Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

[NaBloPoMo] Pre-Pay your Prescriptions on the NHS

ObamaCare has been in the news a lot lately because it’s finally starting to go into effect in January (I think). As an American who resides abroad for more than 335 days per year, I don’t need to sign up for a plan. From what I understand, this isn’t trying to restrict Americans abroad to only visiting the US for 25 days each year, but it is restricting us to calling a visit to the US a visit. As in, we can’t call an address in the US our “home address”. Which sounds a bit odd since they use your last lived at address in the US as your “home address” for voting purposes, but at least I don’t have to sign up for a healthcare plan in the US I’d only be able to use occasionally. Instead, I have traveler’s insurance. But this isn’t the point of my daily post today. It’s just an a way of explaining where my train of thought wandered to today.

The point of my post is to tell you all that I love the NHS and their pre-pay certificates. No, really. I live in England, where we still pay for our prescriptions (Scotland and Wales get freebies), but we have a pre-pay scheme where you can pre-pay for 3 or 12 months in one go if you are on long-term prescriptions but don’t yet qualify for free ones. I recently switched from a 3-month certificate to a 12 month one for a little over £100 (single prescriptions cost £7.85) as I refill my Metformin every 28 days, my Zineryt every 5 weeks, and my Hibiscrub usually every other month. I switched because recently, after visiting a Dermatologist, I was given two new creams and a wash and I also have been on prescription pain relievers for my knee. Those 7 prescriptions would have cost me £54.95, or more than HALF of what my pre-pay certificate cost. I pay for my pre-pay certificate in monthly installments of £10, so it’s slightly more than the cost of one prescription.

Again, this isn’t an option for everyone, in fact it only becomes valid if you know you will be on at least 14 prescriptions in the year. Since no one can predict if they will need 14 in a year, I would say go with if you need 2 or more per month. The three-month pre-pay certificate costs just under £30, so that is a good option if you will be on more than 4 prescriptions in a 3-month period…and here’s the beauty of it. You can BACK DATE your pre-pay by up to 30 days. So let’s say you visit your GP and find out that you have a skin infection. You get handed a prescription for antibiotic pills, a cream, a daily scrub, and some sticky pads to cover it with. You can walk into your chemist and request a “blue” reciept when you pay, go home, apply for a three-month pre-pay certificate, have it valid as of yesterday, and then once it comes in the mail go back to the chemist with your card and blue receipt and get your money back. Brilliant.

It’s just one more reason why I love the NHS….

[Please note I do not get compensated for talking about the NHS. I just honestly love it that much!]

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