Higher education students can now pay the healthcare fee to Kela

Students in universities of applied sciences and universities who are entitled to use the services of the Finnish Student Health Service (YTHS) must pay a healthcare fee to Kela. Higher education students must for the first time pay the healthcare fee to Kela for the spring term 2021. The fee can now be paid.

Starting 1 January 2021, Kela will have administrative responsibility for providing health services to higher education students, including the collection of a healthcare fee. Starting 1 January 2021, the Finnish Student Health Service (Finnish abbreviation YTHS) will provide services not only to students of traditional universities but also to students of universities of applied sciences.

The student healthcare fee must be paid by all students who are completing a degree at a Finnish institution of higher education and have registered as attending for the term.

The fee is used to finance health services for higher education students. The State finances 77% of the health services for higher education students and the rest, 23%, is financed through the healthcare fee. The amount of the fee is specified in a Government decree, which will be issued annually.

The healthcare fee must be paid on your own initiative

In 2021, the student healthcare fee in higher education will be EUR 35.80 per term. The fee is paid to Kela once per term, i.e. twice a year. Students are not billed for the fee but are expected to pay it unprompted.

The due date of payment is determined based on the date on which the student has registered as attending. For the spring term, the healthcare fee must be paid by 31 January at the latest, provided the student has registered as attending by then. The healthcare fee can be paid via Kela's e-service or as a bank transfer. Instructions for payment of the healthcare fee are available on Kela’s website.

If the student does not pay the healthcare fee by the due date, Kela will send the student a reminder. If the healthcare fee is paid after the due date, the student also has to pay a late-payment charge of EUR 5. If the student does not pay the healthcare fee after having been reminded of it, Kela can withhold the fee and the late-payment charge from the study grant payments without consulting the student. If the fee cannot be withheld from the study grant payments, the healthcare fee will be referred to the enforcement authority for collection.

Students are entitled to use the student health services to the end of the term for which they have registered as attending. If a student graduates during the term, the student is entitled to use the health services until the end of that term. The website of the Finnish Student Health Service (YTHS) provides information about health services for students.

Exchange students and international students

Only students who are pursuing a degree in a Finnish higher education institution and are registered as attending for the current term are eligible for student health services. Because exchange students who come from another country are not pursuing a degree in a Finnish higher education institution, they are not eligible for student health services. EU citizens can use the public healthcare services. Students from other countries must have private health insurance.

Students who are pursuing a degree at a Finnish institution of higher education must pay the healthcare fee for the months of attendance even when they pursue studies abroad. The healthcare fee does not have to be paid if the student has registered as non-attending for the whole term.

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