Possible to receive treatment abroad with the European Health Insurance Card also during the coronavirus epidemic – however, avoid all recreational travel


At the moment, many people are wondering how they will get treatment if they fall ill abroad with the coronavirus. In the EU and EEA countries and in Switzerland, you should receive necessary treatment due to illness with the European Health Insurance Card just as before. However, according to the instructions from the Government, you should currently avoid all recreational travel.

In the EU and EEA countries and in Switzerland you receive medically necessary treatment for the local user fee when you show a European Health Insurance Card issued by Kela to the caregiver. Medically necessary treatment means treatment that cannot wait until you return home. The need of treatment is assessed by the doctor providing treatment.

In the Nordic countries you do not necessarily need a European Health Insurance Card, because you can obtain treatment also by presenting a valid passport or other official ID. You can also obtain treatment in Great Britain and Northern Ireland by presenting your passport. In the Australian public healthcare system, you can obtain treatment by presenting your Kela card and your passport.

If a tourist falls ill with a coronavirus infection in a country that applies the WHO international health laws, the person should obtain treatment for the coronavirus infection free of charge.

In other countries, you must be prepared to pay all treatment costs yourself. Also check the terms and conditions for compensation of your travel insurance policy from your insurance company.

Please note

  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there may be differences in the access to medical treatment, depending on the country.
  • If you fall ill in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland and you do not have a European Health Insurance Card, you can contact Kela’s Centre for International Affairs. If you pay the costs for treatment abroad yourself, you can apply for reimbursement from Kela afterwards. You can receive reimbursement for the costs regardless of the country where you received treatment. However, Kela does not reimburse any possible user fees.
  • We have compiled basic information about health care in different countries on the country pages on our website.
  • Kela has compiled information on the effects of the coronavirus situation on Kela’s benefits, the processing of applications and the services on the page Update on the coronavirus situation. The page will be updated as the situation evolves.

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