KELA: Updated information about the healthcare fee for students in higher education
The social security coverage of persons moving between EU countries is regulated by EU Regulation No. 883/2004. The way the Regulation is interpreted nationally will change to include student health services within the Regulation's scope of application. The Regulation coordinates national social security systems and seeks to prevent situations where persons covered by the Regulation have to pay social insurance contributions in more than one member state.
Under the updated interpretation of the Regulation, students who have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland or the United Kingdom no longer have to pay the student healthcare fee.
Kela will begin to apply the updated interpretation immediately in the collection of fees and the recovery of unpaid fees.
Updated rules governing the obligation to pay the student healthcare fee
The obligation to pay the fee depends on the degree/qualification pursued, registration as attending, and the country in which the student has social security coverage.
The fee must be paid by students who are registered as attending a Finnish higher education institution and are studying for one of the below degrees:
- a bachelor’s or master’s level degree at a university of applied sciences or a bachelor’s level degree at the Police University College
- bachelor's and master's level university degrees
- Executive Assistance Programme at the National Defence University.
Students do not have to pay the healthcare fee if they have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland or the United Kingdom.
Students who have social security coverage from a EU/EEA country or from Switzerland or the United Kingdom and who are studying for any of the degrees listed above may use the services of the Finnish Student Health Service.
More information about this is available on Kela’s website: https://www.kela.fi/web/en/how-to-pay-the-student-healthcare-fee-in-higher-education#EU%20country and https://www.kela.fi/web/en/healthcare-fee-for-students-in-higher-education
Making information available to students
When it comes to new students from abroad or students living abroad but enrolled in a Finnish degree programme, Kela does not have complete information on their coverage under specific national social security systems. Kela is therefore unable to reach out to them personally. This means that such students may, in the coming autumn, receive a letter from Kela informing them of the healthcare fee or reminding them to pay it.
In order for Kela to determine that a student is exempt from the fee, the student must provide Kela with documentation showing that they have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland or the United Kingdom. This can be for instance a copy of the European Health Insurance Card. The documentation must be submitted to Kela’s Overpayment Recovery Centre.
Students can either use the OmaKela e-service to send the document or mail it to Kela, Overpayment Recovery Centre, PL 31, 00056 KELA. Students who live abroad and cannot use the OmaKela e-service can also send secure email to (ulkomaanperinta(at)kela.fi)
Students are recommended to provide the documentation well in advance of the due date for the fee, but the documentation can also be provided after the due date has passed.
July due date + spring term 2023
An important reminder: Students who are required to pay the student healthcare fee and who register as attending for the spring term between 1 February and 31 July must pay the fee by 31 July 2022.
With regard to academic year 2022–2023, it should be noted that students can now pay the fee for autumn term 2022 but not yet for spring term 2023. The amount of the healthcare fee for 2023 will be confirmed in a Government Decree by the end of November.