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Old Sep 29th 2017, 9:24 am   #1
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Default medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

My parents live in Sicily. They moved there at my father’s retirement age, and shortly after he had a stroke. This left him partially paralysed and in need of medical care.

He worked all his life in the UK and paid as National Insurance in the UK.

When it comes to healthcare, it is able to see the doctor free of charge but ends up paying for all of his medicines. This is now become costly at nearly €200 per month.

If you are in the UK, as a pensioner he would not pay any costs for any medication. I’ve read stuff online, and it talks about the S1 form. But when I read this, it asks about his work is details.

Can anybody help, A) is he entitled to free medication in Italy if he’s worked all his life and pay national insurance in the UK and B), which forms or organisations do I talk to, to get this sorted.

Any help would be great

Thank you
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 9:35 am   #2
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

Others will be along with more detail but as I understand it, the S1 form, issued by the NHS I think only agrees to pay for doctors etc , IF the country you are in has a reciprocal agreement. You still have to pay for medicines if the citizens do. Here's the details so you can check https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ic-area-ca8454
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 9:38 am   #3
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

thanks. theres not much info in the guide
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 9:41 am   #4
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

apparently you have to call the Pensions folk in Newcastle on +44 191 218 1999 and ask for the S1. This info is from another expat group from folks in a similar position. I just googled UK S1 form for healthcare.
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 9:56 am   #5
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

how long have they been in sicily?
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 10:07 am   #6
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

They've been in sicily 13 years. I am call Newcastle too
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 11:53 am   #7
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

Once the S1 forms are registered with the local Italian health system your parents have access to health care here on the same basis as Italian citizens. It’s not free, there’s always a ‘ticket’, a kind of co-pay, for specialist appointments and medicines. But there are also exemptions - if you suffer from a chronic or rare illness, invalidity or are on a low income.
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 12:41 pm   #8
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

As permanent residents - over 5 years - they should get the same rights as Italians and therefore have most medicines free of charge or at least agevolate.
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 1:48 pm   #9
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

I read this elsewhere :-
Quote:
you have to make sure the GP fills in the codes on the back of any prescription or hospital check up request so that the UK pays again
So might have to make sure they know what needs to be done if you can find out.
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 2:17 pm   #10
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

As long time residents here, your parents are entitled to the same benefits as Italians. They need to fill out the paperwork for exemption of prescription charges for their medicines and tests for chronic health issues. If they have a combined income under €36,150 p.a. and are over 65 the can get a general exemption for all medical charges and medicines that come under the NHS.

Last edited by 37100; Sep 29th 2017 at 2:19 pm.
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 7:05 pm   #11
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

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Originally Posted by 37100 View Post
As long time residents here, your parents are entitled to the same benefits as Italians. They need to fill out the paperwork for exemption of prescription charges for their medicines and tests for chronic health issues. If they have a combined income under €36,150 p.a. and are over 65 the can get a general exemption for all medical charges and medicines that come under the NHS.
I think your parents must be in the Italian health system after 13 years of residence? I don't think it's possible that they're claiming the money back from the UK authorities. Anyway, to do that you need to have your proper residence in the UK, not overseas. It is meant for people on holiday and people on short term employment contracts that are planning to return to their UK base, not permanent residents overseas. Your parents should have gone to the local inps office about 10 years or more ago to register - it is very very simple to do and they would have been issued with Italian Health cards.

The "esenzione ticket" forms must be completed by their family doctor. The Doctor will know the medical condition and fill out the appropriate paperwork for you - it could be a permanent or temporary certification depending on the medical condition. Your father then just has to make sure he takes that certificate to the chemist when he gets his prescription. Also, you should remember that this is valid only if you opt for the "generic" (ie the one company that doesn't hold the patent) version of the drug. If you decide to choose the original ie the one on the prescription, you will have to pay, even if you have an exemption certificate.

Otherwise, without an exemption certificate you must pay €2 per prescription. By the way prescriptions written by NHS England are not free -- It's £8.60 a throw (unless you have the exemption). NHS Scotland prescriptions are free of charge.
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 7:35 pm   #12
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

Well Donna there is a lot of good advice and sense there, but also a lot of not so "quite right stuff"... needing uk residence, prescription charge for over 60/65 etc Hmmm I don't think so!
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 8:27 pm   #13
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna Noble View Post
I think your parents must be in the Italian health system after 13 years of residence? I don't think it's possible that they're claiming the money back from the UK authorities. Anyway, to do that you need to have your proper residence in the UK, not overseas. It is meant for people on holiday and people on short term employment contracts that are planning to return to their UK base, not permanent residents overseas. Your parents should have gone to the local inps office about 10 years or more ago to register - it is very very simple to do and they would have been issued with Italian Health cards.

The "esenzione ticket" forms must be completed by their family doctor. The Doctor will know the medical condition and fill out the appropriate paperwork for you - it could be a permanent or temporary certification depending on the medical condition. Your father then just has to make sure he takes that certificate to the chemist when he gets his prescription. Also, you should remember that this is valid only if you opt for the "generic" (ie the one company that doesn't hold the patent) version of the drug. If you decide to choose the original ie the one on the prescription, you will have to pay, even if you have an exemption certificate.

Otherwise, without an exemption certificate you must pay €2 per prescription. By the way prescriptions written by NHS England are not free -- It's £8.60 a throw (unless you have the exemption). NHS Scotland prescriptions are free of charge.
They've changed the rules. When don't they?. GP's can no longer fill out the 'essenzione' form. You need to get it from the ASL now by presenting your medical records. The GP then loads it on to his system. You no longer need to show the form to the chemist every time.
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 9:38 pm   #14
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

Sorry, in my haste I did imply that, but in fact over 60s get free prescriptions. Can't see that lasting much longer however!

About the other issue, I was talking about "claiming back" expenses but I've just read that you can't do that any more. It was all stopped on 1st January 2014!

Yes about the essenzione form but it does need to be "initiated" by your GP. You'll need to have a scan medical whatever to prove you have that condition. The consultant ticks the boxes that you can be exempt for drug payment and you take it to ASL. Our chemist is now on the network so it's true you dont need to take the certificate with you! I just take my whole filing cabinet with me wherever I go anyway. Just in case I get asked for random document. Pass the prozac.
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Old Sep 30th 2017, 8:08 am   #15
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Default Re: medication costs in Italy even when ive paid my NI in the UK

Well they have made things a little harder over the years but they still pay for UK pensioners living outside of the UK in another EU country. In 2014 they stopped paying for people on a residual basis whereby you had cover based on you UK national insurance payments for 18 month or so after your last UK contribution. There are other UK benefits that sill qualify, but I'm not too sure what they are called these days, invalidity benefit is/was certainly one of them. This NHS link confirms the current position (mainly the 3 expandable bits at the bottom).
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