Costs of treatment abroad

A customer fee is usually charged for the use of a healthcare service abroad. The pricing of the healthcare services and the fees collected from the customers are defined in very different ways in different countries. The situation is also affected by whether the country applies EU legislation.


For example, the price invoiced from the customer may be based on service productisation, product prices or the market price in the target country. The price to be invoiced can also be based on whether the service is provided using public or private funds.

The starting point for treatment abroad is that the customer is responsible for the healthcare costs. EU legislation and international conventions on social security signed by Finland may in some cases alter this situation and relieve you from your liability to pay all of the incurred costs of treatment. You will pay the same customer fee as the local residents in the following cases:

  • You are receiving medically necessary care in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland with the European Health Insurance Card or a certificate that replaces the card
  • You have received prior authorisation from Kela for treatment provided in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland
  • Public healthcare has arranged your treatment abroad as an outsourcing service
  • You are living in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland and you have registered with the health insurance institute in your country of residence by using a certificate of entitlement to treatment from Kela
  • You become ill during your temporary residence in Australia and receive treatment within the local public healthcare system.

In general, you will usually be responsible for the costs of treatment if you are being treated outside of the EU or EEA countries or Switzerland.

The total costs of treatment may be a combination of several different factors

Treatment costs abroad usually include all the costs related to the treatment, such as the labour and other human resource services of the care personnel as well as the costs for facilities, meals, housekeeping, hospital clothing and linen. Separate fees may also be charged for all treatment supplies, procedures and medicines. Interpretation costs and translation costs for patient documents are also commonly included in the invoicing.

Applying for reimbursement

Apply for reimbursement of costs of treatment given abroad from Kela on form SV 128 within six months of paying the costs.

Travel insurance or another type of private insurance may cover the costs of treatment abroad. The insurance company may reimburse the costs directly to the treatment provider or retrospectively based on a payment receipt. Please contact your insurance company in order to determine which costs are covered.