Statistics on reimbursements for medical expenses

Producer: Kela – The Social Insurance Institution of Finland

Statistical publications

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All permanent residents of Finland are covered under the Finnish National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme and are eligible for reimbursement of medical expenses under the Health Insurance Act. The expenses incurred from compensable prescription drugs, outpatient medical services and medically necessary transportation can be reimbursed. Outpatient medical services include private doctors' and dentists' services, dental hygienists' services, treatment prescribed by a doctor or dentist, and examination or treatment in a private institution. The statistics are used in monitoring trends in prescription drug expenditures and in describing the use of outpatient medical services.

Data content

Recipient of reimbursement, units describing service utilisation (visit, purchase of medicine, prescription, one-way trip, examinations and treatments prescribed by a doctor or dentist, medicines prescribed by a nurse), the amount of user fees for medical services in EUR (i.e., costs prior to the deduction of NHI reimbursements), the amount of reimbursements in EUR.

Classifications used

Type of benefit (medicines, doctors' services, dental care, examination and treatment, transportation), doctor's specialisation, codes for procedures performed by a doctor, dentist or dental hygienist, codes for examination and treatment procedures, mode of transportation (with regard to reimbursements of transportation costs), general regional classifications and general demographic classifications.

Data collection methods and data sources

Claims for reimbursement of medical expenses are determined both by Kela's local offices and by workplace funds. The processing system for the reimbursements produces an individual-level benefit database, which forms the basis for the statistical registers.

Updating frequency

Updated monthly, quarterly and once per calendar year with data on reimbursements paid out during the period in question.

Time of completion or release

The monthly statistics are published within three weeks and the quarterly statistics within a month of the statistical reference period. The annual statistics are published in their entirety by the middle of August following the end of the statistical reference year.

Time series

Statistics on NHI reimbursements for medical expenses have been compiled since the introduction of the scheme in 1964. The effect of legislative amendments on eligibility conditions and rates should be noted when making year-to-year comparisons.


Social security, medical care, reimbursements for medical expenses, reimbursements for medicine costs, examination and treatment, incidence of illness.

Contact information

tilastot (at)