If you fall ill in Europe

You can obtain medically necessary treatment by presenting the European Health Insurance Card, when you are temporarily staying in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland.


Medically necessary medical care usually refers to treatment that cannot wait for your return home. Temporary residence usually refers to a stay of less than year in the destination country for the purpose of, for example, a holiday or exchange studies. The need for treatment must emerge during the course of your stay.

Treatment must be provided so that you can continue your stay abroad according to plan and are able to return safely home.

You can obtain a European Health Insurance Card from Kela

You can obtain a European Health Insurance Card if you are covered under the health insurance system in Finland or if Finland on some other basis is responsible for the costs of your medical care.

  • The card can be used in the public healthcare system of another EU or EEA country or of Switzerland.
  • You will receive treatment on the same terms and at the same price as the local residents.
  • In addition to receiving treatment for a sudden illness, you will also receive care for worsening of a chronic condition, pregnancy or childbirth.

The duration of your residence affects the extent of treatment provided

A doctor or other healthcare professional will determine the treatment to be given. When assessing the type of treatment you need, the duration of your stay in the country will be taken into account.

The treatment and extent thereof will depend on the legislation of the country in which you are staying. The Finnish authorities cannot oblige a foreign healthcare system to provide you with a specific treatment, even if you would be entitled to such treatment in Finland.

The healthcare system of each country varies. The European Health Insurance Card does not mean free services for patients. The healthcare services that you would receive at no cost in Finland may be subject to charge in another country. The size of client fees for healthcare also vary in different countries.

Find out whether the treatment provider accepts the European Health Insurance Card

If you require treatment during your stay in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland, find out where possible whether the treatment provider has an agreement with the country´s statutory health insurance system. If the treatment provider has an agreement, by presenting your European Health Insurance Card you will receive treatment on the same terms and at the same price as the local residents.

If the treatment provider does not have an agreement with the country´s statutory health insurance system, you may have to pay the costs of treatment yourself. If the treatment provider does not accept a European Health Insurance Card, and you have to pay the costs of medically necessary treatment yourself, apply for reimbursement retrospectively from the country´s health insurance institution or from Kela on form SV 128 within six months of paying the costs.

If you don’t receive medically necessary medical care with your European Health Insurance Card at the public health care in the destination country you can sort the problem out through European Commissions service SOLVIT. SOLVIT reminds the authorities in question what your EU rights are and works with them to solve your problem.

Read more about SOLVIT on page .