Treatment costs and reimbursements
When customers coming from abroad seek treatment in Finland, they are primarily responsible for the costs of health services, arranging interpretation, translating documents and covering any related costs.
Customers may receive treatment for the municipal resident’s client fee if they have a municipality of residence in Finland or if they present an appropriate certificate of entitlement to treatment to the treatment provider. The case can be one of the following:
- A person from an EU or EEA country, United Kingdom or Switzerland is staying in Finland temporarily and requires medically necessary treatment. In this case, the person proves their entitlement to treatment with the European Health Insurance Card issued by their country of residence.
- Nordic residents can demonstrate their right to treatment with a passport or personal identification, and residents of Australia can demonstrate it with a passport.
- Residents of Great Britain or Northern Ireland can also prove their right to treatment with the European Health Insurance Card issued during the Brexit transition period, the Citizens Rights Card or the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
- Persons who are working in Finland but do not have a municipality of residence in the country can demonstrate their right with a certificate of entitlement to medical care in Finland granted by Kela.
- The person has prior authorisation from another EU or EEA country, United Kingdom or Switzerland for treatment to be provided in Finland.
As a rule, the actual costs of treatment can be charged to clients coming from abroad who
- do not present a certificate of entitlement to medical care and do not have a municipality of residence in Finland
- have come to Finland for the express purpose of seeking health care services.
Extensive information on certificates of entitlement to treatment can be found on Kela’s website in Finnish.
Clients who do not have a municipality of residence in Finland or a certificate of entitlement to medical care and who reside in Finland for a longer period of time are entitled to medically necessary treatment. Such clients include the so-called undocumented persons. Clients under 18 years of age are entitled to all public healthcare services. Treatment costs must be charged to the client in full.
Public health care may apply for state reimbursement of treatment costs from Kela if the costs cannot be charged to the client or another party, such as an insurance company. However, public health care may waive the recovery of the costs if the client is clearly without means.
Kela pays reimbursements to private customers
Customers coming from EU or EEA countries, United Kingdom or Switzerland who suddenly become ill in Finland may be reimbursed for the costs of treatment in Finnish private health care, either by Kela or the health insurance institute of their home country. Kela also reimburses costs of prescribed medicine and travelling due to the treatment of the illness. Customers should find out in which country they should apply for reimbursement.
Persons coming from abroad who have been granted prior authorisation for treatment in Finland and who have received treatment in Finnish private health care can apply for reimbursements for private medical treatment from Kela retroactively. The reimbursement from Kela must be applied for within six months of incurring the costs. A copy of the prior authorisation must be appended to the application.
Insurance compensations: Accident, occupational disease and traffic accident
If a person coming to Finland from abroad suffers a traffic accident in Finland or the need for treatment is due to an occupational accident in Finland or an occupational disease that occurred under a Finnish employer, the insurance company should primarily reimburse the costs of treatment. The matter should be clarified with the insurance company, the Finnish Motor Insurers’ Centre (LVK) or Federation of Workers' Compensation Center (TVK).
Public health care must primarily apply for compensation for the occupational accident or occupational disease from the insurance company responsible for the statutory accident insurance or clarify the matter through the Workers’ Compensation Center (TVK). For a traffic accident, public health care must primarily apply for compensation from the responsible insurance company or clarify the matter through the Finnish Motor Insurers’ Centre (LVK).
More detailed information on applying for insurance company compensation can be found on Kela’s website (in Finnish).