Reimbursement for treatment abroad

Kela may reimburse costs of treatment abroad that you have paid yourself. Reimbursements differ based on whether you have suddenly become ill while abroad or expressly travelled abroad to seek treatment. The amount of reimbursement is also affected by the country in which the costs were incurred.


Receiving reimbursement usually requires that corresponding treatment would have been provided in Finland’s public health care or that it would have been subject to Kela reimbursement. The reimbursed treatment must be included in the service choices of the Finnish health care system. The Council for Choices in Health Care, established under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, determines the service choices for health care.

Kela also reimburses treatment provided as a remote service. Remote service refers to medical services provided from abroad through a video link.

Costs incurred in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland

If you travel to another EU or EEA country or to Switzerland for the purpose of using health care services, this is counted as seeking treatment abroad. In this case, Kela will reimburse costs in the same manner as if you had been using private health care services in Finland. You can receive reimbursement for the treatment according to Kela’s tariffs for reimbursement (tariff list in Finnish).

If you have received prior authorisation from Kela for treatment provided abroad, you will only pay the client fee in the country providing the treatment. Kela will charge the other treatment costs from your hospital district. If you have to pay all costs yourself, you can claim reimbursement from Kela.

If you are temporarily residing in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland and you require medically necessary treatment, you will receive treatment with the European Health Insurance Card. You will pay the same client fee as the local residents would pay for corresponding treatment. The client fee will not be reimbursed. If you need to pay all the costs of treatment yourself, you can claim reimbursement from the health insurance institute of the country providing the treatment or from Kela.

  • If you claim reimbursement from the health insurance institute of the country providing the treatment, the reimbursement will be paid according to the legislation of the country in question.
  • If you received treatment in another Nordic country, Kela will pay the reimbursements retrospectively and always according to the legislation of the country providing the treatment.
  • If you claim reimbursement from Kela for costs incurred in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, you can choose to be reimbursed either according to the legislation of the country providing the treatment or according to the Finnish legislation.

If you live in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland and Finland is responsible for your treatment costs, you will pay the same client fee for the treatment as the local residents. Receiving treatment for the same fee as the local residents requires that you register with the health insurance institute of your country of residence.

  • If you pay the costs of treatment in your country of residence, claim reimbursement from the local health insurance institute.
  • If you pay the costs of treatment outside of your country of residence, claim reimbursement from Kela.

Costs incurred in a country other than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland

If you have required treatment in a country other an EU or EEA country or Switzerland on account of a sudden illness, chronic disease, pregnancy or childbirth and you have paid the costs of treatment yourself, you will receive reimbursement from Kela retrospectively. The amount of reimbursement is the same as if you had used private health care services in Finland or purchased medicines in a pharmacy.

If you have travelled outside of the EU or EEA countries or Switzerland for the purpose of using health care services, your costs will not be reimbursed.

Travel costs incurred in a country other than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland will not be reimbursed either.