Is HRT Free? All the Info on Prescription Charges | Stella
6 mins

Is HRT free?

byDr. Lucy Wilkinson

Menopause can be a stressful time but HRT may help ease your symptoms. If you’re considering your HRT options but are worried about prescription costs, we’re here to help. HRT doesn’t have to be a financial burden. Read on to find out how to get the best value HRT prescription.

Is HRT free? 

The cost of medications varies throughout the UK. You may be entitled to free prescriptions for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) depending on where you live, your age and your medical history.

Read more on HRT risks and benefits.

Free prescriptions by area

Prescriptions in England are subject to a prescription charge. This is a standard fee which is charged for every medication and is regularly reviewed. At the time of writing, the cost is £9.65 per prescribed item. 

All prescriptions are free if you live in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. This includes HRT.

Free prescriptions by age 

In England, prescriptions including HRT are free for everyone who is:

  • Over 65 
  • Under 16
  • Aged 16-18 and in full-time education 

Free prescriptions by medical history

You will be entitled to free prescriptions, including HRT, if you have certain medical conditions and live in England. The most common include:

  • Pregnancy or having had a baby within the last 12 months
  • Cancer, including the effects of previous cancer and cancer treatments
  • Diabetes mellitus for which you need medication
  • Hypothyroidism for which you need medication (thyroxine)
  • Epilepsy for which you need medication
  • A permanent fistula including colostomy, ileostomy and urostomy
  • A long-term disability which means you can’t leave the house without help

Visit the NHS website for the full list and further guidance.

Free prescriptions by income

You are entitled to free prescriptions if you receive certain benefits including Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit in some circumstances.

Visit the NHS website for more details.

How can you save money on your HRT?

You can save serious money by using an NHS prepayment scheme if you aren’t entitled to free prescriptions.

HRT Prepayment Certificate 

The NHS HRT Prepayment Certificate launched in 2023 and lets you buy 12 months of HRT for the cost of two NHS prescription charges (£19.30 at the time of writing).

You are eligible for this scheme if you take any of the HRT products from this specific list.

This certificate is good value if you take two HRT products, such as a progesterone tablet and oestrogen spray on a monthly prescription. The annual cost would add up to more than £200 without the certificate.

The prepayment certificate can only be used for HRT and will not cover any other medications you take. A different prepayment certificate might be a better choice if this is your situation.

Check to make sure the certificate makes financial sense for you. For example, your savings could be less if you are established on HRT and your GP is providing prescriptions for six months at a time.

Other prepayment certificates 

NHS prepayment certificates are available for three or 12-month periods. These cover all of the medications you need within that period, including HRT.

The cost is: 

  • £31.25 for three months
  • £111.60 for 12 months

You can save money if you need more than three items in three months, or 11 items within 12 months.

These can also be backdated by up to three months, meaning that you can claim back the cost of prescriptions which have already been issued.

What other options are available?

Some people get their HRT through private doctors and clinics. This costs more than NHS prescription charges, but offers certain advantages:

  • It may be easier to access a menopause expert by using a private service when compared with the NHS
  • Appointment scheduling may be more flexible and convenient
  • Follow-up appointments may be easier to arrange
  • Medication may be more readily available

Stella menopause clinic

The Stella menopause clinic offers private access to personalised clinical services and lifestyle change support, designed exclusively for its partners and workplaces.

You start with an in-depth online assessment which helps you understand your stage of menopause and get recommended personalised treatment options based on your medical history, symptoms, lifestyle and preferences. Treatments could include hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and testosterone, if right for you.

With Stella you can have an online doctor’s appointment, medication delivered to your home and access to the Stella app. Online appointments allow you plenty of time to discuss your options and share your experiences and concerns with the doctor. The first prescription is always for three months. This is then followed by a review appointment to see how you’re doing on your HRT.

You also get a lifestyle change plan on the Stella app for your specific symptoms and coaching to help you. You can browse our online library of articles, workouts and recipes by our clinicians and wellness experts. You can also join in our online Q&A events.

Talk to your employer about Stella and how we can help.

Final word

HRT doesn’t need to be expensive. Think about how you are going to access HRT and whether a prepayment certificate could save you some money.

Find out more about menopause on our blog or in our symptoms library