University life isn’t cheap. It doesn’t matter if you spend all your student finance having a great time with your new friends, put all your money into new textbooks that cost the earth or just don’t get enough money to cover the bills. Medical bills, prescription costs, eye tests are all things students shouldn’t have to fork out for when they’re already stretched to the max!
Having done an undergraduate course and going into my postgraduate course myself, I know where the help is and how you can get it. One of the current great things about our NHS is that they support students, which is perfect and really takes some of the pressure off while we’re at university!
At the moment to get 1 prescription in the UK costs £9.35, which has gone up almost £1 since I did my undergraduate degree and it might not sound like much but I have to have 11 different prescriptions a month which would cost me £102.85 each month! This is why I’m glad students can get free prescriptions.
You’ll need to fill out a ton of paperwork in order to get medical help as a student but it’s more than worth it. Once you have an HC2 form you’ll be able to get help in all medical areas and make sure you’re on the top of your game for placements, exams and horrible early lectures!
What Is A HC2 Form
The scheme is a certificate which helps towards the costs or covers the costs that you will face when it comes to health. The form will not only help pay for prescriptions but will also help with dental costs as well.
Not everyone will be eligible for the form, if you’re thinking, can I get free prescriptions? Apply, find out and you have nothing to lose if they say no, it’s worth a shot.
Below is a list of everything you might be able to get help with, in these current times it’s worth checking out because every penny saved really does help!
- 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
Long term medication costs can be terrible, I should know. The HC2 certificate means you won’t have to cope with that cost alone. The criteria are forever changing for the HC2 certificate, however, just like the costs of prescriptions so always make sure you’re eligible.
My HC2 certificate advice would be while you have it, go for an eye test, have regular dental appointments and make sure your health is in order. If you find something that needs fixing at least you don’t have to pay a fortune!
If you’re unsuccessful in getting a HC2 certificate you may be entitled to a HC3 certificate which gives you limited help with health costs so make sure you look into both. Take a look at the NHS low-income scheme website for more information.
How To Apply For A HC2 Certificate
So here’s the difficult part and trust me they don’t always make it easy considering they’re paying out a fortune every year on free prescriptions. In order to get the HC2 form, you need to download or have the HC1 form sent to you.
You can download the HC1 form from the website or call them to have it arranged so a form is posted to you. You may also be able to pick up a form from your doctors, pharmacists or opticians if they have them.
You can find loads of support online when it comes to filling out the HC1 form but I would say if there are any specific questions you’re struggling with, phone them up or ask your GP, they know everything anyway!
HC2 Form Requirments
There are certain requirements that are laid out in the form but they are pretty easy to understand. One thing I will say is to make sure your HC2 certificate or HC3 certificate is always in date when you use it as they do run out!
I was charged with a £128 bill because my HC2 form was 2 days expired when I used it! so make sure you always check the date as they will catch you out! If you ignore the charges they will start to charge you even more as late fees, it’s not worth ignoring them.
It’s totally worth getting a medical exemption form, it helps in all walks of life and the best part is that it really doesn’t take that long and once it’s done you don’t have to worry about it for a whole year!
The HC2 form isn’t just for students although when I wrote this post, saving money while at university was a big thing for me and that’s why this post is here!
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 on saving money as a student check out SavetheStudent!