Moving abroad in retirement

If you move abroad as a pensioner for less than a year, this is regarded as temporary residence and you will retain your coverage under the Finnish social security system. If you move abroad to live permanently, your coverage under the Finnish social security system usually ends on the date of your move. Finland can, however, be responsible for the costs of your medical care if you move permanently to another EU or EEA country or to Switzerland and you receive a pension from Finland.


If you move as a pensioner to live abroad temporarily or permanently, Kela will decide whether you are covered under heath insurance in Finland after moving. In general, coverage under the Finnish health insurance system ends on the date of moving, and you will no longer be entitled to use your Kela card, for example.

The Local Register Office will consider whether you have municipality of residence after the move. If, after moving, you have a municipality of residence in Finland registered by a Local Register Office, you can use all the services of the public healthcare system at the client fee set for a municipal resident. If, after moving, you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, you can usually receive only emergency care within the public healthcare system. You will be responsible for treatment costs yourself.

If you move as a pensioner permanently to another EU or EEA country or to Switzerland and you receive a pension only from Finland, it is possible that Finland will be responsible for the costs of your medical care after the move too. In this case, you will receive a European Health Insurance Card for pensioners from Kela, and medical care in your new country of residence in such a way that Finland will reimburse costs arising from your treatment to the country of residence.

If you move to live in a country other than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you are not usually covered under the health insurance system in Finland after moving. In that case, you may not use the Kela card. Your right to use public healthcare services depends on whether, after moving, you have a municipality of residence in Finland registered by a Local Register Office. Find out from the authorities in your new country of residence what kind of healthcare services are available.

Report a move abroad to the Local Register Office and Kela through the e-services or by using form Y 38. It is recommended that you notify Kela and the Local Register Office whenever your stay abroad is longer than three months.

Temporary residence abroad

f you reside abroad as a pensioner for less than a year, you will usually retain coverage under the Finnish social security system and your permanent address will remain in Finland, in which case you have a municipality of residence in Finland. If you reside

  • in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland, you will receive medically necessary treatment in the public healthcare system by presenting a European Health Insurance Card.
  • In countries other than an EU or EEA country, or Switzerland, you are generally responsible for the costs incurred from treatment yourself. Private insurance, too, can reimburse costs directly.

Notify the Local Registration Office and Kela of residence abroad longer than three months through the e-services or on form Y 38.

Permanent residence in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland

Under EU legislation, the country from which a pensioner´s pension is paid is responsible for the costs of the pensioner´s medical care. If you move to live permanently in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland and you receive earnings-related pension or national pension only from Finland, Finland will be responsible for the costs your medical care after your move too.

  • If you receive a pension from more than one EU or EEA country, or from Switzerland, the country in which you have been pension-insured the longest is responsible for the costs of your medical care.
  • If you receive a pension from more than one country and you live in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland paying pension, your country of residence is responsible for the costs of your medical care.

Kela will ascertain the country responsible for the costs of your medical care when you move as a pensioner to live permanently in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland. If after moving from Finland

  • Finland is not responsible for the costs of your medical care, clarify the matter with the health insurance institution of your new country of residence or with the institution paying your pension.
  • Finland is responsible for the costs of your medical care. Kela will provide you with a form E 121 to register in your new country of residence and a European Health Insurance Card for pensioners.

Permanent residence in a country other an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland

If you live permanently in a country other than an EU or EEA country, or Switzerland, your entitlement to Finnish health insurance ends usually on the date you move. In that case, you may not use the Kela card. If, after moving, you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, you can receive only emergency care within the public healthcare system and will be responsible for the costs yourself.

Your entitlement to treatment in your country of residence is based on the legislation of that country. Find out before moving what kind of healthcare services are available for you and whether you need, for example, private insurance.

If you move as a pensioner to live permanently in Chile, you will receive medical care on the same terms as the local residents. The healthcare contribution of pensioners resident in Chile is also affected by pensions from abroad. For the purpose of determining the healthcare contribution, Kela will provide a pensioner on request with a certificate concerning the pensions paid from Finland. A certificate can be requested from Kela on form SV 140.

Health services in your new country of residence

If Finland is responsible for the costs of your medical care when you move as a pensioner permanently to another EU or EEA country or to Switzerland, you will receive treatment in the same way as the local residents. Finland will reimburse costs arising from your treatment to your country of residence.

In order to use the healthcare services, you must register with the health insurance institution or other authority responsible for health services in the country of residence.

  • For the purpose of registering, Kela will issue a form E121.
  • The form can be issued either at your request or at the request of the health insurance institution or other competent authority in your country of residence.

After registering, the health insurance institution or other authority will usually give you a document enabling you to prove your entitlement to treatment in your country of residence. You will receive treatment in your country of residence in accordance with the legislation and healthcare system of that country.

If a non-working family member moves with you, Kela and the health insurance institution of your country of residence will ascertain whether Finland is responsible for the medical care costs of your family member too. Kela will consider your minor family member´s entitlement to treatment, too, when you notify Kela of the move or send a form SV 140. Your adult family member must notify Kela about his/ her move abroad separately.

Health services in a country other than your country of residence

If Finland is responsible for your medical care costs after your move, Kela will provide you with a European Health Insurance Card for pensioners, the back of which is lime green. Kela will issue the card at the same time as the form E 121.

  • Use the card in countries than your country of residence if you need medically necessary treatment during a temporary stay in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland.
  • If you do not use the card and pay the costs of medically necessary treatment yourself, apply for reimbursements from Kela on form SV 128.

You can seek treatment in Finland when you live in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland as a pensioner and Finland is responsible for your medical care costs.

  • Prove your entitlement to treatment by showing the European Health Insurance Card for pensioners issued by Kela in Finnish public healthcare, where you can obtain treatment in the same way as residents in Finland.
  • You can use the public healthcare services of your preferred municipality where treatment will be arranged in accordance with your needs.
  • By showing the card you will be reimbursed directly in Finland in private healthcare, pharmacies and in respect of ambulance transportation.
  • If you do not use the card, but pay the costs of treatment provided in Finland in private healthcare yourself, you can apply for reimbursement of medical costs from Kela.
  • You may not use the Kela card.

If you live in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland and Finland is responsible for your medical care costs, you can seek treatment or use health services outside your country of residence in another EU country. You usually pay the costs of treatment yourself and you can apply for reimbursements retrospectively.

  • from Kela if your country of residence is Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, Austria, Greece, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, France, Romania, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary or Estonia
  • The health insurance institution in your country of residence or other competent authority if your country of residence is the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Cyprus, Portugal, Sweden or the United Kingdom.

If you want to seek treatment outside your country of residence in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland and you do not want to pay for the costs of treatment yourself, you can apply for prior authorisation for treatment from the health insurance institution or other authority in your country of residence (form E112 or S2). You do not require prior authorisation for treatment given in Finland. Apply for prior authorisation

  • from Kela on form SV 129, if your country of residence is Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, Austria, Greece, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, France, Romania, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary or Estonia
  • The health insurance institution in your country of residence or other competent authority if your country of residence is the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Cyprus, Portugal, Sweden or the United Kingdom. The authority in your country of residence decides independently on whether to grant or deny prior authorisation. Kela cannot influence a decision made by the authorities of the country of residence.