Reimbursement of costs
Will I be reimbursed for treatment costs if I fall ill while travelling abroad?
By presenting the European Health Insurance Card in an EU or EEA country, the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland or Switzerland, you will receive medically necessary treatment at the same price as local residents. If you do not have the European Health Insurance Card or the treatment provider does not accept it, you can claim treatment cost reimbursement from Kela afterwards or from the health insurance institution of the country that provided the treatment.
Can I receive reimbursement for treatment costs if I seek treatment abroad independently?
Yes. If you seek treatment independently in an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you can apply for reimbursement from Kela. The reimbursement is the same as if you would use private healthcare in Finland. Apply for reimbursement within six months of paying for the treatment.
You can also apply for prior authorisation from Kela for treatment provided abroad. In this case, you will pay the same amount for the treatment as local residents.
If you seek treatment in a country other than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you cannot receive Kela reimbursements for the treatment costs.
Can I receive Kela reimbursement for any treatment provided abroad?
No. Kela will reimburse the costs of treatment given in an EU or EEA country or Switzerland on the same terms as for private healthcare given in Finland. If Kela reimbursement is not available for the treatment in Finland, it will not be available for treatment provided abroad, either. You can check reimbursed treatments and reimbursement rates from the appropriate rates of reimbursement list (in Finnish).
However, if you are seeking treatment abroad with a prior authorisation, you can only obtain a prior authorisation for treatment included in the public healthcare services in Finland. Therefore, you cannot obtain prior authorisation for treatment that is not available in Finland. An exception to this is rare diseases, for which prior authorisation can be granted in some cases.
Why do I have to pay the costs myself first when I seek treatment in an EU country?
If you seek treatment abroad without prior authorisation, you will be reimbursed based on the actual costs of the treatment. The practice is based on the EU Patient Directive.
If you seek treatment with prior authorisation, you will pay the local client fee for the treatment. The country that provided the treatment invoices Finland for the rest of the treatment costs.