Reimbursement of costs of treatment abroad

You will receive reimbursement from Kela if you have paid the costs of treatment abroad. Reimbursements differ based on whether you have suddenly become ill while abroad or expressly sought treatment abroad. The amount of reimbursement is also affected by the country that the costs were incurred in.


If you have paid the costs of treatment abroad yourself, you will receive reimbursement from Kela. Apply for reimbursement from Kela on form SV 128 within six months of your payment.

Receiving reimbursement usually requires that a corresponding treatment would have been provided in Finland’s public healthcare or that reimbursements for private medical care would have been paid. In order for the treatment to be reimbursed, it needs to be a part of the service selection in Finnish healthcare. The Council for Choices in Health Care, established under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, determines the choice of services in healthcare.

Starting 1 March 2016, Kela will begin to provide reimbursement also for medical care delivered from abroad as a remote service using online video technology.

How are costs of treatment abroad reimbursed?

Reimbursements are paid in different ways depending on whether the costs were incurred in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland, or in another country.

The amount of reimbursement is also affected by whether you have suddenly become ill while abroad or expressly sought treatment abroad

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 healthcare 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 healthcare services in Finland. You can receive reimbursement for the treatment according to Kela’s tariffs for reimbursement.

If you have received prior authorisation from Kela for treatment provided abroad, you will only pay the customer fee in the country providing the treatment.

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

  • If you apply for 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 apply for reimbursement from Kela for costs incurred in another EU country or in Liechtenstein 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 choose reimbursement according to the legislation of the country in question, Kela will contact the country providing the treatment to enquire about the amount of reimbursement and pay you accordingly. The amount may be larger or smaller than the reimbursement according to the Finnish legislation. It is not possible to provide detailed information concerning the reimbursement legislation in other countries or the amount of reimbursement to be paid.
    • If you choose reimbursement according to the Finnish legislation, Kela will contact the public healthcare in your place of domicile to enquire about the amount of reimbursement. The maximum amount of reimbursement paid by Kela will be equal to the cost of the treatment to the public healthcare of your place of domicile if the treatment had been provided in a similar situation. You can be reimbursed up to the amount you paid abroad. However, the reimbursement may also be smaller than the original cost to you. You will always be responsible for the customer fee that you would have paid in the public healthcare of your place of domicile.

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

Costs incurred in other countries

If you have received treatment in a country other an EU or EEA country or Switzerland on account of a sudden illness, worsening of a chronic condition, pregnancy or childbirth and you have paid the costs of treatment yourself, you will receive reimbursement for the costs of private medical care from Kela retrospectively. The amount of reimbursement is the same as if you had used private healthcare 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 healthcare 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.