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How To Get Free Prescriptions and Dental Care During and After Pregnancy

By IntFormalities
Updated on August 13, 2023
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Bringing a baby into this world faces mums with many new challenges. This is why it’s essential that their physical and mental well-being is being taken good care of. To help pregnant women feel safe and secure, the National Health Service (NHS) offers various forms of assistance. Two of these things are free prescriptions and dental care during pregnancy and a year afterwards. This article discusses it in detail so you can see how to access these two important services. 

Free prescriptions and dental care during pregnancy
To access free dental care and prescriptions, you need to obtain a Maternity exemption certificate (MATEX).

Free Prescriptions and Dental Care: What Is It?

Pregnant women in the UK are entitled to free prescriptions and dental care during the pregnancy and the 12 months after the baby is born. It is in place to ensure pregnant and new mothers have the best support to maintain their health. It allows them to care for themselves and their baby without worrying about the financial costs of medicine or dental care. 

You don’t need to be on benefits, such as Universal Credit, to claim this entitlement. Any pregnant woman is eligible.

What Does It Give You Access To?

Qualified women are entitled to free prescriptions for any medication prescribed by a doctor during pregnancy and 12 months after giving birth. They are also entitled to a range of dental care. It will include treatments such as bridges, crowns, fillings, root canal treatment, wisdom teeth removal, and so on.

What Documentation Is Required To Access Free Prescriptions and Dental Care?

To access free dental care and prescriptions, you need to obtain a Maternity exemption certificate (MATEX). To get a MATEX, your doctor, health visitor, or midwife will need to apply for it on your behalf.

As soon as they confirm your pregnancy, they’ll complete the application form for you. If they use the digital medical exception service, you’ll receive the certification immediately through email after they’ve carried out the administration. They can also fill in the FW8 application form if the application is not completed electronically

You’ll receive a paper certification within 10 days after the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) receives the paperwork. Typically, the certificate is backdated by 1 month when the application is received.

If you require prescriptions from the pharmacy before the certification arrives, obtain an FP57 receipt from the chemist. It can be used to claim refunds once the MATEX arrives.

How Long Is the Maternity Exemption Certificate Valid for?

MATEX is valid until 12 months after the baby is born. It cannot be revoked unless there is evidence of fraudulent claims. If you lose your certificate, contact the NHS Business Services Authority for a replacement. 

What Happens If There Is a Miscarriage or Stillbirth?

If there is a miscarriage or a stillbirth, you are still entitled to free prescriptions. The free prescription service will come to an end 12 months after the expected birth or the stillbirth. However, you may no longer receive free dental treatment. 

How To Obtain Help and Advice?

If you need help and assistance with any aspects of your application, it is best to contact the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). You can visit their website or call them on 0300 330 1341.

Support and Help During Pregnancy

The UK’s Health System provides free prescriptions and dental care to make things easier for women during pregnancy. It ensures pregnant women do not face financial burdens during a difficult period. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor, health visitor, or midwife to ensure they complete the paperwork to enable you to claim free prescriptions and dental care.    

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