The Kela card is automatically sent to everyone who is covered under the Finnish national health insurance system. The Kela card is sent to newborn children when Kela receives information about the child from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
What is the Kela card used for?
By presenting your card at the pharmacy or at many private medical clinics, you can get a direct, on-the-spot reimbursement for your costs. You will then only have to pay the copayment.
The right to use public healthcare services is based on you being registered with the Digital and Population Data Services Agency as having a municipality of residence in Finland. Even though you often have to present your Kela card to identify yourself when using public healthcare services, coverage under the health insurance system and proving the coverage by presenting the Kela card are not prerequisites for the right to use public healthcare services.
If you are entitled to special reimbursement for medicines, this information is registered on your Kela card.
Changes to the Kela card
Kela will send you a new card automatically if your name changes and you have reported the change to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. You will also receive a new card automatically when your entitlement to changes.
New card to replace a lost one
Kela card for persons who move to Finland
If you move to or come to work in Finland, you should apply for the Kela card via the OmaKela e-service under "Tee hakemus – Kelan kortit". Also file a notification of your move to Finland under ’Hakemukset ja ilmoitukset – Oikeus Suomen sosiaaliturvaan’.
When can the card not be used?
Moving abroad may affect the right to use the Kela card. If you move abroad temporarily or permanently, you should notify Kela about this via the OmaKela e-service. Kela determines your entitlement to national health insurance coverage and to Kela benefits.
In the following situations you cannot use the Kela card.
- You have moved abroad and you are therefore not covered under the Finnish national health insurance system.
- You have been granted the Kela card on the basis of employment in Finland, but because your earnings are small you are not entitled to social security coverage in Finland
- You need a residence permit in Finland, but your residence permit is not extended or the permit is cancelled.
You can check in the OmaKela e-service whether you are covered under the Finnish social security system and whether you can use the Kela card. You find this information under ”Oikeus Suomen sosiaaliturvaan”.
Kela photocards are no longer being issued. If you have a Kela photocard, you can still use it and prove your identity by presenting the card at Kela’s customer service points.
ID card with health insurance details
Health insurance details are no longer registered on the ID card. If you have an ID card with health insurance details, you can use the card as long as it is valid.