Things to remember
Determine the destination country and place of treatment
Agree on practical arrangements and travel for treatment
Pay the costs of the treatment and apply for reimbursements
You can use health care services in EU countries
If you live in an EU country, you can travel to another EU country to use public and private health care services. You will receive reimbursements from Kela for the treatment in the same way as if you had used private health care services in Finland. You can be reimbursed for the costs of treatment in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland.
Please note that treatment is always provided in accordance with the national legislation and health care system of each respective country.
The legislation of the country providing the treatment is also applied in the case of treatment injuries. This means that the matter must be clarified with the treatment provider and that any compensation is sought from the authorities of the country in question. Finnish patient insurance does not cover injuries that occur abroad.
What is seeking treatment?
Seeking treatment means that you travel from your country of residence to another country specifically to receive treatment. If you receive treatment abroad on account of a sudden illness or accident, this is not counted as seeking treatment.
With or without prior authorisation?
In terms of costs, there are two options for seeking treatment: with or without prior authorisation. The more common way, which we describe on this page, is to travel for treatment without prior authorisation, in which case you will pay all the costs related to the treatment yourself and apply for reimbursements from Kela retrospectively. You can also apply for prior authorisation, i.e. a payment commitment, from Kela.
Things to remember when you want to seek treatment abroad
Determine the destination
- Find out the possibilities of obtaining the treatment you need in another country
- Find a suitable place of treatment and ensure that the treatment provider is licensed
Agree on practical arrangements
- Agree on the date of treatment and fees
- Confirm the language of treatment and arrange interpretation, if necessary
- Obtain a doctor’s referral, if required
Remember medical records and translations
- Have your medical records translated and deliver them to the treatment provider
- Ask the treatment provider for all the documents related to you and bring them with you to Finland
- Have the documents translated into Finnish if you need follow-up treatment
Pay the costs and apply for reimbursements
- Pay all the costs related to the treatment and save the receipts
- Apply for reimbursement from Kela within six months of payment