From 1 January 2017 pharmacy staff will be asking patients for proof of their exemption when they sign to claim free prescriptions.
The current decision by DHSC to request for proof of exemptions is due to many factors – but essentially it is aimed at raising public awareness of the fact that individuals should be very clear that they are definitely exempt before signing the back of the form.
Patients can claim prescriptions free of charge, based on the following exemptions:
- Children under 16 years
- Full time students under 19 years
- Person of State Retirement age
- Persons in receipt of Income Support and their dependents
- Persons in receipt of Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
- Persons in receipt of Incapacity Benefit for a period in excess of six months
- Persons in receipt of Employed Persons Allowance
- Chronic sick, who have been in constant need of medical attention for six months or longer and who are not in substantial employment
Persons suffering from the following conditions, irrespective of income or employment circumstances:
(i) Permanent fistula (including caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy) requiring continuous surgical dressing or an appliance
(ii) The following disorders:
- Forms of hypoadrenalism (including 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
- Myasthenia gravis
(iii) Epilepsy requiring continuous anti-convulsive therapy:
(iv) A continuing physical disability which prevents the patient from leaving his residence without the help of another person
- War Service Disablement Pensioners
- Registered Blind Persons
- Women who are pregnant
- Women who have given birth within the previous twelve months.
No prescription charge is payable for contraceptive appliances and substances prescribed for women under the Isle of Man Health Service.
Please note: No patient will be refused medication and they will NOT be asked to pay in lieu of proof being available.
Those who are unsure if they are actually exempt should ask the pharmacy team for advice. Individuals can pay and get a special receipt for a refund once their exemption has been confirmed should they wish to do so.
Patients claiming their free prescriptions based on receipt of certain benefits do NOT need to contact Social Security to ask for letters or other hard copies of proof, however if patients are in the MiCard scheme for accessing benefits they may show their card.
If you have a pre-payment certificate, please make a note of the expiry date and remember to apply for a renewal in plenty of time. Application forms can be obtained from either the Department or a pharmacy, otherwise you will have to pay prescription charges.
Reminders will not be issued by the Department of Health & Social Care.
As from Friday 10 February 2017 there will no longer be a counter facility at the Treasury Department, 3rd Floor, St Andrews House, Finch Road, Douglas.
All card payments must be made over the phone or a cheque may be posted with your application form. For any queries you may call Family Practitioners Service on +44 1624642694.
Department of Health and Social Care
Isle of Man
+44 1624 642647