Finland has one of the highest standards of living among the countries of the world in all ramifications including health care delivery system and as such, Finland’s healthcare system is exemplary. However, Public medical care in Finland is not free. Thus, Patients pay moderate fees for their treatment and these payments account for about 10% of public health system funding while general taxation covers the remainder of the costs. However, in order to make the cost affordable, the costs are fixed in terms of how much a patient will pay at each visit to the clinic. And also how many times they are liable to pay throughout the year. This is much about health Insurance in Finland.

Notwithstanding the above, the world health organisation has ranked Finland as the 31st in the world with respect to health care delivery system. However, there is still room for improvement even though the ranking is commendable.

The public health care system in Finland is the National Health Insurance System. This public health care system is largely and extremely comprehensive and covers medical care costs arising from medical costs, dental costs. The system equally goes as far as covering the costs associated with even travelling to obtain the medical care.

Similarly, the public health care system is divided into three levels of care and they include the primary, secondary, and tertiary categories.

The primary category of Care in Finland centres primarily on preventative care and normal physician consultations at municipal health centers or at the terveysasemat. On the other hand, the secondary and tertiary levels take care of advanced specialist care through district hospitals or at the sairaalat.

Advantages and disadvantages

It is quite clear that Finland’s public healthcare system has superb hospitals, clinics, and as well as world-class physicians. In this sense, Patients and policyholders are sure of getting a comprehensive, respectful care. And this comes in modern, comfortable world-class facilities.

However, the disadvantages associated with the use of the public health care system is the times it takes to access medical care. The waiting times are so much that sometimes, it could take a couple of weeks just to get an appointment for a normal routine checks. In a similar vein, securing an appointment with a Specialist for a medical care take even longer periods.

As a result of the above and in contrast, the private clinics and hospitals provide a much shorter  waiting periods and this has endeared most individuals to taking a private health insurance coverage.

Health Insurance for Expats in Finland

Finland has becomes a destination for foreigners and expatriates as a result of her iconic and exceptional standard of life and livelihood. There is the existence of very beautiful countryside, and as well as a strong economy.

Most of these expatriates live within the Finland’s capital, Helsinki. The capital city offers excellent services and amenities to them. Although the city is not an economically friendly zone in terms of cost of living, it is however lower in contrast to the New York or London.

Consequently, for any foreigner travelling to the Finland, understanding how health insurance works will be of serious benefit to him/her.


How Expats Can Qualify

Expatriates from other Nordic countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Faroe Island, Greenland, and the Norway have the privilege of receiving the same quality of health care as the citizens of Finland do. Similarly, the only thing the citizens from any of the seven Nordic countries need to do is to provide an ID card to prove eligibility to receive health care.

In a similar vein, European Union (EU) citizens are also eligible to receive medical services at the same rate as Finland citizens. However, such EU citizens must possess the EUROPEAN HEALTH INSURANCE CARD.  The card is a free card that gives the citizens the right to access state-provided medical care when necessary during a temporary visit to or stay in any of the European countries, Iceland, Switzerland Norway and the Liechtenstein as well as the United Kingdom. The medical care is under the same conditions and cost as those Finns who have insurance coverage.

Also, all permanent residents of Finland are eligible for public health insurance. The Social Insurance Institute of Finland called the KELA, issues a personal health insurance card to prospective policyholders. This for KELA card permits expatriates to have access to medical care. In addition, the cost of prescription drugs is also subsidized at the presentation of your KELA Card at the pharmacy.

Registration for Public Health Insurance in Finland by Expatriates

It is a requirement for all expatriates in Finland to register for public health insurance having been working in the country for four months or longer. Upon registration, the registrant receives a Pubic health insurance card known as KELA CARD. The presentation of this card which must be used at each health appointment entitles the holder to medical care. Similarly, those with traditional employment have automatic payroll deductions as contributions to the health system.

How Routine Doctor Visits Work

To pay a routine visit Patients in Finland, patients must call their public health center – known as a terveysasema  to fix an appointment with a doctor or a nurse. However, the patient may see a nurse first depending on the nature of the problem of the health issue. In the event the nurse is of the opinion that the problem is a serious one, a doctor’s appointment follows.

It is to be noted that if you book appointment but fails to show up or show up late, you will be charged for it. This is because Finnish culture puts values punctuality in high esteem.

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