According to Kela’s statistics on Finns who have suddenly fallen ill or sought treatment independently outside Finland, medical costs incurred abroad and reimbursements paid retrospectively to the customers are slightly rising. The statistics only take into account those cases where the customers paid all the medical costs themselves and then applied for retroactive reimbursement from Kela. Any costs reclaimed by other countries are not included in these figures.
In 2016, the cost of treatment provided in EU and EEA countries and Switzerland were approximately 10 million euros, of which more than 4 million euros was reimbursed. In 2012, the cost was 6.5 million euros, of which Kela reimbursed approximately one million euros.
Finns are most likely to seek treatment in Estonia, Spain and Hungary
Most frequently, Finns have used health services independently, i.e. without prior authorisation from Kela, in Estonia, Spain, Hungary, Germany and Belgium. In 2016, the total cost of treatment provided in Estonia was almost 3.5 million euros, of which Kela reimbursed approximately 650,000 euros. The cost of treatment provided in Estonia comprised almost 80 per cent of the cost of the approximately 4.5 million euros of medical care provided in EU and EEA countries and Switzerland in total.
In 2012, the cost of medical care provided in other countries was approximately 6 million euros, and last year 5 million euros. Of these treatments, Kela reimbursed approximately half a million euros in both years. In 2016, Finns used health care services most commonly in Thailand, the United States, Turkey, Russia and China.
Kela reimburses medical care costs incurred outside the EU or EEA countries or Switzerland in case of sudden illness. If you have sought treatment independently in other than EU countries, no reimbursement will be paid.
You can seek treatment in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland also with a prior authorisation from Kela. In this case, you will only pay the customer fee for the treatment. Last year, a total of 126 prior authorisations were issued, compared to 45 in 2012.
Read more about statistical information on cross-border healthcare (Slideshare)