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Possible to receive treatment abroad with the European Health Insurance Card also during the coronavirus epidemic - however, avoid all travel
Kela has received questions about how a person who falls ill abroad can receive treatment during the coronavirus epidemic. In the EU and EEA countries and in Switzerland, you should receive necessary treatment due to illness with the European Health Insurance Card just as before. However, according to the instructions from the Government, you should currently avoid all travel.
In the EU and EEA countries and in Switzerland you receive medically necessary treatment for the local user fee when you show a European Health Insurance Card issued by Kela to the caregiver. Medically necessary treatment means treatment that cannot wait until you return home. The need of treatment is assessed by the doctor providing treatment.
In the Nordic countries you do not necessarily need a European Health Insurance Card, because you can obtain treatment also by presenting a valid passport or other official ID. You can also obtain treatment in Great Britain and Northern Ireland by presenting your passport.
Outside Europe, you can obtain treatment for a corresponding user fee as that paid by local residents only in the Australian public healthcare system by presenting your Kela card and your passport. In other countries, you must pay all the costs for the treatment yourself.
Also possible to receive necessary treatment with the European Health Insurance Card in Finland
You can also receive medically necessary treatment in the Finnish public healthcare system with a European Health Insurance Card granted by another country. Finland invoices the patient’s home country for the costs for the treatment afterwards.
Persons from the Nordic countries do not necessarily need a European Health Insurance Card, because they can obtain treatment also by presenting a valid passport or other official ID. Persons from Great Britain and Northern Ireland can present a European Health Insurance Card or their passport.
If the person is a resident of a Finnish municipality (i.e., has a place of domicile in Finland), he or she is entitled to all necessary treatment in the Finnish public healthcare system. The same applies to persons who have a European Health Insurance Card for pensioners issued by Kela or a certificate on entitlement to medical care in Finland. The person’s citizenship or country of origin are not relevant.
If the person does not have a place of domicile nor a certificate on entitlement to medical care, he or she is entitled to urgent medical care in the public healthcare system. The person has to pay all the actual costs for the medical care himself or herself, and it is not possible to obtain reimbursement for the costs from Kela.
If you fall ill in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland and you do not have a European Health Insurance Card, you can contact Kela’s Centre for International Affairs. If you pay the costs for treatment abroad yourself, you can apply for reimbursement from Kela afterwards. You can receive reimbursement for the costs regardless of the country where you received treatment.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there may be differences in the access to medical treatment, depending on the country. The page Update on the coronavirus situation contains information about the effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the benefits and services available from Kela and the processing of applications. The page will be updated as the situation evolves.
Additional information for customers
- Kela’s Centre for International Affairs, customer service number: 020 634 0200 (when calling from abroad +358 20 634 0200), Monday to Friday 10‒15
- European Health Insurance Card
- Medical treatment abroad
- Current information about the corona virus
- Press release from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs: If you are travelling abroad, return to Finland!