The national legislation of the destination country determines the type of healthcare services that you can access. The healthcare systems of countries differ considerably from each other and the requirements for access to services vary greatly. It is recommended that you ascertain your right to receive healthcare services in the destination country, and the payments concerning them in advance. it is also recommended that you acquire, if necessary, private insurance which covers any costs arising from treatment.
Finland has concluded bilateral social security agreements with a number of countries. The agreements concluded with Australia, the Province of Quebec, Israel and Chile also include provisions on medical care. The agreements apply only to restricted situations and to certain separately specified categories of people. If you are not included within the categories referred to in these agreements, you cannot receive treatment under them in Australia, the Province of Quebec or Israel.
When you move to live abroad, you need to inform Kela if you are receiving Kela benefits. Also notify the Local Register Office if you move abroad.
- If you are not covered by the Finnish health insurance system, you may not use the Kela card.
- If you are covered by the Finnish health insurance system, you may use the Kela card. You will receive reimbursements for costs incurred in private healthcare and pharmacies in Finland. In addition, you will be reimbursed for the costs of necessary medical care incurred abroad.
Use of public healthcare services in Finland is based on municipality of residence. The Local Register Office registers whether you are a resident of a municipality in Finland.
- If you have a municipality of residence in Finland registered by a Local Register Office, you can use the services of the public healthcare system at the client fee set for a municipal resident.
- If you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland, you can only receive emergency care within public healthcare. You pay for all costs arising from treatment yourself.
Moving to Australia
If you are covered under health insurance in Finland and are work or otherwise staying in Australia for less than six months, you will receive treatment in Australia within the public health system on the same terms as local residents. Prove your entitlement to treatment by presenting your passport and Kela card. Your right to treatment is based on the social security agreement between Finland and Australia.
Australia does not, however, apply the agreement to students and therefore exchange students, for example, travelling to Australia are responsible for the costs of treatment incurred themselves.
Moving to the Province of Quebec
The social security arrangement between Finland and the Province of Quebec covers medical and hospital treatment and, in part, dental care provided. Under the agreement, treatment can be obtained by the following categories of people moving to Quebec on a temporary basis:
- Posted workers
- Exchange students
- Students participating in training relating to upper secondary education or to university studies
- Family member moving with one of the above.
In order to receive treatment, you must first register with Health insurance board of Quebec. To register, visit
- Eläketurvakeskus (Finnish Centre for Pensions) will issue form SF/Q1 for a posted employee
- Kela issues a form SF/Q4 to other employees, and to students, researchers and family members.
When the health insurance board Quebec registers a form SF/Q, it requires employees coming to work in the country on a temporary basis, students and researchers to also present a valid passport or any other document with which they entered the territory. Students and researchers are also required to provided an attestation of full-time enrolment as a student, for example, a certificate of enrolment, or acceptance as a researcher or as a trainee.
If you move from Finland to work in Quebec, you must be covered under health insurance in Finland in order to obtain a SF/Q4 form from Kela. If you are not covered under health insurance in Finland, a family member moving with you cannot obtain a form from Kela either.
The agreement does not entitle persons who have moved from Finland to Quebec to treatment in Finland. If you are not a resident of a municipality in Finland, you can only receive emergency care within public healthcare. You are responsible for the costs of treatment received.
Moving to Israel
The social security agreement between Israel and Finland covers entitlement to treatment in Finland if you are included in the category or persons referred to in the agreement, and you are moving from Finland to Israel as a
- Posted worker
- Civil servant or a person employed in an equivalent position in the public sector
- Family member moving with one of the above
Under the agreement, entitlement also applies to a person operating a transport vehicle in Israel if the company owning the vehicle has its registered place of business in Finland. In addition, the agreement applies to maritime workers on a vessel under the Finnish flag but sailing in Israeli waters.
The agreement does not apply to healthcare services provided in Israel. Healthcare services are provided in accordance with the national legislation and healthcare system of Finland. If you are included in the category of persons referred to in the agreement,
- You are covered under health insurance in Finland and may use the Kela card
- You can use services of the Finnish public healthcare system at the client fee set for a municipal resident, even if you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland.
Moving to Chile
Finland and Chile have a social security agreement on the basis of which a pensioner moving from Finland to Chile will receive treatment on the same terms as local residents. The agreement does not entitle a pensioner who has moved to Chile to treatment in Finland.