Being a student can be difficult, I mean that’s just the stress involved with your work and actually turning up to university. If you have a long term condition that you are taking medication for then it can be even worse. I suffer from mental health, BPD to be exact and I have to take medication for it daily. It can be expensive but thankfully there are things in place to help us students out, like free prescriptions.
So the NHS have this thing in place to do with a low income scheme. So imagine it like your student finance, the less money your parents and yourself earn; the more help that you will get. This is one of them instances where you’ll get help and most students will fall under this. If you’re not sure, apply anyway and find out; what have you got to lose?
Okay, what is it?
So the scheme is basically a HC2 certificate which helps towards costs that you face when it comes to your health. A list of the services that you can get for free or get help towards with a HC2 certificate are listed below.
- free NHS prescriptions
- free NHS dental treatment
- free NHS sight tests
- help with the cost of glasses or contact lenses
- help with the cost of travelling to receive NHS treatment
- free NHS wigs and fabric supports
If you’re like me and you’ve got to take long term medication then this is a god send. Instead of having to pay £8.60 every time I need more medication which at the moment stands at twice a month, I’m able to get them for free with the form. With new rules in place though you need to make sure you take your certificate with you every time you go and get your medication, other wise they can refuse you it or make you pay.
With the HC2 certificate it’s also a good idea to see the dentist and get your eyes checked while in university. If you can keep them in working order while at university, eating all that junk food and drinking god knows what; you’ll have a better chance of them not playing up after you leave and start living better.
How to apply….
This is the part that had me so confused, it made my brain hurt so much I asked my partner for much needed help! You have to fill out the HC1 form in order to get your HC2 form. Think of it as the start of your destination. From the HC1 form you then go down another route to the HC form that you need. There are quite a few of them, the HC1 form is the sorting office to your free prescriptions.
If you’re wanting to apply click on this link and get going. If you need more help with the whole process I would advise asking your local GP or pharmacy as they know quite a bit!
Here’s the catch….
So it’s not a huge catch and I guess it’s up to you to make sure it’s not going to be a problem. I’m just a little bitter because I got stung by a couple of days which meant I had £128 to pay. You need to apply for your certificate every single year, if you don’t you can be charged for getting any medication outside of your certificate period, like I did!
You can be charged up to £100 the first time round, you have to pay it that’s not negotiable. However if you ignore it or you didn’t get the first letter they put even more charges on top! Which in some cases is a little unfair, say if you’re on holiday but if you’re ignoring it then you have no one to blame but yourself.
There are cases where you can get charges out of the blue, for nothing. Take this example that happened to me not long ago. I was told that I needed to pay a charge for picking up some medication I’ve never taken. I only ever pick up one thing and this was the total opposite, I had to phone them and argue it and I’m still in the process months later of getting it sorted out. My advice would be that if you have any charges that you know are your fault, pay them. If they’re not your fault, argue them!
So there you have it, a HC2 form. Make sure you have one while at university and take full advantage of it. At the end of the day your course is only going to last so long, if you can get much needed work done in that time then why not? If it helps you out like it’s helping me every single day, even better! It’s simple to apply, just follow the link and make sure you apply every year just like student finance! For a more detailed look into the whole process and for some hardcore facts check out SavetheStudent!
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