Persons covered by Finnish social security do not require a European Health Insurance Card when travelling in the Nordic countries. It is therefore usually sufficient in Norway´s public healthcare system to show your ID or valid Kela card.
You do usually have to apply for reimbursements for costs of medical care covered by the public healthcare system. You receive treatment at a price in which the reimbursement has already been made, i.e. you pay only the standard patient contribution. Reimbursement of travel costs is, however, sought retrospectively.
In Norway, there are also private doctors and hospitals that do not have a health insurance agreement. The costs of private medical care are not reimbursed in Norway.
Information about practices and reimbursements can be obtained from Norwegian Health Economics Administration (HELFO) in Norwegian and English, in part. Information about medical care is also provided by Norway´s Ministry of Health and Care Services.
Seek a general practitioner (fastlege) who has a contract with the public healthcare system. Most doctors in Norway are contracted doctors. You can request doctors´ contact information from HELFO on 810 59 500 (when calling from Norway). If you need urgent treatment, you can go to the municipal emergency room (den kommunale legevakten) in the locality where you are staying. You can see a specialist if you have a general practitioner´s referral.
- Show your ID or Kela card at the doctor´s surgery.
- Children under the age of 16 and expectant mothers do not pay a patient contribution.
- The annual payment ceiling in the public healthcare system is NOK 2,185. When this amount has been exceeded, you will be granted a so-called “free card” (frikort) which, when shown, will entitle you to treatment free of charge.
Costs of dental treatment are not reimbursed in Norway. You usually pay the full cost yourself. In special cases (for example, dental surgery procedures) you can receive a reimbursement. The treating dentist will usually advise you. Dental care in the public sector for patients aged 18 and under is free, however, and patients between 19 and 20 are reimbursed for 75 per cent of the price of treatment.
Most prescription medicines in Norway are non-reimbursable, i.e. you pay the full price for them in the pharmacy. If, however, a doctor prescribes a medicine on a blue prescription form (blå resept, usually medicines for chronic illnesses), you pay 38 per cent of the price of the medicine in the pharmacy (but a maximum of NOK 520). Children under 16 receive these medicines free of charge.
Usually, a doctor will provide you with a referral for hospital treatment, but in an emergency you can go directly to the nearest public hospital or to a hospital that has an agreement with the public healthcare system. Hospital treatment, including medicines, is free of charge when you present your ID or Kela card.
If you are being treated on an outpatient basis or by a specialist in a hospital´s outpatient clinic, the patient fees will be charged in the same way as for a visit to a general practitioner. Outpatient clinic visits for patients under 16 and for specific special groups are free. You may have to pay extra charges for certain imaging examinations (for example, X-rays, ultrasound scans) and for supplies (e.g. hospital clothing).
Emergency ambulance transport is free of charge.
Reimbursement of travel costs in Norway
If you travel to a doctor or a hospital while you are in Norway, your travel expenses can be reimbursed. Reimbursement will be paid in accordance with the cheapest applicable route and mode of travel.
The personal share of costs is NOK 133 for a one-way trip and NOK 260 for a return trip. You will be reimbursed for the share exceeding this limit. Save the receipts, as you will need to attach them to your application for reimbursement. Reimbursement must be sought within six months of making a journey. You van obtain more information about applying for reimbursement of travel costs by calling the patient travel service number 05515 (when phoning from Norway) or by visiting the website.
Returning to Finland (specific to the Nordic countries)
If, due to illness, you have to return to Finland using a more expensive method of travel (for example, special transportation) than you would have normally, you will be entitled to reimbursement from Norway. The reimbursement will cover the additional expenses incurred from the more expensive method of travel. Thus you pay the same amount for the return journey as you would have paid when travelling in an ordinary way when healthy.
The requirement for reimbursement is that you have a medical certificate written in Norway which indicates the necessity of a more expensive method of travel.
If you have to pay all costs yourself
If you have to pay the full price for treatment at a local public healthcare unit for which you would have been entitled to reimbursement with a European Health Insurance Card, you can apply for reimbursement retrospectively. You can apply for reimbursement either from the health insurance institution of the destination country or from Kela on form SV 128.