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Travelling with medication
Kela reimburses medicine expenses during travel abroad if you are covered for health insurance in Finland during the stay abroad.
Before you buy medicines for your trip, find out if you will be covered for health insurance in Finland throughout your stay abroad. If yes, you can be reimbursed for any reimbursable prescription medication you need during the trip.
- If you will be on holiday abroad 3 months or less, you need not tell Kela. You will in any case be covered for health insurance in Finland during your holiday.
- However, you should tell Kela if you will be staying abroad for more than 3 months. Kela will determine if you will be covered by the Finnish system during your stay abroad.
- Tell Kela if you are about to start work in another EU/EEA country or in Switzerland. Kela will determine if you will be covered by the Finnish system during your stay abroad.
At the pharmacy, you can at the same time buy medication to an amount that corresponds to no more than three months of treatment and receive reimbursement for this. If the medicine you have been prescribed is particularly expensive, you can, at one time, only buy one package of that medicine, equivalent to no more than 1 month of treatment, for which you are reimbursed directly. Particularly expensive medicines refer to medicines the retail price of which, including value-added tax, exceeds €1,000 for one package.
If you buy medication for a trip abroad to an amount that corresponds to more than three months (as regards expensive medicines, more than one month) of treatment or you buy medication for a trip abroad at an earlier date than the intervals between medicine purchases would allow, you first have to pay the medicines yourself and then claim reimbursement from Kela. If such a procedure is not possible, you should contact Kela.
You should well in advance check the country-specific import restrictions for medicines. You should also check the rules and restrictions in any transit countries in advance. Information about restrictions on the personal transport of medications and any documents required is available from the customs authorities of the destination country and from contact points of the EU countries. You may contact the embassy of your destination country for further information.
Taking along your prescriptions
Take along your prescriptions or equivalent documents. If asked at the customs, you can present them to prove that you have the right to bring along your personal medication. Further information about documents needed during travel can be found on the kanta.fi and choosehealthcare.fi websites.
Points to consider when travelling
Transport the medicines in their original packaging and in your carry-on luggage. Make sure that your medication is stored correctly to retain its effectiveness during travel and foreign stay. If your medication needs to be kept at low temperature, you should find out beforehand if that will be possible during your trip and at your destination. For example, insulin should be kept in a cold place but it must not freeze. Ask the manufacturer for information about how to store your medicine.
Please note that if a package of medicine is broken, lost or stolen, or loses its effectiveness due to incorrect storage, Kela will not reimburse you for any medicine bought in replacement.
Returning to Finland
You can bring medicines from abroad for personal use. Certain restrictions apply. See the Finnish Customs website for more information on what restrictions apply to the importation of medicines under Finnish law.
- International situations
- From Finland to another country
- Tell Kela if you are moving abroad
- Take your prescriptions with you when travelling abroad (Kanta.fi)
- Medicines (Choosehealthcare.fi)
- Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare
- Travellers' medicines (Fimea.fi)
- Medicine import restrictions (customs.fi)
- How to claim reimbursement after the purchase