Healthcare fee for students in higher education

Students attending a traditional university or a university of applied sciences must pay a healthcare fee to Kela. The fee must be paid for each term. Kela does not send a bill for the fee, so students must make sure to pay it on their own initiative. You can pay the healthcare fee via Kela’s e-service OmaKela (available in Finnish and Swedish only).

If you are completing a higher education degree and are registered as attending, you have the right to use the services of the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS).

Read more about the payment of the healthcare fee and the due dates for payment: How to pay the healthcare fee in higher education.

Who must pay the healthcare fee for students in higher education?

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 must pay the healthcare fee if you are registered as attending, and

  • you study at a university of applied sciences and you are completing a bachelor’s or master’s level degree or a bachelor’s level degree at the Police University College
  • you study at a university and you are completing a bachelor's or a master's degree
  • you study in the Executive Assistance Programme at the National Defence University, i.e. you are a civilian student at the National Defence University.

Student healthcare fee and international situations

The student healthcare fee must also be paid during study abroad. 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.
  • You have social security coverage in Finland or in some other country (not including EU/EEA countries, Switzerland or the United Kingdom).

If you visit Finland during the study abroad, you can use FSHS services.

You do not have to pay the healthcare fee if you have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland or the United Kingdom. Even if you do not have to pay the fee, you can still use the services of the Finnish Student Health Service.

Read more: How should I proceed if I have social security coverage in another EU/EEA country or in Switzerland or the United Kingdom?

The student healthcare fee and graduating midway through the academic year

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

If you complete your studies in the autumn term but do not graduate and receive your diploma until the spring term, you do have to pay the healthcare fee for the spring term. In that case, you will be entitled to use the services of the FSHS until the end of the spring term.

FAQ: Who must pay the healthcare fee?

Who does not have to pay the healthcare fee?

You do not have to pay the healthcare fee if

  • you have registered as non-attending for the term
  • you have come as an exchange student to Finland from another country and you are not completing a degree or qualification at a Finnish higher education institution
  • you study at an open university of applied sciences
  • you study at an open university
  • you study at Högskolan på Åland
  • you study for a postgraduate degree (for instance licentiate or doctor's degree)
  • you study to become an officer at the National Defence University
  • you complete non-degree oriented studies at a higher education institution (for instance continuing education or specialisation studies or a separate study module)
  • you participate in a tailor-made, customer-specific training programme
  • you complete a master’s level degree at the Police University College
  • you have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland or the United Kingdom.

If you are not liable to pay the fee, you are also not entitled to use FSHS services. The exception to this is that if you have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland or the United Kingdom, you are entitled to use FSHS services even though you do not pay the healthcare fee.

Amount and payment of the healthcare fee

In 2022, the student healthcare fee in higher education is EUR 35.80 per term. The fee is paid to Kela for both the spring and the autumn term. You are not billed for the fee, but are expected to pay it unprompted. The amount that must be paid is defined in a Government Decree and may vary from year to year.

You can pay the fee even if you have not yet registered as attending.

The healthcare fee is confirmed on a calendar year basis. In spring 2022 you can thus pay the fee for both the spring and the autumn term 2022.

Read more about the payment of the healthcare fee and the due dates for payment: How to pay the healthcare fee in higher education.

If you receive social assistance, the healthcare fee can be counted as an expense for purposes of basic social assistance.

If you have been granted access to education in the form of vocational rehabilitation provided by Kela, you can be granted reimbursement for the healthcare fee for students in higher education as a necessary educational expense. You must first pay the healthcare fee yourself. You can then apply for reimbursement for the healthcare fee as a rehabilitation expense.

What if I don’t pay the fee?

If you do not pay the healthcare fee by the due date, Kela will send you a reminder. If you pay the fee after the due date, Kela will charge a fixed late-payment fee of EUR 5.

If you still do not pay the healthcare fee after having received a reminder, Kela can withhold the fee and the late-payment fee from your study grant payments without first consulting you. If the healthcare fee cannot be withheld from the study grant payments, it will be referred to the enforcement authority for collection.

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 the United Kingdom, contact Kela’s Overpayment Recovery Centre.

FAQ: How do I pay the healthcare fee?

Student health services for students in higher education

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

You are entitled to use the student healthcare services to the end of the term for which you have registered as attending. If you graduate during the term, you are entitled to use the student healthcare services to the end of the term in question.

You can apply to Kela for reimbursement for travel costs for trips that you have made to an FSHS service point in order to get student healthcare services.

More information about the reimbursement of travel costs.

FAQ: Who are entitled to use the FSHS’s services?

Read more