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FAQ about the healthcare fee in higher education

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the student healthcare fee in higher education. For more information on the services available from the Finnish Student Health Service, see its website (yths.fi).

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What is the student healthcare fee in higher education?

The fee collected from students is part of the system of funding health services for higher education students. Seventy-seven percent of the funding comes from the State, while the remaining 23% is financed with healthcare fees paid by students. 

The fee is a contribution towards student healthcare in general and not a payment for individual services.

Who must pay the healthcare fee?

If you are not sure whether you have to pay the fee, see who must pay the healthcare fee for students in higher education.

If you still have questions, visit our e-services to send us a message. Under Opiskelijan asiat (Student affairs), select “Korkeakouluopiskelijan terveydenhoitomaksu” (Student healthcare fee in higher education) as the topic. Alternatively, you can call us at 020 634 2550.

If you pay the healthcare fee even if not required to do so, the fee will be returned to you.

Yes, you do.

The student healthcare fee in higher education is a tax-like charge and not a payment for a visit to a healthcare provider or for individual service. It is collected to fund student health services generally.

Seventy-seven percent of the funding comes from the State, while the remaining 23% is financed with healthcare fees paid by students.

The obligation to pay the fee only depends on the degree/qualification pursued, registration as attending, and the country in which you have social security coverage. No other factors are relevant. You must pay the fee even if you do not receive student financial aid or if you use occupational or other health services instead of the FSHS. You can choose which services to use.

If you graduated in the autumn term, you do not have to pay the healthcare fee for the spring term. You are also not entitled to use the services of FSHS in the spring term.

If you complete your studies in the autumn term but you do not graduate and receive your diploma until the spring term, you must pay the healthcare fee for the spring term and you are entitled to use the services of FSHS to the end of the term.

If you are enrolled in a degree programme at a Finnish higher education institution and have registered as attending, you must pay the healthcare fee. You have to pay the fee even if you study remotely from abroad or you go as an exchange student to another country.

If you have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland, you do not have to pay the healthcare fee. However, you must contact Kela about this.

If you are studying for a degree at a foreign higher education institution, you cannot use FSHS services and you do not have to pay the healthcare fee.

You do not have to pay the healthcare fee if you are studying for a degree in a foreign higher education institution.

No, unless you are pursuing a degree at a Finnish higher education institution.

Having to pay the fee does not depend on whether you currently receive financial aid. You may have to pay the fee even if you do not receive financial aid.

You must pay it if you start a study abroad period and meet the following criteria:

  • You are studying for a degree in a Finnish higher education institution.
  • You are registered as attending.

If you visit Finland during the study abroad, you can use FSHS services. Higher education institutions do not have a uniform policy on whether they require students to register as attending while on a study exchange.

You have to pay the healthcare fee if all of the following criteria are met:

  • You are studying for a degree in a Finnish higher education institution.
  • You are registered as attending.

If you have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland, you do not have to pay the student healthcare fee.

Please contact your school if you have questions about registering as attending or non-attending.

The requirement to pay the fee is defined by law. Students who are completing a Finnish higher education degree and are registered as attending for a specific term have to pay the fee for that term even if they do not use student health services.

If you interrupt the studies or give up your right to pursue studies before the start of the term, you are not liable to pay the healthcare fee.

If you are registered as attending for the term but you interrupt the studies or give up your right to pursue studies during the term, you are liable to pay the healthcare fee.

You must first pay the healthcare fee yourself, and when you have done that, you can apply for reimbursement of the fee as a rehabilitation expense. Kela will reimburse you for the healthcare fee as a necessary rehabilitation expense. Apply for reimbursement by sending a message in the OmaKela e-service. Under ‘Aihe’ select Kuntoutus (rehabilitation) and then under ‘Tarkenne’ Kuntoutusmaksu (rehabilitation expense). You do not have to submit a proof of payment. If you cannot use the OmaKela e-service, you can apply for reimbursement by calling Kela’s customer service number for rehabilitation matters 020 634 2650.

If you have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country, Switzerland, Great Britain or Northern Ireland, you do not have to pay the healthcare fee. Learn more about what to do.

The social security coverage of persons moving from one EU country to another is governed by the EU Regulations 883/2004 and 987/2009. Under the Regulation, persons who move within the EU can be covered by only one national social security system at a time. This is called coordination of social security.

If a person is covered under the social security system of another EU/EEA country or of Switzerland or Great Britain and Northern Ireland, that person will generally not be liable for paying social insurance contributions in two member states. Therefore, someone who has social security coverage in another EU/EEA country or in Switzerland or in Great Britain and Northern Ireland does not have to pay the student healthcare fee.

How do I pay the healthcare fee?

You can pay the healthcare fee via Kela's e-service OmaKela. Please note that our e-service is only available in Finnish and Swedish. More detailed information on payment of the healthcare fee is available at How to pay the healthcare fee in higher education.

If you have been reminded to pay the healthcare fee, please pay the fee through your online bank, using the payment details provided in the reminder.

No, you don’t. The healthcare fee is assessed on individual students and not on the basis of the number of higher education institutions attended.

No. All students pay the same amount. However, the fee may vary from year to year.

If you a are student at more than one higher education institution and have registered as attending with all of them, you do not have to pay several fees. You only have to pay Kela the fee once.

If you do not pay the healthcare fee by the due date, a fixed late-payment charge will be added to it. After the due date, we will send you a letter reminding you to pay the fee.

If you still do not pay the fee, we may withhold the fee and the late-payment charge from your study grant payments without first consulting you.

If it is not possible to withhold them from your study grant payments, the matter will be referred to the enforcement authority for collection.

No, you don’t. We will check the registration status of all students at a later date. We will return the fee if you have paid it but have not registered as attending for the term in question.

You can view the payment details of the healthcare fees that you have paid in the OmaKela e-service. First select Oikopolut, then Korkeakouluopiskelijan terveydenhoitomaksu and finally Maksut.

Any payments you have made during a given year will be shown with that year’s information. Additionally, the payment details will show if the fee has been paid for the autumn or the spring term.

First check the fees that you have paid. Select Oikopolut, then Korkeakouluopiskelijan terveydenhoitomaksu and finally Maksut.

Any payments you have made during a given year will be shown with that year’s information. Additionally, the payment details will show if the fee has been paid for the autumn or the spring term.

If you haven’t paid the fee by the due date, the fee will be outstanding and will have been referred to collections, so you can no longer use the OmaKela payment form to pay it. You can see information about outstanding payments on the OmaKela homepage at Perinnät (Collections) > Korkeakouluopiskelijan terveydenhoitomaksu (Student healthcare fee in higher education) > Katso perinnän tiedot (See collection details).

The healthcare fee is confirmed on a calendar year basis, so you can for example pay the fees due for spring term 2021 and autumn term 2021 at the same time. However, in autumn 2021 you can only pay the fee for the autumn term, because the amount of the fee due for spring term 2022 will not be known yet.

Kela will refund the fee to you automatically if you pay it despite not having to do so. This will take some time, but you need not do anything to receive the refund.

However, if you wish you can ask for a refund by sending us a message on our e-service or calling us at 020 634 2650. Also tell us the bank account number to which the refund should be paid.

You need not do anything, the fee will be refunded to you.

However, if you wish you can ask for a refund by sending us a message on our e-service or calling us at 020 634 2650. Also tell us the bank account number to which the refund should be paid.

Under the Act on Healthcare Services for Students, the healthcare fee must be paid on your own initiative. Kela sends a letter with payment instructions before the due date for payment to students who are required to pay the fee but have not paid it. This letter is sent twice a year, approximately three weeks before the due date of the fee. Students who have updated their information in OmaKela to go paperless will receive a text message or email when the letter is available to read in OmaKela.

Kela sends a letter with payment instructions before the due date for payment to students who are required to pay the fee but have not paid it. This letter is sent twice a year, approximately three weeks before the due date of the fee. Students who have updated their information in OmaKela to go paperless will receive a text message or email when the letter is available to read in OmaKela.

Kela sends a letter containing information on the payment of the healthcare fee before the due dates for payment (15 March and 15 November). You can choose to not receive paper documents and to have the letter sent to you only via OmaKela. You will then receive a text message or email when the letter is available to read in OmaKela.

Learn more about letting Kela know that you want to receive the letter in OmaKela only (in Finnish).

The student healthcare fee can be recognised as an expense for purposes of the basic social assistance. If you are applying for basic social assistance towards the healthcare fee, make sure that you only pay the fee for one academic term at a time. The fee is recognised as an expense for the month in which it is due.

Collection of the healthcare fee

If you do not pay the healthcare fee after you have been reminded of it, Kela can withhold the fee and the late-payment charge, i.e. deduct them from your study grant without your consent. If you are not a study grant recipient or if the fee cannot be withheld for some other reason, the matter will be turned over to the enforcement authority for collection.

If you have received a payment reminder, you can find the information about the healthcare fee on the OmaKela e-service homepage under Perinnät (Recoveries and collections). Select Korkeakouluopiskelijan terveydenhoitomaksu (Student healthcare fee in higher education) and then Katso perinnän tiedot (See collection details). The information shows whether Kela is withholding the healthcare fee from your study grant payments. If no withholding is mentioned in the information, you must pay the healthcare fee unprompted. If you do not pay, Kela will refer the fee to the enforcement authorities for collection.

You can also request that the fee be withheld from some other benefit that Kela is paying to you.

Use the payment details in the credit transfer form included with the reminder to pay the healthcare fee. The fee is in collections, so it can no longer be paid with the OmaKela payment form. You can also look up information about the fee on the OmaKela homepage at Perinnät (Collections) > Korkeakouluopiskelijan terveydenhoitomaksu (Student healthcare fee in higher education > Katso perinnän tiedot (See collection details).  

The payment outstanding notice is a document which sets out Kela’s decision as to whether a student must pay the healthcare fee for a specific term.

You will not receive it automatically, but Kela is required to provide it to you if you ask for it.

Read more about the payment outstanding notice.

You can ask for it for example if you do not agree that you have to pay. Please note that even if you decide to ask for a payment outstanding notice, you must still pay the healthcare fee by the due date. Kela will refund the fee to you if you pay it despite not having to do so.

The liability to pay the fee is determined on the basis of the degree you are pursuing and the registration as attending or non-attending. Kela has received this information about the students from the educational institutions and sent demands for payment to the students based on the information. However, Kela does not automatically receive information on changes in study status during the term from the educational institutions.

If your status as an attending student has changed to non-attending after the healthcare fee has been referred to Kela’s Overpayment Recovery Centre for collection, you should contact Kela’s Overpayment Recovery Centre to clarify the issue. Kela’s Overpayment Recovery Centre is open weekdays from 10.00 to 15.00.

Kela is obligated to charge a late-payment charge, if the healthcare fee is paid after the due date for payment.

The fixed late-payment charge is laid down by law (the Act on Student Health Services for Students in Higher Education). The amount of the charge is laid down annually by a Government Decree.

If you have received a letter reminding you to pay the healthcare fee but you have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland or from Great Britain and Northern Ireland, contact Kela’s Overpayment Recovery Centre (About Kela section).

Who are entitled to use the FSHS’s services?

FSHS services are available to students who have registered as attending at a higher education institution and are studying for one of the following degrees:

  • a bachelor's or master's level degree earned in a university of applied sciences
  • a bachelor’s level degree at the Police University College
  • a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a university
  • the Executive Assistance Programme at the National Defence University, i.e. civilian students at the National Defence University.

Also students who have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland or from Great Britain and Northern Ireland students can use FSHS services. However, they must be prepared to show a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) when visiting FSHS.

Under the law, only students who are pursuing a degree in a Finnish higher education institution and are registered as attending for the current term are eligible for student health services. Because exchange students are not pursuing a degree in a Finnish higher education institution, they are not eligible for FSHS services.

So if you are not pursuing a degree in Finland, you cannot use FSHS services. Typically, students who are EU nationals can visit the municipal health centre, while students from outside the EU should have private medical insurance that allows them to see a private healthcare provider.

Read more about medical treatment in international situations.

Tailor-made education programmes are commissioned and paid for by a specific organisation and intended for a particular group of students. Students attending such programmes are not eligible for student health services.

You can continue to use FSHS services for the rest of the term if you graduate mid-term. The healthcare fee is assessed on a term-by-term basis and the full fee must be paid for all terms in which the student is registered as attending.

Payment of the healthcare fee is not a precondition for using FSHS services.

If you are studying for a degree in a Finnish higher education institution and have registered as attending, you can use FSHS services even if you have not yet paid the fee. The FSHS checks whether you are eligible.

Yes, you have the option to also use public health services.

If you are studying for a degree and registered as attending, you must pay the healthcare fee and may use the FSHS’s services. It does not matter whether you receive financial aid or some other social benefit in support of your studies.

Read more about who must pay the healthcare fee.

The Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) provides student healthcare services for higher education students nationwide in Finland. For more information on the services available from the FSHS, see its website (yths.fi).

You can apply to Kela for reimbursement for travel costs for trips that you have made to get healthcare intended for higher education students. Read more about the reimbursements for travel costs.

Problems with FSHS services and providing feedback

If you are unhappy with the services provided by the FSHS or its service network, visit the FSHS website (yths.fi) and give feedback.

If you are unhappy with the care you received or how you were treated, you should contact the FSHS location that you visited. If that does not produce the desired outcome, you can submit a written complaint to the location. You may also submit a complaint about your care to the Regional State Administrative Agency or to Valvira (National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health), or file a notice of patient injury. More information about the complaint process and the notice of patient injury is available on the FSHS website (yths.fi).

If you are unhappy with Kela's role in providing access to student health services, its actions in levying or collecting the healthcare fee, or if you have suggestions for improvement, you can provide feedback to Kela. Please note, however, that you should not use feedback for your personal business with Kela.

If you have questions about paying the healthcare fee, please contact  Kela’s customer service. If you do not agree that you are liable to pay the fee, please see our website for instructions on how to appeal the payment outstanding notice.  

Last modified 1/1/2024

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