Healthy Start is going digital
What you need to know
What is changing?
Healthy Start paper vouchers are being replaced by digital cards. The paper application system and paper vouchers will become an online application process and a pre-paid Mastercard. This card will be automatically topped up every 4 weeks with your payment. However, instead of being automatically transferred onto the digital scheme, existing users need to reapply to sign-up to the new terms and conditions of the pre-paid card.
When is this happening?
Now! After 10 March, paper vouchers will no longer be issued. Existing users of the scheme should have received a letter from the NHS Business Services Authority team, who are leading on the digital changeover. Importantly, existing users need to reapply for the digital scheme to carry on receiving support.
Eligible families not yet signed up to Healthy Start apply now.
What do I do when I receive the card?
Users have to activate their card calling 0300 330 2090, pressing 1 and going through the automated service. On this number you can also check your balance or report your card as missing or stolen.
If you want to talk to an advisor or an interpreter, call 0300 330 7010.
It’s worth knowing that these numbers are included free of charge in some pay plans, but not all. If it’s not included in yours or you’re not on a pay plan you could be charged between 3 – 55p a minute from a mobile.
When do paper vouchers stop?
Paper vouchers will no longer be issued after March 2022 but any existing vouchers can be used by the expiry date shown on the voucher.
Where can the new pre-paid card be used?
In most places that sell milk, infant formula, fruit, and vegetables and that accept a Mastercard payment. This includes supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, markets, newsstands, petrol stations and community food projects.
It should be noted that currently purchases with the prepaid card can not be used online. When being used as part of a food shop, users must separate their Healthy Start items from a wider shop and pay separately. This is an issue that retailers and the NHS are trying to resolve.