‘Utterly disgraceful!’ – Express readers condemn plans to raise free prescription ages

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NHS prescription changes may be on the horizon as the Department of Health and Social Care is consulting on aligning the upper age exemption for prescription charges with the state pension age, which is currently sitting at 66 for most people. According to analysis from Age UK, this could force 2.4 million people aged 60-65 to have to fork out for their prescriptions.

This news brought out emotional and passionate responses from Express.co.uk readers.

One Express.co.uk reader believed this is the right route to take, as he explained: “Shortly, after my 60th birthday, I went to collect a script & was totally gobsmacked, when told it was now free.

“I was in full time employment – right up to 65, the then retirement age.

“Why, when in full time employment, should I get free scripts? Totally stupid.

“Only about 20 percent of the public actually pay a fee.

“Take out the school age, the actual retired, pregnant women, and those on a wide range of benefits, 20 percent is about all that is left, paying anything.

“If you are below retirement age, in full employment, there is absolutely no reason not to pay!”

However, another pointed out these changes may hit people just as they come to depend on the NHS like never before.

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Another Express.co.uk reader said: “Only the English have to pay for their prescriptions…

“Why are we now having to find the money to also pay, once we are in our sixties?

“This is the time when ill health starts to descend on us and our income starts to fall…Utterly disgraceful!”

Should free NHS prescriptions be aligned with the state pension age, retirees may have to wait for even longer than they realise.

The state pension age is scheduled to rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

Beyond this, it will rise to 68 by 2046.

Many experts, such as Tom Selby, a senior analyst at AJ Bell, expect the state pension age will continue to rise as life expectancy increases, eventually reaching the 70s.

While the state pension age continues to change, people can check their exact retirement age through the Government’s website.

Savers can check on their state pension age through a free-to-use tool on the website, which only requires a few details.

Initially, users will be asked if they’d like to calculate their state pension or free bus pass age.

Users will then need to enter their date of birth.

Following this, users will be presented with an exact date for when they can claim their state pension.

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