Medical Exemption Certificate

 

Medical Exemption Certificates

 

There are two types of Medical Exemption Certificates – one for if you have a medical condition (MedEx) and one if you are pregnant or have had a child in the past 12 months (MatEx).

 

Medical Exemption Certificate (MedEx)

If you have one or more of the conditions listed below and you hold a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx) you can get free NHS prescriptions.  This will include any prescriptions for other medical conditions you may have:

  • A permanent fistula which needs continuous surgical dressing or an appliance (i.e. caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy)
  • A form of hypoadrenalism such as Addison’s disease for which specific substitution therapy is essential
  • Diabetes insipidus and other forms of hypopituitarism
  • Diabetes mellitus except where treatment is by diet alone
  • Hypoparathyroidism
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Myxoedema (hypothyroidism which needs thyroid hormone replacement)
  • Epilepsy requiring continuous anticonvulsive therapy
  • A continuing physical disability which means you cannot go out without help from another person. Temporary disabilities do not count even if they last for several months
  • Undergoing treatment for cancer including the effects of cancer or treatment for the effects of a current or previous cancer treatment

 

If you are not sure about the name of your condition, ask your doctor.  He can advise you about free prescriptions but you need to find out yourself if you are entitled to an exemption certificate. It might help if you read the medical exemption certificate FAQ

 

How to apply for a MedEx Certificate

To apply for an exemption certificate (Medex), you need to ask your doctor for an application form FP92A. After you have completed the form, your doctor (or one of his colleagues who can access your medication records), or the doctor at the hospital that is treating you, will sign to confirm the information you’ve given is correct and then post the application form for you. You will then be sent a MedEx Certificate in the post.

The MedEx Certificate will be valid for 5 years, starting one month before the date on which the application is received by the NHS Business Authority. The MedEx will then need to be renewed.  You may not receive a reminder so it’s your responsibility to make sure that you get it renewed.

You can find more information about the application process and refunds on the NHS Business Authority’s website.

 

Claiming Refunds for Prescriptions

If you have applied for a MedEx, you have not yet received your exemption certificate and you need to pay for your prescription, you can ask your pharmacist, hospital or doctor for a refund claim form (FP57) so that you can claim a refund for your prescription charges when you receive your exemption certificate.

 

Claiming your Free Prescriptions

If you are entitled to free prescriptions, you need to put a cross in the first box in part 1 that applies to you (mark one box only) and fill in and sign the Declaration in part 3.  If someone else (your representative) goes to get your medication, the Declaration can be signed either by them or you can sign it before you give it to them.

You may be asked for proof that you are exempt so it’s always a good idea to carry your Maternity Exemption Certificate with you at all times. Make sure you give it to your representative if they collect your prescriptions for you.

You are responsible for the accuracy of the declaration even if your representative collects the prescription for you so make sure you know whether or not you are still entitled to free prescriptions.

If you have any queries about medical exemption, you can phone the helpline on 0300 330 1341.

If you are not entitled to a MedEx, you can purchase a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC) which could save you money on your prescriptions.

 

Maternity Exemption Certificate (MatEx)

If you are pregnant or have had a child in the past 12 months, you can apply for a Maternity Exemption Certificate (MatEx) which can be obtained from your doctor, nurse, midwife or health visitor by asking for Form FW8. If you have a Maternity Exemption Certificate all your prescriptions are free, whatever the medication is for.

Your NHS dental treatment is also free if you are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months when you are accepted for a course of treatment.

 

How to apply for a MatEx Certificate

To apply for the exemption you need to ask your doctor for the relevant form, complete parts 1 and 2 of the form and your doctor, nurse, midwife or health visitor then has to sign the form to confirm the information given by you is correct and send it off for you.

Your MatEx certificate will last until 12 months after the expected date of the birth of your baby.   If your baby is born early, you can continue to use your MatEx certificate until it runs out.

You can apply for an extension of your MatEx certificate if your baby is born late. If you apply after your baby is born, your MatEx certificate will run for 12 months from the birth of your baby.

For more information on how to apply for a MatEx visit the NHS Business Services Authority website.

 

Claiming Refunds for Prescriptions

If you have applied for a MatEx, you have not yet received your exemption certificate and you need to pay for your prescription, you can ask your pharmacist, hospital or doctor for a refund claim form (FP57) so that you can claim a refund for your prescription charges when you receive your exemption certificate.

 

Claiming your Free Prescriptions

If you are entitled to free prescriptions, you need to put a cross in the first box in part 1 that applies to you (mark one box only) and fill in and sign the Declaration in part 3.  If someone else (your representative) goes to get your medication, the Declaration can be signed either by them or you can sign it before you give it to them.

You may be asked for proof that you are exempt so it’s always a good idea to carry your MatEx Certificate with you at all times. Make sure you give it to your representative if they collect your prescriptions for you.

You are responsible for the accuracy of the declaration even if your representative collects the prescription for you so make sure you know whether or not you are still entitled to free prescriptions.

If you have any queries about maternity exemption, you can phone the helpline on 0300 330 1341

 

Thyroid UK relies on donations so that we can continue to support and campaign for people with thyroid disease and related disorders.  If you have found our information helpful, please do think about donating or becoming a member.

 

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Date updated: 03/06/19 (V2.1)
Review date: 03/06/21