People don’t realise how expensive health costs can be – especially when you’re on a low student loan and you’ve already blown half of this week’s allowance on that Chinese takeaway with your flatmates. You’ve been to the GP; they’ve written you up a prescription, and just as you’re walking into the chemist’s, you realise… you haven’t got the £8.60 to pay for it. Damn.
Don’t worry! You can completely avoid this situation if you’re prepared in the next few weeks.
When you’re studying, you’re classed as having a low income, as most students nowadays are struggling to get by on their loan. Due to this, you’re eligible for a HC2 exemption form. This form offers assistance when paying for everything health related; from free prescriptions, to discounted glasses and dental work.
But before you can get a HC2, you need a HC1. This is the application form that helps the government work out if you’re eligible. They’re pretty easy to get – just pop into your local GP surgery and ask for a HC1 application form (although it sometimes helps to specify you’re a student looking for help with costs). It’s a pretty hefty form, but shouldn’t take more than half hour or so to fill in. Then just post it to them in the provided envelope, and you should get your HC2 back within a few days.
I know a lot of students happily go without health cost assistance, but as someone who’s had to go to A&E for spilling spaghetti on themself, I can vouch that living on your own for the first time can be a precarious operation! And it’s always better to be safe than sorry!