To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have applied for the NHS low income scheme in each of the past three years; and how many people in each of the last three years were exempted from paying prescription charges through the scheme.
Information on the number of applications made to the National Health Service Low Income Scheme and the number of HC2 certificates (which exempt the person from health costs, including prescription charges) subsequently issued, is shown in the table. Information on the number of HC3 certificates issued is also included as these provide help towards the cost of dental treatment, sight tests, wigs and fabric supports, travel costs for NHS treatment and vouchers for glasses and contact lenses (but not prescription charges).
Each certificate provides entitlement to the individual, their partner and any dependent children.
|Applications received (HC1 Form)||445,608||431,129||433,136|
|HC2s issued (qualify for full help)1||252,037||243,350||249,122|
|HC3s issued (qualify for partial help)||148,018||142,135||136,635|
|Not entitled to a certificate (for example capital over the limit or exempt on other grounds)||1,931||2,099||1,811|
Source: NHS Business Services Authority
1 excludes HC2 certificates issued to asylum seekers by the UK Border Agency.