Free prescription age should not change, poll shows as over 60s hit back | Personal Finance | Finance


Free prescription changes may be enacted by the Government this year, following a consultation on the matter. The alteration could see the free prescription age, currently set at 60 in England, rise to align with state pension age. If the plans were to go ahead, it would potentially mean Britons have to wait an extra six years, or even more, to avoid NHS payments.

It is worth noting these payments are only made in England, as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offer all their residents free prescriptions at any age.

The prospect of changes to free prescriptions has been met with much backlash. 

However, despite the controversy, there is still a level of differing opinions on the matter.

A recent poll undertaken by asked ‘Should the free prescription age rise?’

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And SMusket raged: “Disgusting Government to come up with this money saving s***.”

However, not all were against the potential proposals to change the free prescription age.

A total of eight percent of people asked supported the idea of raising the free prescription age to align with state pension age. 

Mr. AlwaysRight remarked: “There are plenty of rich pensioners who should not get free prescriptions.

It has not yet been made public whether changes will go ahead, however, Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown believes the alteration could come into force as soon as April.

She said: “At the moment there’s no charge for over 60s but that could soon change. If it does, it would drag millions of people into having to pay for essential medicines.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson previously told “Around 90 percent of community prescriptions in England are free of charge, and people don’t pay if they are on a low income, over 60, or have certain medical conditions.

“The upper age exemption has not changed since 1995 and that is why we have consulted on restoring the link between this and the state pension age. No final decisions have been made and we will publish the consultation response in due course.”

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