Reimbursement of travel costs for patients from abroad

When you are temporarily residing in Finland, EU legislation guarantees your right to receive medical care and treatment-related transport in the same manner as the residents of Finland. When seeking treatment in Finland, you will be responsible for the costs of travel.


You can receive reimbursement from Kela for travel costs related to your treatment, if

  • you are permanently residing in Finland or covered by Finnish health insurance
  • you are covered by health insurance in another EU or EEA country, Switzerland or Australia and you have received medically necessary treatment during your temporary residence in Finland
  • you are permanently residing in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland and Finland is responsible for the costs of your medical care (pensioners)
  • You received treatment in Finland under a prior authorisation granted by your country of residence (form S2).

You can claim reimbursement of travel costs from Kela retrospectively.

You will usually be responsible for travel costs when seeking treatment in Finland

If you seek treatment in Finland from another EU country without prior authorisation, you will always be responsible for travel costs related to treatment and the costs of hospital transfers in Finland. If you have prior authorisation (form S2) for treatment provided in Finland, you can receive reimbursement for travel costs incurred in Finland retrospectively in the same manner as the residents of Finland.

If a country other than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland is responsible for your treatment costs, you will usually be responsible for travel costs related to treatment.

Ambulance transport

In Finland, you will receive transport by ambulance or rescue helicopter by paying the deductible when you present your European Health Insurance Card to the ambulance personnel.

If you are permanently residing in another Nordic country, you can present an identity card instead of the European Health Insurance Card. If you are permanently residing in Great Britain or Northern Ireland, you can present your passport instead of the European Health Insurance Card. The ambulance personnel require information concerning your permanent address of residence.

If you are permanently residing in Australia, the medical care convention between Finland and Australia entitles you to receive reimbursement from Kela retrospectively for the costs of ambulance transport.

Cross-border travel

When travelling to Finland to seek treatment, you are responsible for organising and paying for your trip to Finland and the trip back home. Kela will not reimburse travel costs from Finland to your home country; instead, you can contact your local health insurance institute to claim reimbursement.

Return trip to another Nordic country

You are entitled to receive reimbursement from Kela if you are permanently residing in another Nordic country, you have become ill during your temporary residence in Finland and your illness requires you to use a more expensive means of transport for your return trip than was originally intended. The prerequisite is that you have been residing in Finland temporarily, such as on holiday.

You can claim reimbursement from Kela retrospectively.