Pregnancy and childbirth abroad
Giving birth in another EU or EEA country, the United Kingdom or in Switzerland
You should be able to obtain treatment related to pregnancy and childbirth by presenting the European Health Insurance Card if you temporarily reside in an EU or EEA country, the United Kingdom or in Switzerland. Temporary stay includes, for example, holiday trips. The European Health Insurance Card can be used in public health care. You will pay the same client fee as local residents. Temporary residence usually refers to a stay of less than six months abroad.
The client fees for obstetric care vary in each country. In some EU countries obstetric care is free in the local public health care system.
If you pay the costs linked to a delivery in EU that occurred unexpectedly during a temporary stay yourself, you can receive reimbursement either from the health insurance institution that provided treatment or from Kela. If you seek reimbursement from Kela, the expenses can be reimbursed up to the amount that equivalent treatment would have cost within public health care in your municipality of residence.
In some cases, health care service providers in EU or EEA countries, the United Kingdom or in Switzerland require a prior authorisation to seek obstetric care. If you are staying in a country temporarily, you should be able to obtain treatment by presenting your European Health Insurance Card. In the event of problems, you can contact Kela’s Centre for International Affairs.
You are also free to travel to another EU or EEA country or to Switzerland to give birth or use health services related to the monitoring of pregnancy. You are entitled to access treatment in the same way as local residents. In Switzerland and the United Kingdom, service providers may decide independently on whether to accept you as client for planned obstetric care. You may not use the European Health Insurance Card if you are going abroad for pregnancy-related care or to give birth.
If you go to an EU or EEA country or to Switzerland to give birth, you must pay all the costs of treatment yourself. Kela reimburses treatment costs retrospectively in the same way as if you had used private health care services in Finland. The amount of the costs you must pay yourself can be estimated by means of Kela’s reimbursement rates (list in Finnish). You can also apply for a prior authorisation for giving birth abroad.
Giving birth outside Europe
If you go into labour during a temporary stay in a country other than an EU or EEA country, Switzerland or United Kingdom, you will be responsible for the childbirth costs. If you have travel insurance, you can contact your insurance company for any compensation.
If you travel abroad to give birth outside the EU countries, you will be responsible for all costs yourself.
Maternity clinic visits abroad
Most countries do not have a maternity or child health clinic system like that in Finland. If you temporarily reside (usually for less than six months) in another EU or EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland, you can receive prenatal care by presenting the European Health Insurance Card. The number and scheduling of prenatal examinations and medical check-ups abroad can differ significantly from those in the Finnish system.
If you are pregnant and going abroad, agree with the maternity clinic in advance on issues relating to the monitoring of your pregnancy. It is recommended that you find out about the health services relating to pregnancy and childbirth in the destination country in advance. Check especially the practical matters related to giving birth in good time.
Ensure that the information related to pregnancy monitoring is communicated between the treatment providers in Finland and those abroad.There are no electronic systems available for transferring medical records between the countries, therefore send the requisite documents to the treatment provider abroad. Have the documents translated, if necessary, into a language that the treatment provider will understand. You are responsible for all translation costs.