Treatment of chronic diseases abroad

By presenting a European Health Insurance Card, you can obtain medically necessary treatment for chronic disease when staying in another EU or EEA country, Switzerland or the United Kingdom. If you need treatment for a chronic disease while residing in other countries, you must pay the treatment costs yourself. Taking out travel insurance is recommended.

A doctor or other health care professional in the place of treatment will determine what kind of care or clinical examinations will be required to treat your chronic condition.

The treatment provided for your chronic disease is always determined by the practices valid in the country in which you are residing. Treatment and related examinations are not necessarily the same as they would be in Finland.

With the European Health Insurance Card, you will pay the same client fee as local residents. If you have had to pay all treatment costs yourself, claim reimbursements from Kela within six months of paying the costs.

You are also free to seek treatment for a chronic illness in EU and EEA countries, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. If you travel to another country with the intention of receiving treatment, Kela will reimburse the costs up to what similar treatment in your wellbeing services county would have cost. Kela will obtain the necessary information from your wellbeing services county.

You can ask Kela in advance what kind of reimbursement you can receive for your treatment. Remember to apply for prior notification well before seeking treatment.

Your entitlement to treatment outside Europe is determined on the basis of the legislation of the country of destination. In countries other than an EU or EEA country, the United Kingdom or Switzerland, you are generally responsible for the costs incurred from treatment and examinations yourself.

Agree on treatment beforehand if advance arrangements are required

If your illness requires regular treatment while you are temporarily staying abroad, agree with the treatment provider beforehand on the arrangement of treatment. Treatments that need to be arranged in advance include, for example, dialysis, oxygen therapy, specialised care of asthma and chemotherapy as well as echocardiography in chronic autoimmune diseases.