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NHS in England: help with health costs


Although treatment on the NHS is free at the point of delivery, there may still be some costs, such as your journey to hospital. But much or all of these costs can be reclaimed, which should ease any added stress. The following pages explain in full detail how to claim the money you're entitled to. 

NHS Low Income Scheme

If you have a low income, you may be able to get help with NHS costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS).

Universal Credit

On November 1 2015, the arrangements about who's entitled to help with health costs changed. If you receive Universal Credit, make sure you're aware of the new arrangements as you may no longer be entitled to support.

Help with dental costs

Dental charges depend on the treatment you need to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy. Find out what you're entitled to and how to get help with NHS dental charges.

Eye care entitlements

Find out if you're entitled to free NHS sight tests or optical vouchers. The section also provides additional information about the current NHS voucher values.

Help with prescription costs

Find out if you're entitled to free prescriptions. Plus learn how to get help with charges, such as through a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC).

Help with travel costs

Find out if and when you can claim refunds under the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme for travelling to hospitals or other NHS premises.

Help for wigs and fabric supports

Wigs are available on the NHS, but patients are charged for them, unless they qualify for help with charges. Find out if you're eligible for support.

Page last reviewed: 14/02/2017

Next review due: 14/02/2020

Important numbers and advice

Call 0300 330 1348 for the dental services helpline

Call 0300 330 1343 for the NHS Low Income Scheme helpline

Call 0300 330 1341 for queries about medical exemption certificates

Call 0300 330 1341 for queries about prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs)

Call 0300 330 1349 for the prescription services helpline

Call 0300 330 1347 for queries about tax credit certificates

Call 0300 123 0849 to order a paper copy of the HC12, HC5 and HC1 (SC) forms

For all other queries, call 0300 330 1343

Download a quick guide to help with health costs (PDF, 120kb) 

Paying NHS charges

Read about rules on exemptions, claiming refunds, and what happens if you're caught claiming refunds dishonestly

Visiting or moving to England?

Find out how you can access NHS services if you're new to England