Treatment of chronic diseases abroad

By presenting a European Health Insurance Card you can obtain medically necessary treatment for a chronic disorder when staying in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland. If you are residing temporarily outside the EU countries and need sudden treatment or your chronic disorder requires regular treatment, you can apply for health insurance reimbursement from Kela for the treatment costs. Reimbursements match the Kela reimbursements for private health care.


A doctor or other health care professional in the place of treatment will determine what kind of care or clinical examinations will be required to treat your chronic condition.

The kind of treatment you will receive is always determined in accordance with the legislation of the country in which you are staying. Treatment and related examinations are not necessarily the same as they would be in Finland.

With the European Health Insurance Card, you will pay the same client fee as local residents. If you have paid all the expenses for necessary treatment and examinations relating to a chronic disorder, apply reimbursements from Kela within six months of paying the costs.

You are also free to seek treatment for a chronic disorder in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland. If you travel abroad to seek treatment, Kela will reimburse some of the costs retrospectively in the same manner as for using private healthcare in Finland.

Your entitlement to treatment outside Europe is determined on the basis of the legislation of the country of destination. In countries other than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you are generally responsible for the costs incurred from treatment and examinations yourself. If your chronic disorder requires sudden treatment outside the EU countries, you can apply for health insurance reimbursement from Kela for the treatment costs. Reimbursements can also be paid, if you require regular treatment due to your chronic disorder. Reimbursements match the Kela reimbursements for private health care.

Agree on treatment beforehand if advance arrangements are required

If your illness requires regular treatment while you are temporarily staying abroad, agree with the treatment provider beforehand on the arrangement of treatment. Treatments that need to be arranged in advance include, for example, dialysis, oxygen therapy, specialised care of asthma and chemotherapy as well as echocardiography in chronic autoimmune diseases.