Temporary residence usually refers to a stay of less than year for the purpose of, for example, a holiday or studies. You will receive treatment for sudden illness, worsening of a chronic condition, pregnancy or childbirth with the same customer fee and in the same manner as the residents of Finland.

Medically necessary treatment refers to treatment that you need to receive in order to return home safely and in accordance with your original plan. The duration of your residence in Finland affects the extent of treatment provided.

You can obtain a European Health Insurance Card from your own health insurance institute

You can apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a certificate that replaces it from your own health insurance institute.

A European Health Insurance Card is granted by the country where you are covered by health insurance or which is responsible for your medical care costs. An underage child must have their own European Health Insurance Card. The mother’s European Health Insurance Card will be accepted as a certificate of entitlement to treatment for new-born babies and sucklings. The card must be valid at the time when the treatment is given.

The country issuing the European Health Insurance Card will issue it in its official language. The front of the card is always similar, but the reverse side may be different in different countries. In some countries, the European Health Insurance Card is combined with the national health insurance card. The European Health Insurance Card is usually valid for 2–3 years, but the validity varies by country.

  • The country code of the issuing country is in the top right corner of the card.
  • The next lines have the personal information of the card holder and the information of the health insurance institute or sickness fund.
  • The bottom right corner has the card’s expiry date.

Certificate replacing a European Health Insurance Card

If you do not have the European Health Insurance Card or if your card has gone missing, for example, your health insurance institute can provide you with a certificate to replace the Card. When you present the certificate replacing the European Health Insurance Card in Finnish public healthcare, you can receive treatment in the same manner as if you were presenting the Card itself.

You can receive reimbursement for treatment costs retrospectively

The holder of a European Health Insurance Card is entitled to receive compensation retrospectively if they have received medically necessary treatment during their temporary stay in Finland and have personally covered the costs incurred by the treatment. You can apply for reimbursement retrospectively by contacting your own health insurance institute or Kela.

Kela will reimburse the costs, if a person covered by health insurance in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland has used private healthcare services or if they have incurred medicine or travel costs related to the treatment. Costs are reimbursed on the basis of the Health Insurance Act and in the same manner as for persons insured in Finland. The prerequisite for the costs being covered is that they have been caused by medically necessary treatment during a temporary residence in Finland.

You can apply for reimbursement from Kela within six months of incurring the costs on form SV 127. If you apply for reimbursement in your home country and select the reimbursement practice in accordance with the legislation of the country providing the treatment, i.e. Finland, your health insurance institute will contact Kela to enquire about the amount of reimbursement.

If the treatment provider does not accept a European Health Insurance Card

If you don’t receive medically necessary medical care with your European Health Insurance Card at the public health care in Finland 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.