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
Last updated: 10/05/17