Moving abroad as an employee or self-employed person

When you leave to work in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland, you will usually be covered by the health insurance system of your country of employment. If you work for a Finnish employer (as a posted employee) in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland, you will usually continue to be covered under Finnish health insurance. When you leave for the work outside Europe, find out about your health insurance and use of health care services in the destination country.


Notify your move to the authorities

  • Notify Kela of residence and employment abroad.
  • If you move abroad, also submit a notification of move to the Local Register Office and the social security institution of the new country.
  • If you are leaving to work for a Finnish employer abroad, find out matters related to insurance for work abroad from the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Working for a local employer in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland

Treatment in the new country: If you move to an EU or EEA country or to Switzerland to work for a local employer, you will usually be covered under the health insurance system of your country of employment. As an employee, you will receive treatment in your country of employment on the same terms and at the same price as local residents once you have first registered with the local health insurance institution. You will receive treatment in your country of employment in accordance with the legislation and system of that country.

Find out about your health insurance systems from your employer and the health insurance institution of the destination country. Some countries have several institutions responsible for administering statutory health insurance from which you can choose your cover yourself. You usually pay the health insurance contribution yourself, which can be considerably higher than a similar payment in Finland.

The health insurance institutions often have contracts with local health care service operators, in which case you can obtain treatment at a contract price. Your health insurance institution usually issues you with a document enabling you to prove your entitlement to treatment in the country of employment. Information that you are covered under health insurance may be accessible to local health care operators in IT systems as well.

Treatment in Finland: The health insurance institution of your country of employment will issue you with a European Health Insurance Card enabling you to prove your entitlement to treatment in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland. If you need treatment in Finland, prove your entitlement to treatment with the European Health Insurance Card issued by your country of employment. If you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, you can receive medically necessary treatment in the public health care system with the card during your stay in Finland. If you use private health care services to receive medically necessary treatment, you can apply for reimbursements retrospectively from Kela.

If you have a place of domicile in Finland, you can use all public health care services at the same price as the residents of the municipality in question. In this case, it is not necessary to present your European Health Insurance Card.

Working as a maritime or frontier worker in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland

If you are working in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland but you live in Finland, you are usually covered by the health insurance of your country of employment. You are entitled to all necessary medical care both in the country of employment and in Finland. You will receive care at the local client fee rate in both countries. In Finland, you are also entitled to receive reimbursements from costs incurred in private health care, from medicine purchases and from trips made due to medical treatment.

In addition, if you have started to receive treatment to an illness in the country of employment before retiring, you are entitled to continue the treatment of the illness in question in the country of employment also after retiring. In this case, request a separate certificate of entitlement to medical care from the health insurance institution of the country responsible for your medical care costs during your pension. The certificate of entitlement to medical care allows you to continue treatment in the country of employment.

Working for a Finnish employer in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland

Treatment in the new country: If you are posted by an employer in Finland to work in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland, you will usually retain Finnish health insurance coverage. The Finnish Centre for Pensions is the competent authority in Finland that decides whether Finnish social security will be applied during your employment. The decision will be made on the basis of either your application or that of your employer.

If you are covered under the Finnish health insurance system during your employment abroad, Finland is responsible for the costs of your medical care. Kela will provide you with a decision on entitlement to medical care.

  • During employment aboard of less than six months, you can obtain treatment in your country of employment by presenting the European Health Insurance Card issued by Kela.
  • During employment abroad lasting over six months, obtaining treatment usually requires registration with a health insurance institution in your country of employment.

Treatment in Finland: When Finland is responsible for the costs of your medical care, you can use all the services of the Finnish public health care system and receive Kela reimbursements when using private health care services. You pay the municipal resident’s client fee for using the services. Whether you have a municipality of residence in Finland is irrelevant. If you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, Kela will provide you with a certificate of entitlement to medical care in Finland.

Working in the Province of Quebec in Canada

Treatment in the new country: If you move temporarily to the Province of Quebec as an employee or as a posted worker, you can obtain, if necessary, medical and hospital treatment and, in part, dental care in the same way as persons covered under health insurance in Quebec. In order to receive treatment, you must first register with Health insurance board of Quebec.

Treatment in Finland: If you are moving temporarily as an employee to the Province of Quebec, you will retain your health insurance coverage in Finland and receive Kela reimbursements when using private health care services. If you have a municipal of residence in Finland, you will continue to receive treatment in public health care as before. If you are moving permanently to Quebec, the social security arrangement between Finland and Quebec does not entitle you to receive treatment in Finland. If you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, you can only receive urgent medical care within public health care. You are responsible for the costs of treatment received.

Working in Israel

Treatment in the new country: If you are moving to Israel for work, you will receive services under the national legislation and system. Find out in advance what kind of care you are entitled to and whether private insurance, for example, is necessary in order to obtain care.

Treatment in Finland: You will retain Finnish health insurance coverage and you can use all public health care services in Finland if you are a

  • posted workers
  • civil servant or a person employed in an equivalent position in the public sector
  • person operating a transport vehicle in Israel if the company owning the vehicle has its registered place
  • of business in Finland
  • maritime worker on a vessel under the Finnish flag but sailing in Israeli waters
  • family member moving with one of the above.

Employee in other countries

Treatment in the new country: Your right to obtain treatment and use health care services in your country of employment is based on the legislation of that country. Find out in advance what kind of care you are entitled to and whether private insurance, for example, is necessary in order to obtain care.

Treatment in Finland: When you are employed in a country other than an EU or EEA country, or Switzerland, it is the duration of your stay abroad that generally affects your health insurance coverage in Finland. Always notify Kela of employment abroad.

  • If you are covered under Finnish health insurance while working abroad, you can use the Kela card in Finland and receive reimbursements for medical care costs when using private health care services.

Your right to use public health care services in Finland is based on the Local Register Office’s entry concerning municipality of residence. In general, your municipality of residence in Finland is retained if your stay abroad is less than a year.

  • If you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, you can only receive urgent medical care within public health care. You are responsible for the costs of urgent medical care yourself.
  • If you have a municipality of residence in Finland, you can use all the public health care services in your municipality.