Insurance and health

Why do I need insurance?

Even though Finland is a safe country to live in, accidents can happen to any of us. You may suddenly fall ill or injure yourself playing sport for example, and dealing financially with the aftermath of such unlucky occurrences may be very costly without proper insurance. That is why it is very important to bring a valid health and accident insurance policy with you.

It is recommended that you take an insurance policy that covers you during your stay in Finland and also during your travel to and from Finland. If you’re planning to partake in any leisure time excursions to Finland's neighbouring countries, it is advisable to make sure that the insurance is valid also in those countries.

As a rule, only permanent residents of Finland are covered under the Finnish National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme of Kela (the Social Insurance Institution of Finland). Thus, international students residing in Finland on a temporary student residence permit are not covered by the NHI scheme. If you are not insured by a corresponding insurance system from your home country, you are strongly advised to obtain medical and accident insurance from a private insurance company before your arrival in Finland.

Important for non-EU citizens

While insurance is strongly recommended for all foreign students, if you are a non-EU/EEA national, health insurance is obligatory when you are applying for your student residence permit. Without insurance, a residence permit cannot be granted. Please refer to the section International Student Health Insurance of this site for more information. You can find detailed info on the health insurance requirement and residence permits for non-EU/EEA nationals at the Finnish Immigration Service website.

Am I entitled to treatment and social security in Finland?

The details of your eligibility for health services and social security in Finland depends upon your nationality and/or your residence status in Finland. For example, the regulations concerning Nordic, EU/EEA, or other nationals are different from each other.

Note that if you need urgent medical attention in Finland, you have access to medical treatment under the Finnish national legislation, regardless of your nationality. However, if you are a citizen of a country with which Finland does not have any social security agreements (or other equivalent arrangements) the health care provider has the right to charge you the full cost of the treatment. Nordic and EU/EEA citizens on the other hand are entitled to reimbursement of their treatment costs.

Please refer to the website of Kela (the Social Insurance Institution of Finland) for detailed information on your coverage under the Finnish social security system.

Student health services in Finland

Student healthcare for those studying on Bachelor's or Master's level at universities is offered by the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS - in Finnish, the acronym is YTHS). These YTHS student health services are not available for Doctoral students, so if you are admitted to Doctoral level, please contact your hosting Finnish university for advice on the local health care services and options.

For students enrolled at universities of applied sciences (UAS), healthcare is usually provided through municipal healthcare providers. You can find out more about student healthcare arrangements from your hosting Finnish UAS directly.

Please note that even when your student status enables you to use student healthcare services, this does not replace the need for valid insurance.

Additional insurance info for trainees

All employees in Finland have occupational health insurance. Employers are required to arrange, at their own expense, professional-level occupational health services for their employees in order to prevent work-related health risks. The occupational health insurance does not cover accidents which occur during leisure time.