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Social Insurance and Health Care

Social Insurance and Health Care

The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kela, provides social security coverage for people residing in Finland through the different stages of their lives.

Social security benefits offered by Kela include family benefits, health insurance, rehabilitation, basic unemployment security, basic social assistance, housing benefits, financial aid for students, disability benefits and basic pensions.

Who is entitled to the benefits of the National Health Insurance Scheme?

The right to social security in Finland can be based either on residence or employment.

  • You are covered by the National Health Insurance scheme if your stay in Finland is considered to be permanent.
  • You may also be covered either fully or partially if you are employed in Finland. As an employee, you will qualify for Kela benefits from the first day of your employment if you earn at least 726,27 € per month (as of 2021). Kela consults the national incomes register for salary information.

Researchers who receive a grant but are not considered self-employed persons may also be entitled to Finnish social security benefits:

  • Researchers receiving a Finnish grant and eligible for the Mela insurance may be covered by the National Health Insurance scheme based on the Mela insurance policy.
  • Researchers receiving a foreign grant or other income may become entitled to Finnish social security benefits, if the income amounts to at least 726,27 € per month (in 2021). If the income level does not reach this minimum level, the entitlement to benefits is determined on the basis of whether the person’s residence in Finland is considered permanent.

Moreover, if you are insured by a corresponding insurance system from your home country, you might be entitled to some services and benefits:

Please read more about your situation:

How to apply?
Kela does not issue separate decisions on social security coverage in Finland for persons moving to Finland. Instead, Kela will check the eligibility to benefits in connection to your first claim for Kela benefits, including the application for your personal health Insurance card, the Kela card.

Your Kela card is the proof of your social security coverage in Finland.

  • Apply for the Kela card using the form SV157 and also enclose the form Y 77 (Moving to Finland).

If granted, you will receive your Kela card by post.

Health Care Services

The Finnish healthcare system is based on public health care services, which are funded by tax revenue and client fees charged for services. Health services are also provided by private companies, independent professional practitioners and organisations. Kela reimburses a proportion of the costs of private health care to persons covered under the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Public health care services
The public health care services in Finland are good. Even if not completely free of charge, they are provided at a very reasonable price.

The kind of public health care you are entitled to always depends on your current situation:

  • You are entitled to use the public health services if you have a Municipality of Residence in Finland.
  • In you are an EU/EEA Citizen, you are entitled to emergency treatment in the event of an illness or injury or other medically necessary treatment by presenting the European Health Insurance Card. You can also get medical treatment if you have a pre-existing chronic condition that requires medical attention while you are abroad.
  • Even if you do not have a municipality of residence, Kela may in some cases grant you a certificate of right to medical care in Finland, e.g. if you come to work in Finland for a relatively short period of time. Again, this right depends on your current overall situation.

Urgent treatment must always be provided regardless of the patient’s place of residence or nationality. However, without a municipality of residence or a Kela certificate, the provided treatment e.g. in hospitals can be quite costly. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to take a private health insurance from your home country before moving to Finland. This is essential especially upon arrival and when still settling in.

Occupational Health Care
Employees are entitled to occupational health care, which is a service provided and paid for by the employer for the purpose of supporting employees’ work ability. Occupational health care promotes a healthy workplace environment and safe working conditions. Åbo Akademi University offers its employees regular medical services at general practitioner level.

All staff members who have been appointed for at least 14 hours a week on average are entitled to the occupational health services.

Working on a grant does not form an employment relationship, which means that the benefits based on employment legislation and collective agreements do not apply to the grant recipient. A grant recipient therefore does not enjoy the occupational health services provided by the University.

Updated 5.1.2021