All citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Areas and Switzerland are entitled to medical care in countries with the same status. This means that residents of Finland can access healthcare services in other European nations, and foreign visitors can be treated at Finnish hospitals and medical centres. This international health care service is made possible through the European Health Insurance scheme, and any holder of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can use the service. Applying for an EHIC is a simple and straightforward process, and is your way to guarantee cover in an emergency.
How to apply for your EHIC
If you’re going to be travelling, you’ll need to apply for your EHIC while still in your home country. It can take three to four weeks for your new card to arrive, so make sure you leave enough time for it to get to you before you travel. The application form can be downloaded online or requested via telephone and posted to your address. Postage will need to be met by you, but the card itself is free.
The benefits of an EHIC
Your European Health Insurance Card is your protection abroad, and it enables you to access the same high standard of care you would expect back home. The card does not leave you exempt from charges, but it does help you to access medical care at a reduced cost. In some cases, your treatment may be free. If you do need to pay for treatment in advance at the medical facility, simply keep the paperwork and your health insurance should help you to claim back the cost.
An EHIC does not replace insurance, but it does identify you as a qualifying citizen of an EU nation and lets foreign medical systems know that you can be treated. You’re advised to make sure that you EHIC is up to date before travelling, and to carry the card at all times.
Why you need an EHIC when holidaying in Finland
Just as Finnish residents need an insurance card when visiting overseas, tourists and migrant workers coming to Finland will want to ensure that they have their EHIC with them. If visitors are covered by the European Health Insurance scheme, they can access Finnish medical services for emergency and routine healthcare throughout their stay. Anyone visiting the country can get reduced rates or free care, depending on the treatment needed. This dos not include anyone travelling to the country specifically for medical treatment (for example, to give birth) but it does cover any necessary routine treatment, such as dialysis or radiotherapy.
Heading to Finland for work or for pleasure? Whether you’re just visiting Finland or your relocating there as an expat, you can rest assured that you’re covered for healthcare when it matters. The European Health Insurance program is here to support you while you’re travelling and to keep you safe if an emergency occurs.