Private health insurance in Finland
Those moving or traveling to Finland will undoubtedly have many questions regarding how the Finnish healthcare system works, as well as whether private health insurance is necessary. This guide provides information about health insurance in Finland for foreigners and locals, as well as about the country’s healthcare system. Read on to learn more, or click below to obtain a no-obligation, free quote.
Finland is a country of distinctive geography and even more remarkable citizenry. Finland is located in the north-east of the Baltic Sea, bounded by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north and Russia to the east. At 338,424 km²sq ft, Finland is the 8th largest country in Europe with a population of just 5.4 million, residing primarily in the south, it is the most sparsely populated nation on the continent. Its capital city, Helsinki, is the northernmost capital in the EU.
Finland healthcare system
Finland offers its residents universal healthcare. It consists of an extensive public healthcare system as well as private and occupational supplemental options. The Finnish constitution mandates that public authorities guarantee for everyone adequate social, health, and medical services and promote the health of the population and the best possible quality of life for all and to reduce differences in health. Patients can expect good facilities and efficient service (3.25 doctors per 1000 patients) under the Finnish healthcare system.
The national administration defines general health policy guidelines and directs the healthcare system at the state level. In addition to the public municipal system, occupational healthcare schemes provide a distinct form of care run through employers covering both preventive services and primary healthcare, even though occupational services are often actually delivered by private or public municipal providers. About 6% of Finnish doctors work in occupational healthcare.
Hospitals and clinics in Finland
The majority of Finnish healthcare services are provided through the municipal healthcare system. Municipalities are legally required to organize adequate health services for their residents. To fund medical services, municipalities levy taxes and receive state subsidies to cover shortfalls. Specialist care in the municipal system is provided by 20 hospital districts, each of which is owned and funded by its member municipalities. Each district has one or several hospitals, one of which is the central hospital.
Health centers vary greatly in size. The largest hospitals employ hundreds of doctors and provide highly specialized services. Attached to each health center is usually a hospital for people with mild or chronic illness, a small laboratory, a radiological unit, and a physiotherapy unit.
Finland has five university hospitals. These provide the most advanced medical care, including highly specialized surgery and treatment for rare diseases. The university hospitals are also mainly responsible for the clinical training of medical students, and medical research.
Is healthcare free in Finland?
Public healthcare in Finland is not entirely free. While public healthcare is mainly funded by taxation, it is also funded by patient fees. The maximum fees, including hospital and dental fees, can be found in Finnish at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health website.
Maximum Patient Fees
In 2020-2021 the maximum out-of-pocket fee for treatment in primary healthcare such as seeing a doctor at a health center is €20.60, charged no more than 3 times a year. Fees for public healthcare have an upper limit per calendar year, beyond which clients are no longer required to pay (this does not apply to short-term institutional care).
Temporary visitors to Finland from the EU/EEA/Switzerland can receive free healthcare through their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), as per the agreement between their country and Luxembourg. Those without an EHIC and visitors from outside the EU will need to purchase private health insurance for Finland.
Finland private health insurance
Finns often purchase supplemental private health insurance, which guarantees them quicker access to healthcare and wider choice. More than 10% of Finnish doctors earn their living solely as private practitioners. About one-third of doctors run a private practice in addition to working in a public hospital or health center.
The mandatory national health insurance scheme reimburses some of the fees paid by patients to private doctors, the costs of prescribed medicines, and travel costs arising from the treatment of illness. Finns can receive partial reimbursement for private healthcare services and purchase of outpatient pharmaceuticals through the obligatory National Health Insurance (NHI) system.
As with all nationalized medical schemes, good access for its citizens is bought at the price of waiting lists, and lack of choice in treatment. Variances in the level of medical treatment available between urban and rural municipalities should also be expected.
Travel and insurance in Finland
If a visitor is suddenly taken ill or involved in an accident during a trip to Finland, treatment is available at the same subsidized cost as for Finnish citizens, provided the visitor is from the European Economic Area and can present a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Comprehensive insurance is advised for all other nationals. Check with your country's health department to see if a reciprocal cover agreement is in place with Finland. You may need private travel insurance or international health policy to cover any medical costs incurred during your stay in Finland.
Prospective campers should take precautions against tick bites and certainly consider immunization against tick-borne encephalitis if visiting the Åland Islands. Mosquitoes are a pest during the damp summers, particularly in the north.
Finland health insurance
Pacific Prime will consult and offer a wide range of policies to meet your individual needs should you plan to travel to Finland. We offer a wide variety of healthcare plans and travel insurance policies with possible benefit packages including dental, maternity, inpatient, outpatient, specialist consultations, and many more. Please contact our professional advisors today for a free quote and enjoy the security that our extensive health insurance plans can provide.