You can obtain medically necessary treatment relating to pregnancy and childbirth by presenting the European Health Insurance Card when you are temporarily staying in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland. Temporary residence usually refers to a stay of less than a year abroad.
You may not, however, use the European Health Insurance Card if you are going abroad to have treatment for pregnancy-related problems or to give birth. The card must not be used in cases where the reason for travelling abroad is to utilise health services.
You are free to go to another EU or EEA country or to Switzerland to give birth or use health services related to the monitoring of pregnancy. You can seek health services also in other countries, but they will determine your access to treatment on the basis of their national legislation. In circumstances such as these, you pay all costs yourself.
In some cases, healthcare services providers in EU or EEA countries or in Switzerland require prior authorisation to seek obstetric care. If you are staying in a country temporarily, you should be able to obtain treatment by presenting your European Health Insurance Card. In the event of difficulties, you can contact Kela´s Centre for International Affairs.
If you pay for treatment abroad relating to pregnancy or childbirth yourself, you can seek reimbursement from Kela within six months using form SV 128.
Giving birth in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland
If you are temporarily staying in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland and you require obstetric care, you should be able to obtain treatment in the public healthcare system at the same client fee as for a resident of the country by presenting your European Health Insurance Card.
The client fees for obstetric care vary in each country. In some EU countries obstetric care is free in the local public healthcare system.
If you pay the costs linked to a delivery that occurred unexpectedly during a temporary stay yourself, you can receive reimbursement either from the health insurance institution that provided treatment or from Kela. If you seek reimbursement from Kela, the expenses can be reimbursed up to the amount that equivalent treatment would have cost within public healthcare in your municipality of residence.
If you go to another EU country specifically to give birth, you will be entitled to access treatment in the same way as the local residents. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland decide independently on whether to accept you as client for planned obstetric care.
If you go to an EU or EEA country, or to Switzerland to give birth, you must pay all the costs of treatment yourself. Kela reimburses treatment costs retrospectively in the same way as if you had used private healthcare services in Finland. The amount of the costs you must pay yourself can be estimated by means of Kela´s schedule of fixed charges.
Giving birth outside Europe
If you give birth in a country other than an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland, Kela will reimburse treatment costs retrospectively in accordance with the Finnish Health Insurance Act if you have received treatment during a temporary stay in the country in question. Reimbursements will be paid retrospectively in the same way as if you had used private healthcare services in Finland. The amount of the costs you must pay yourself can be estimated by means of Kela´s schedule of fixed charges.
Maternity clinic visits abroad
Most countries do not have a maternity or child health clinic system like that in Finland. By presenting your European Health Insurance Card you should be able to receive prenatal care in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland when temporarily staying in one of the countries. The number and scheduling of prenatal examinations and medical check-ups abroad can differ significantly from those in the Finnish system.
If you are pregnant and going abroad, agree with the maternity clinic in advance on issues relating to the monitoring of your pregnancy. It is recommended that you find out about the health services relating to pregnancy, delivery and maternity care in the country of destination in advance. Check the practical procedures relating to the birth, especially, in time.
Make sure that the information is communicated between the treatment providers in Finland and those abroad. There are no electronic systems available for transferring medical records between the countries, therefore send the requisite documents to the treatment provider abroad. Have the documents translated, if necessary, into a language that the treatment provider will understand.