Reimbursements for medicines purchased in Finland

Kela reimburses medicine expenses incurred in Finland.


Kela pays reimbursements for prescribed medicines, clinical nutritional products and basic ointments to people who reside in Finland and are covered by health insurance in the country. In some cases, reimbursements can be paid on the basis of international conventions to persons from outside the EU area.

At any one time, Kela can only reimburse a quantity of medication equivalent to three months of treatment.

  • A larger quantity of medication can only be reimbursed for a special reason, such as an extended stay abroad.
  • You must first pay the costs of the larger quantity yourself. You can then apply for retroactive reimbursement from Kela.

You can be reimbursed for medicines purchased in Finland if one of the following conditions is met:

  • you are covered by health insurance in Finland
  • your municipality of residence is in Finland
  • you are covered by health insurance in another EU or EEC country, Switzerland or Australia and you have received medically necessary treatment during you temporary stay in Finland
  • you are covered by health insurance in Finland as a result of your work or you are a family member of such a person and you live in another EU or EEC country or Switzerland
  • you are living as a pensioner in another EU or EEC country, and Switzerland but Finland covers the costs of your medical care
  • you have come to Finland to seek treatment, and you have prior authorisation from your country of residence.

You can apply for the reimbursement of medicine costs from your own health insurance institution in the following cases:

  • you are covered by health insurance in another EU or EEC country or Switzerland and you have received medically necessary treatment during your temporary stay in Finland
  • you have come to Finland for treatment from another EU or EEC country or Switzerland without prior authorisation.
  • you are covered by health insurance in country other than an EU or EEC country or Switzerland or Australia

Direct reimbursement of medicines

Reimbursements for medicines can often be paid as direct reimbursements at the pharmacy. This means that the reimbursement is deducted directly from the price of the medicine. You can receive a direct reimbursement for a pharmacy purchase in the following cases:

  • you are covered by health insurance in Finland
  • you are living as a pensioner in another EU or EEC country, and Switzerland but Finland covers the costs of your medical care

The pharmacy will confirm your right to a direct reimbursement from Kela’s direct reimbursement query service. Generally speaking, persons coming from abroad must first pay for the medication themselves and apply for retroactive reimbursement from Kela.

Applying for a right to special reimbursement requires a doctor’s statement

In Finland, applications for the right to special reimbursement are submitted to Kela.

You can receive the right to special reimbursement if you are covered by health insurance in another EU or EEC country or Switzerland and you are staying in Finland temporarily. The special reimbursement right can be received also by persons who are covered by the social security agreements concluded with Australia and the Province of Quebec.