Living on a budget can be hard, and it’s often the small savings that can make a real difference to your quality of life. In particular, health costs can be a drain on a tight budget. Prescriptions, dental treatments, glasses, to name a few are necessary expenditure and can really add up. However, did you know the NHS actually offers financial help with many different treatments? Let’s take a look at the 7 main ways you can save money on your health costs.
1. Do you have a low income?
If you have a low income and savings or investments under £16,000 you might be entitled to help towards some or all of the following costs on the NHS low-income scheme.
- NHS prescriptions
- NHS dental treatment
- Sight tests, glasses, and contact lenses
- Travel to receive NHS treatment
- NHS wigs and fabric supports
The scheme will assess your income and determine what help can be given. It can help towards all or part of your costs. You can find out more here.
2. Help with health costs if you are on Universal Credit
As above, if you are on Universal credit you can possibly claim financial help towards your health costs. Check here to see if you are eligible for help towards part or all of your health costs, including prescriptions, dental costs, glasses and more. This could really help reduce outgoings in your already tight budget.
3. Do you get a lot of regular prescriptions?
A Prescription Prepayment Certificate or PPC could help you save if you get more than 1 prescription per month. It works by paying a set amount for a certificate that lasts either 3 or 12 months. In that time you can get as many prescriptions as you need at no extra cost.
- A Prescription Prepayment Certificate costs:
- £29.10 for 3 months
- £104 for 12 months
You can find out more about it here.
4. Do you travel to specialist appointments?
If you don’t have a medical need for ambulance transport but have to attend appointments for specialist treatments, you could be incurring expensive travel costs. These could include parking, public transport or fuel costs. This help is available for those on certain benefits or on a low income. You can find out here if you are eligible for a refund on these costs.
5. NHS-funded Eye-Tests
You may be eligible for a free NHS-funded Eye Test and optical vouchers if you meet certain criteria. These include low income or benefits, certain ages, and certain conditions amongst other criteria. It’s certainly worth a check here to see if you qualify to save some money on optical costs.
6. NHS dental costs
It’s essential to maintain oral hygiene, but it’s nerve wracking thinking about the cost that treatment can add up to. If you are eligible for assistance with dental costs, you’ll find that each treatment falls into a certain band, so no matter how many times you return to complete the treatment you still only pay the one cost of that particular band.
Find out more about the different costs here and how you can save.
7. Wigs and fabric supports on the NHS
Those on a low income, or applicable benefits, a certain age range or other various criteria may be eligible for financial help towards wigs and fabric supports. The person who normally fits you for your wig or fabric support can help you claim the discount, and you may even be entitled to a refund of previous costs paid. You can find out more about saving on this health cost here.
Living on a budget is hard, and when you have health costs, it’s particularly difficult as often this type of expenditure isn’t a choice, and is a necessity. If you are at all unsure what help you qualify for, ask at your GP surgery for more information and they should be able to help. If you can manage to save even a little in your existing budget it may help you to become debt free sooner or even start to build savings.