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Prescriptions, dental care, and sight tests

Some services can be accessed by anyone, regardless of their immigration status, but will need to be paid for if the person is not exempt from charges or if they do not qualify for full or partial help with health costs under the low income scheme.

These services are:

  • NHS prescriptions
  • NHS dental treatment (including community dental treatment)
  • Sight tests, glasses and contact lenses
  • Travel to receive NHS treatment
  • NHS wigs and fabric supports

A person will be exempt if they are:

  • Age 60 or over
  • Age under 16
  • Age 16-18 and in full-time education
  • Pregnant, or had a baby in the previous 12 months, and has a valid maternity exemption certificate
  • Holding a medical exemption certificate because they have a certain medical condition – see the NHS list of applicable medical conditions

If none of the exemptions above apply, a person who has a low income may be able to obtain an HC2 certificate through the NHS Low Income Scheme. This would entitle them to full or partial help. A person can apply for an HC2 certificate regardless of their immigration status. If they have no recourse to public funds (NRPF) and are receiving support from a council, charity or voluntary sector organisation, they would need to provide a letter outlining details of any assistance they are receiving.

To apply for the HC2 certificate, an HC1 form must be completed, which can be requested from NHS choices. See also the NHS information on help with health costs.