Free prescriptions and help with health costs

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For many people with narcolepsy, the costs of prescriptions may be considerable. You should be aware that you can get free NHS prescriptions if, at the time the prescription is dispensed, you:

  • are 60 or over
  • are under 16
  • are 16-18 and in full-time education
  • are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)
  • have a specified medical condition (see below) and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
  • have a continuing physical disability that prevents you from going out without help from another person and have a valid MedEx
  • hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
  • are an NHS in-patient

Unfortunately, narcolepsy is not a "specified medical condition", but if you suffer from another disease that is such a condition (eg epilepsy or diabetes) then you can obtain a MedEx and all your prescriptions will be free, not just those for that other condition.

You are also entitled to free prescriptions if you or your partner – including civil partner – receive, or you're under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Universal Credit and meet the criteria

You may also qualify for free prescriptions if you are entitled to or named on:

  • a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate – if you don't have a certificate, you can show your award notice; you qualify if you get Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits with a disability element (or both) and have income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less
  • a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)

People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.

You can find out more about the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS) here.

An infographic that you may find helpful can be found here.