Description of statistics: Statistics on reimbursements for medical expenses

Produced by: Kela – The Social Insurance Institution of Finland

Web page: Statistics on reimbursements for medical expenses

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 refunds), 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 for transportation costs), general regional classifications and general demographic classifications.

Data collection methods and data sources

Claims for the reimbursement of medical care expenses are determined by Kela and workplace sickness funds. These statistics are compiled from individual-level datasets on reimbursements of medical expenses. They are produced from the benefit systems for reimbursements of medical expenses, which include all of the data created and processed during the implementation of the scheme.

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 released in the Kelasto statistical database within the following month, and annual statistics in their entirety in January following the end of the reference year. The release dates of statistical publications can be found in the release calendar.

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.


Statistics (data), health insurance, compensations, reimbursements for medical expenses, reimbursements for medicine costs, medical care, dental care, public sector, private sector, transportation.