Hcs 2: a quick guide to help with health costs: includes charges and optical voucher values
A QUICK GUIDE TO HELP WITH
INCLUDES CHARGES AND OPTICAL April 2009 HELP WITH HEALTH COSTS CAN YOU GET FREE PRESCRIPTIONS?
The list opposite will help you check whether youare entitled to free prescriptions.
If you are, take proof of entitlement with you whenyou take your prescription to the pharmacy.
If you forget to take proof with you, you will receivethe prescription without charge, but checks aremade on people who do not provide evidence.
If you are found to have claimed exemptionwrongly, you will be asked to repay the charge andwill also be served with a notice requiring paymentof an additional penalty charge.
Please note:Patients exempt from NHS prescription charges onage grounds need not produce evidence wheretheir date of birth is specified in an electronicprescription form or printed by a computer on anon-electronic prescription form.
However, patients exempt on age grounds will stillbe required to sign the patient declaration on thereverse of the prescription form as confirmation thatthe medicine or appliance ordered was dispensed. HELP WITH HEALTH COSTS YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR NHS PRESCRIPTIONS IF YOU:
• are under 16 years old;• are 16, 17 or 18 and in qualifying full-time
• are 60 years of age and over;• have a specific listed medical condition which
• have a valid Maternity Exemption Certificate
• have a valid War Pension Exemption Certificate;• have a valid Prescription Pre-payment Certificate;• get, or has a partner who gets, Pension Credit
• get, or has a partner who gets, Income Support;• get, or has a partner who gets, Income-related
• get, or has a partner who gets, Income-Based
• hold, or are named on, a valid NHS Tax Credit
• are named on a current NHS Low Income
Scheme certificate HC2 ‘Help with health costs’. YOUNG PEOPLE Are you aged 16, 17 or 18 and in qualifying full-time education? If the answer is YES, then you are entitled to the following NHS items and services free of charge:
NHS Dental Treatment (young people under 18 donot have to be in education to qualify)
Voucher towards the costs of glasses or contactlenses. HELP WITH HEALTH COSTS PEOPLE AGED 60 AND OVER If you are aged 60 or over then you are entitled to receive: PEOPLE RECEIVING BENEFITS Are you (or your partner if you have one) receiving:
• Income Support?• Income-related Employment and Support
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance?• Pension Credit Guarantee Credit? or• Do you have an NHS Tax Credit Exemption
If the answer is YES to any of the above then you are entitled to all of the items and services free of charge, plus:
Vouchers towards the cost of glasses or contactlenses
A refund of any reasonable amount spent on travelto receive treatment at an NHS hospital.
To claim your entitlement, tell the practitioner whenyou have your treatment that you think you don’thave to pay. The practitioner will ask you forevidence that you don’t have to pay and ask you tosign a form. Note: If you are receiving a benefit not listedpreviously, check the rest of this leaflet to see whetheryou might be entitled to help on other grounds.HELP WITH HEALTH COSTS PEOPLE ON A LOW INCOME
If none of the circumstances already mentionedapplies to you, but you have difficulty paying NHScharges, you may qualify for help under the NHSLow Income Scheme. This is an income-relatedscheme which looks at your (and your partner’s)weekly requirements and income to calculate howmuch, if anything, you should pay towards yourhealth costs. The threshold for full help under the Schemechanges from time to time, so if you haven’t claimedfor a while, it may be worth making a new claim. If you want to claim help under the Low Income Scheme, pick up form HC1 at Community Pharmacies, GP Practices, Citizens Advice Scotland Offices and Jobcentre Plus offices. You can also get a form, advice on completing it, or information and general advice by calling a helpline on: 0845 850 1166 (calls are charged at local rate). WOMEN WHO ARE PREGNANT OR WHO HAVE GIVEN BIRTH IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS You are entitled to receive:
To get these, you will need to apply for an NHSMaternity Exemption Certificate.
Application forms are available from your GP, midwifeor health visitor. They will help you to complete theform and will send it to your NHS Board. You willreceive your certificate by post. HELP WITH HEALTH COSTS PEOPLE WITH CERTAIN MEDICAL CONDITIONS
If you have one of the following medical conditions,apply for an NHS Medical Exemption Certificatethat will entitle you to receive NHS prescriptionswigs and fabric supports free of charge. Theexempting conditions are:
hypoadrenalism for which specific substitutiontherapy is essential (e.g. Addison’s Disease)
diabetes insipidus and other forms ofhypopituitarism
diabetes mellitus except where treatment is bydiet alone
myxoedema (that is, hypothyroidism requiringthyroid hormone replacement)
epilepsy requiring continuous anti-convulsivetherapy
A permanent fistula requiring continuous surgicaldressing or requiring an appliance (also referred toas a stoma)
In addition to these conditions, if you have acontinuing physical disability which means that youare unable to leave your home without the help ofanother person you might also qualify.
To apply for a Medical Exemption Certificate, askthe receptionist at your GP surgery. An applicationform EC92A will be completed at the surgery, andwill be endorsed by your GP. The surgery will sendoff the application to your NHS Board and you willreceive your certificate by post. HELP WITH HEALTH COSTS PEOPLE BEING TREATED FOR TUBERCULOSIS
You will be entitled to receive NHS prescriptionsfree of charge for the fol owing drugs or preparationswhen prescribed for the treatment of tuberculosis. HELP WITH HEALTH COSTS NHS PRESCRIPTION CHARGES from 1 April 2009 For items dispensed in combination (duo) packs,there is a prescription charge for each differentdrug in the pack.
If you are paying prescription charges but think thatyou might want to claim a refund, ask the pharmacistfor an NHS receipt (form HCS(R)) when you pay thecharge.
You can only get a receipt at the time you pay thecharge. The receipt tells you what you need to doto claim a refund.
Claims must be made within three months of thedate you paid the charge.
If you have applied for help under the NHS LowIncome Scheme but have not yet received a replycomplete form HC5 and send it with the receipt to:Patient Services,Business Services Authority, Sandyford House,Archbold Terrace, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE2 1DB.
You can get an HC5 from:• your local Jobcentre Plus office• your local hospital• some dentists and opticians• www.ppa.nhs.uk – (it will be posted to you)• by request from Patient Services on:
0845 850 1166 PRESCRIPTION PREPAYMENT CERTIFICATES (PPC) from 1 April 2009 NHS WIGS AND FABRIC SUPPORTS HOSPITAL TRAVEL COSTS
If you are eligible to receive free prescriptions youmay also be eligible for help with necessary travelcosts.
The maximum you will pay if you live in the ScottishHighlands and Islands is:
HELP WITH HEALTH COSTS NHS DENTAL TREATMENT from 1 September 2009
You pay 80 per cent of the cost of the treatment upto a maximum of £384 if you can’t get free treatmentor help with the cost. The above are only examplesof what you might pay for courses of treatment thatstart on or after 1 September 2009. The total costof NHS treatment may be different from theseexamples because of the number, or types, oftreatment involved. If you are registered forContinuing Care with your dentist, you may askyour dentist for a treatment plan. This is providedfree of charge and explains what treatment yourdentist recommends, the price for each part of thetreatment, and the likely total cost. * To people who are ordinarily resident in the UK or who belong in oneof the categories for exemption from NHS charges set out in theNHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Scotland) Regulations 1989.SIGHT TESTS NHS VOUCHERS FOR GLASSES AND CONTACT LENSES FROM 1 APRIL 2009 Optical vouchers Maximum value per pair of glasses or contact lenses
* To people who are ordinarily resident in the UK or who belong in oneof the categories for exemption from NHS charges set out in theNHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Scotland) Regulations 1989.HELP WITH HEALTH COSTS Supplements to vouchers where clinically necessary Repairs/replacements of glasses or contact lenses If, exceptionally, you are entitled to a voucher for
repair or replacement, its value will be up to the
figures show in this leaflet, depending on the part
THE PENALTY CHARGE A penalty charge may be imposed on patients who
are found to have wrongly claimed total or partial
The penalty charge is five times the amount owed,
up to a maximum of a £100. This is in addition to
Prescriptions penalty charge A patient who wrongly claims to be eligible for free
prescriptions when the charge is £4.00 will have to
Dental costs penalty charge A patient who wrongly claims free dental treatment when the charge for the course of treatment is £30 will have to pay: COUNTER FRAUD SERVICES (CFS)
NHSScotland Counter Fraud Services offers a freeand confidential service for reporting potentialfraud. You can contact CFS on 08000 151628. PRESCRIPTION PRE-PAYMENT CERTIFICATES
Prescription Pre-payment Certificates (PPCs) cansave money for people who require large quantitiesof medicine or regular prescriptions, but are notentitled to free prescriptions.
A PPC wil save you money if you require more than3 prescription items in a 4-month period or morethan 9 prescription items in a 12-month period.
As a PPC holder you do not have to pay for individualprescriptions while your certificate remains valid. PPCs can be used to claim exemption from chargesfor medicines, dressings, medical appliances,elastic hosiery and wigs prescribed on the NHS anddispensed by community pharmacists, dispensingdoctors or appliances suppliers. HELP WITH HEALTH COSTS You can obtain a PPC:
• Over the counter from an NHS community
• By post from your regional office of NHS
National Services Scotland at the followingaddresses:
For Ayrshire & Arran, Dumfries & Galloway, Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire and Western Isles write to:
Practitioner ServicesClifton HouseClifton PlaceGlasgow G3 7LNTel: 0141 300 1300. For Borders, Fife, Forth Valley and Lothian write to:
Practitioner ServicesPO Box 17363Edinburgh EH12 1ETTel: 0131 275 7038. For Grampian, Highland, Orkney, Shetland and Tayside write to:
Practitioner Services (Medical)Bridge View1 North Esplanade WestAberdeen AB11 5QFTel: 01224 358400. Duplicate PPCs
If you lose or damage your PPC while it is still valid,you can obtain a replacement from NHS NationalServices Scotland by writing to the office whichserves the area where you live, giving your name,address and date of birth. While you are waiting foryour replacement certificate, you will still be able toobtain your prescriptions free of charge. PPC refunds
In certain circumstances a full or partial refund maybe available. Ask at your pharmacy or dispensingdoctor’s surgery for a Refund Application Form,which gives more information. Full refunds
You can claim a full refund if, during the first monthof validity, the PPC holder became entitled to freeprescriptions on grounds of:• Age• Medical Condition• Maternity• Low Income, or receipt of a benefit/tax credit
which appears on the back of the prescriptionform; or
• Was admitted to hospital and remained there
• A full refund can also be claimed if during the
first month of validity the PPC holder died orwent into hospital and subsequently died therewhile the certificate was still valid. HELP WITH HEALTH COSTS Interpretation Services
If English is not your first language, we wil providea telephone interpreting service on all of thenumbers shown in this leaflet. When you telephonetell us in English, or ask a friend to tell us, yourpreferred language and we will arrange for aninterpreter. This normally takes between 30 seconds andone minute. Other special needs This leaflet can also be made available by request on audio cassette, on disk and in large print. All of the numbers on this leaflet offer typetalk for people who are hard of hearing. This is available Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm. NHS Helpline on 0800 224488 will be able to provide both these services. This is not a definitive guide to the help available. For more detailed information go to the following website to access the booklet HCS 1, ‘Are you entitled to help with health costs?’: www.scotland.gov.uk/healthcosts
Alternatively contact:Scottish Government Health DirectoratesDirectorate of Primary Care and Community CarePrimary Care Division, St Andrew’s HouseRegent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DGTel: 0131 244 2529.
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