Client fees abroad
The following factors affect the invoicing for the use of health care services abroad:
- The country in which you are receiving treatment
- Whether you have suddenly fallen ill during your stay in the country or travelled to the country for the purpose of using health care services
- Whether you are receiving treatment in the local public or private health care.
A foreign treatment provider may require making an advance payment or paying a deposit before providing treatment.
Finnish authorities cannot provide detailed information concerning the prices of health care services abroad. Where possible, contact the treatment provider or the authorities in the target country in advance in order to determine the costs charged for your treatment.
If you have paid the costs of treatment abroad, you can claim reimbursement from Kela.
In the EU countries, prices for treatment must be equal for everyone
Health care service providers within the EU are free to set their own prices. However, the prices must not discriminate between the permanent residents of the country and patients seeking treatment who arrive from other EU countries.
In the EU countries, health care service providers are required to either
- apply the same health care tariffs to patients arriving from other EU countries and local patients,
- charge a price that has been calculated on an unbiased and non-discriminatory basis if a suitable reference price for local patients does not exist.
The treatment provider is obliged to provide you with a cost estimate for the planned treatment. The treatment provider must also issue a clear invoice and payment receipt for your treatment that can be used as a basis for reimbursement.
What does the price of treatment consist of?
The possible costs charged for treatment may include the following, for example:
- Client fees, which may be equal for all patients
- A deductible, which is usually a portion of the total costs of treatment
- Emergency care fees
- Medication provided at the hospital, which may be priced by tablet or by medicine, for example
- Outpatient care visit fees
- Inpatient care or hospital care fees
- Laboratory fees
- Separate fees for doctor’s certificates and statements as well as translations thereof
- Medical transport fees
- Treatment supplies
- Other supplies and services used during the treatment, such as linen, hospital clothes, cleaning, meals, television, telephone and the use of a private room.
In foreign countries, treatment providers will typically charge the client for the treatment costs during treatment. Generally, foreign treatment providers expect a cash or credit card payment at the place of treatment. There have been cases where a client has not been allowed to leave the place of treatment before the payment is made.
Some treatment providers will issue an invoice that needs to be paid later.
If possible, please contact the treatment provider in advance in order to determine how they will invoice the provided treatment and how the payment can be made. Ensure that you receive a receipt for all your payments and an itemisation of all procedures done if they are not listed on the receipt.