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Finland – Health Insurance

Finland is a Nordic country with a high standard of living and excellent healthcare services. While the country has a state-funded healthcare system, it is important for expats to be aware of their health insurance options. In this article, we will explore the health insurance requirements in Finland, the state health insurance system, how to apply for it, and the advantages of international private medical insurance.

Health Insurance Requirements in Finland

In Finland, health insurance is mandatory for all residents. This means that expats living in Finland must have health insurance to ensure they have access to quality healthcare services.

State Health Insurance System in Finland

The state health insurance system in Finland is known as the National Health Insurance (NHI). It is a public insurance program that covers all residents of Finland, including expats. The NHI system is funded through taxation and social security contributions.

What does it cover?

The NHI system provides comprehensive health coverage, including medical consultations, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, prescription drugs, and preventive care. The system also covers maternity care, dental care, and rehabilitation services. In addition to healthcare coverage, the NHI system also provides disability and life insurance benefits.

How to Apply for State Health Insurance in Finland

Expats living and working in Finland must register for the NHI system. Here are the steps to follow:

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  1. Register at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (Digi- ja väestötietovirasto): To register for the NHI system, expats must first obtain a Finnish Personal Identity Code (PIC) from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

  2. Apply for health insurance: After obtaining a PIC, expats can apply for health insurance by completing an application form and providing documentation such as a passport or national ID card.

  3. Make contributions: After registering for health insurance, expats must make monthly contributions based on their income. Contributions are automatically deducted from the employee’s salary if they are employed.

  4. Receive Kela card: After enrolling in the system and making contributions, expats will receive a Kela card, which they can use to access healthcare services.

Advantages of Private Insurance

While the NHI system provides comprehensive healthcare coverage, expats living in Finland may also consider purchasing international private medical insurance. Here are some advantages of international private medical insurance:

More comprehensive coverage

International private medical insurance can offer more comprehensive coverage than the NHI system. This can include coverage for elective procedures, alternative therapies, and treatments not covered by the NHI system.

Access to private healthcare facilities

International private medical insurance can provide access to private healthcare facilities, which may offer shorter wait times and more personalized care.


International private medical insurance is portable, which means that it can be used in other countries. This can be an advantage for expats who travel frequently or plan to relocate to another country in the future.

English-speaking assistance

Many international private medical insurance providers offer English-speaking assistance, which can be helpful for expats who are not fluent in Finnish.

Health insurance is mandatory for all residents of Finland, including expats. The state health insurance system, the NHI, provides comprehensive healthcare coverage for all residents of Finland. Expats must register for the NHI system by obtaining a Personal Identity Code, completing an application form, and making monthly contributions. Additionally, expats may consider purchasing international private medical insurance for more comprehensive coverage, access to private healthcare facilities, portability, and English-speaking assistance. By understanding their health insurance options, expats can make informed decisions about their healthcare needs while living in Finland.

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