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Reimbursement directly at the pharmacy

You will usually be reimbursed for your medicine purchases directly at the pharmacy after you have reached the initial deductible.

Pharmacies receive up-to-date information from Kela about your payments towards the initial deductible and the annual maximum limit on out-of-pocket expenses, as well as your entitlements to reimbursements. Your reimbursement is automatically deducted from the price of the medicine at the pharmacy, and you pay the remaining cost.

The pharmacy also receives the following information from Kela:

  • whether or not you are a member of an unemployment fund
  • if you have been granted any vouchers for medicines (basic social assistance).

Pharmacies need your consent to receive information from Kela

Pharmacies need your consent in order to receive the necessary information for granting direct reimbursements from Kela.

You express your consent at the pharmacy when you show

  • your Kela card
  • printed patient instructions that your doctor gave you in addition to an electronic prescription
  • a European Health Insurance Card that has a green backside
  • a document titled "Certificate of entitlement to medical care in Finland" issued by Kela.

You can also express your consent verbally. In this case, be prepared to prove your identity.

You can deny the pharmacy the right to check the information they need for direct reimbursement. If you do so, you must claim reimbursement from Kela afterwards. Read here how to claim reimbursement for medicine expenses.

Call Kela’s customer service if you do not want Kela to provide your information to pharmacies.

For example, if you do not want Kela to share information about your entitlement to a special rate of reimbursement, you can only be reimbursed at the basic rate at the pharmacy. You can claim the reimbursement at the special rate from Kela afterwards.

Acting on behalf of another person

If someone else visits the pharmacy on your behalf and you would like to be reimbursed directly at the pharmacy, give that person one of following documents:

  • your Kela card
  • printed patient instructions that your doctor gave you in addition to an electronic prescription
  • your European Health Insurance Card, if it has a green backside
  • a document titled "Certificate of entitlement to medical care in Finland" issued for you by Kela
  • your freely formulated, written consent to the pharmacy checking your information from Kela.

Another option is to authorise the other person to handle your matters for you in the Suomi.fi online service. Once you have granted an electronic power of attorney to the other person, the pharmacy will reimburse you directly for medicine purchases.

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Last modified 7/2/2024

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