Social security agreement
The social security agreement between Finland and the United States of America covers national pensions and survivors´ pensions. With respect to employees and other persons on a temporary assignment in country, the agreement also covers health insurance, parental insurance and child benefit. The agreement does include provisions on providing medical care when a Finnish citizen is staying in the United States on a temporary basis.
Healthcare and medical care
When travelling to the United States, you should take out comprehensive travel insurance.
The United States does not have a public health service available to all citizens. Healthcare is regulated in part by the federal government and in part by the states. The majority of the population is covered by some form of health insurance, but some people are entirely without coverage. By law, hospitals are obliged to treat all patients in emergencies, but once the patient’s condition is no longer life threatening, the obligation to treat ceases. In the United States, healthcare is free only for American pensioners and recipients of social security.
When travelling to the United States, it is highly recommended that you take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover illness or accidents. Healthcare charges are extremely high. A doctor´s appointment or patient transport alone in an emergency can cost several hundred dollars. In more serious cases, the costs could amount to thousands of dollars. Despite having taken out travel insurance, you must often be prepared to pay for an appointment with a doctor yourself first, as payment commitments by foreign insurance companies are not always accepted. In some cases, it is possible to arrange with the hospital and insurance company for the invoice to be paid directly through the insurance company.
Sources: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Embassy of Finland, Washington, D.C.