aged 60 or over you are eligible for free prescriptions and free eye tests regardless of your income.

Find out more about the various NHS costs and eligibility for financial help to pay these.

Do you need a lot of prescriptions?

If you need a lot of prescriptions but cannot get free ones, you can reduce the cost by buying a pre-payment certificate. This costs £29.65 for three months and £105.90 for a 12-month certificate (this can be paid in 10 Direct Debit instalments of £10.59). The pre-payment certificate will cover all your prescriptions for that period no matter how many you need. Find out more and how to obtain a pre-payment certificate online.

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