10 things you need to know about your prescription exemption

If you’re exempt from prescription charges, there’s a few updates you need to be aware of.


If you live in England, you will have to pay for your prescriptions unless you have a valid exemption certificate. Having an exemption certificate means you can get your prescription for free. Read more to find out about NHS regulations and claiming for free prescriptions.


1. Exemption certificates


In certain cases, the NHS will allow you to have your prescriptions for free. This could be because you have a medical condition or due to your age or your financial circumstances. If you qualify, you can apply for an exemption certificate. To see a full list of people who can apply for exemption certificates, click here.

2. What’s covered


An exemption certificate covers prescription charges only. It does not cover dental treatment or any other health costs.

3. Finding out if you are eligible for prescription exemption


If you’re unsure whether you can apply for an exemption certificate, you can find out your eligibility online by answering a few quick questions. Click here to visit the NHS website.

4. Medical exemption must be applied for


Having a pre-existing medical condition does not automatically entitle you to free prescriptions. You must have a valid exemption certificate to qualify for this. If you don’t have this certificate, you will be subject to penalties, even if you have a medical condition.

5. Applying for a medical exemption certificate


If you have a medical condition, you may be entitled to free prescriptions. To apply for a medical exemption certificate, ask your GP for an FP92A form. Your doctor, hospital or service doctor will then sign the form to confirm that the information is correct. In order to get your medication for free, you must provide evidence that shows you are entitled to free prescriptions.

6. Regular NHS checks


The NHS carries out routine checks to verify exemption statuses. This means that they will check any evidence that proves you are entitled to free prescriptions. These checks are carried out in the interest of preventing fraudulent claims.

7. Personal responsibility


The Department of Health urge you to ensure your exemption declaration is accurate. Pharmacies aren’t responsible for the accuracy of your declaration. It’s therefore imperative to make sure all the information is correct and up to date.

8. Penalty charges


NHS Protect have a responsibility to check for fraud. Anyone found to have wrongly claimed for free prescriptions could face penalty charges. In some cases, prosecution may be necessary. Make sure your certificate is valid to avoid any unnecessary fines or penalties.

9. Checking if your certificate is valid


If you already have a certificate and you would like to check whether it is still valid, click here.

10. Automatic exemption


The only time you are automatically exempt from prescription charges is when you age exempt. This is when you are under the age of 16, between the ages of 16 and 18 and in full-time education, or over 60 years old. If any of these conditions apply to you, you don’t need to worry about verifying your exemption status.



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