Your right to treatment when moving abroad

When you move abroad, your entitlement to treatment is determined according to the country of destination, and the purpose and duration of the move. Kela decides on your health insurance coverage in Finland and issues a decision on whether you are covered under the Finnish social security system when you move abroad. Kela also determines your right to treatment in Finland in connection with a move to an EU or EEA country or to Switzerland. When you move abroad, the Local Register Office registers the municipality of residence.


Kela ascertains your right to treatment when Moving abroad (Kela). The Local Register Office also registers whether you retain your municipality of residence in Finland. When you move permanently abroad, your coverage under Finnish social security and your right as the resident of a municipality to use public healthcare services usually ends on the date of your move from Finland.

The right to use Finnish public healthcare services is primarily based on the municipality of residence. If you have a municipality of residence in Finland, you can as a resident of the municipality always use all public healthcare services. The municipality of residence is decided on by the local register office.

If you are covered under the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme in Finland, you are partially reimbursed for the costs of private healthcare in Finland and for the costs of healthcare incurred abroad. Persons covered under the NHI scheme have a so-called Kela card. Coverage under the NHI scheme is decided by Kela.

Under certain circumstances, EU legislation can entitle you to use public healthcare services in Finland, even if you are no longer a resident of a municipality. In such a case, you have moved to another EU or EEA country or to Switzerland which means that

  • Kela has decided that you are covered by Finnish social security

or

  • that Finland is responsible for the costs of your medical care.

The issue of whether your move to the country of destination is permanent or temporary usually also plays a part in determining your entitlement to treatment in the destination country and in Finland. A move is usually temporary in the case of a stay abroad of less than a year.

Always notify Kela of a stay aboard that is longer than three months and of a permanent move abroad. The notification can be made through Kela´s e-services or on form Y 38.

Always notify the Local Register Office if you move abroad.