Closed consultation overview: Aligning the upper age for NHS prescription charge exemptions with the State Pension age

Applies to England

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This consultation is seeking views on changing the upper age of age exemptions on prescription charges.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

Please be aware this consultation was originally published on 1 July 2021 but the online response form was updated at 5:15pm on Thursday 8 July to include a question that was omitted in error.

There have been no changes to the consultation document. Any responses that had already been made will still be considered.

The question that’s been added is “Do you think that aligning the upper age exemption with state pension age could have a differential impact on particular groups of people or communities?”.

If you responded to the consultation before this question was added but did not supply a contact email address, you can submit a response to this question, if you wish.

Individuals who did supply an email address have been contacted directly to invite them to respond. You do not have to respond to the whole consultation again.

The consultation has been extended to account for the changes and allow sufficient time for consideration and will now close on 2 September.

The government is consulting on aligning the upper age exemption for NHS prescription charges with the State Pension age (SPA). In 2019, around £600 million was generated in revenue from prescription charges for frontline NHS services. Currently, people receive free prescriptions when they turn 60 in England, whereas the SPA is now 66.

The consultation is seeking views from the public and healthcare professionals on options for change including building in a period of protection so those aged between 60 to 65 can continue to benefit from free prescriptions if the upper age exemption rises.

See the easy read version of the online survey.


Impact assessment: increasing the upper age exemption for prescription charges in line with the state pension age

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Published 1 July 2021
Last updated 2 September 2021 + show all updates
  1. Consultation closing date extended to 03 Sept 21 11:45am

  2. Updated to add a link to the omitted survey question for those who did not supply an email address.

  3. Added link to the easy read version.

  4. Updated to add one question that was accidentally omitted from the online response form and extended the closing date to 2 September 2021.

  5. First published.