Social Security and Health Care
Social security and health care issues are handled both by the The Finnish Social Insurance Institution (KELA) and municipalities in Finland. KELA administers and pays social security benefits to permanent residents of Finland (residence -based social security). Primary health care services are the responsibility of municipalities and are generally provided through local health centres.
Entitlement to Finnish Social Security Coverage
Coverage by the Finnish social security system requires that you are either moving permanently to Finland or working in Finland. The scope of social security coverage of employees is also determined by the citizenship of the employees and the intended length of their employment.
For more precise information, please see: www.kela.fi/web/en/working-in-finland_employees-and-self-employed-persons
Researchers working on a grant
Researchers working on a grant are usually not covered by the Finnish social security system since their stay in Finland is considered temporary. However, if the research work continues for more than a year, you have financing for more than a year and all other circumstances also indicate permanent residence in Finland, you can, as a rule, be covered by the Finnish social security system on the basis of permanent residence.
Researchers from the EU/EEA countries who carryout research work or pursue postgraduate studies in Finland financed through a Finnish grant which entails the obligation to take out insurance under the Farmers' Pensions Act for at least four months, you are covered by the Finnish social security system for the duration of your research work or postgraduate studies. Coverage under the Finnish social security system has to be applied for with Kela.
For more precise information, please see: www.kela.fi/web/en/moving-to-finland_study-or-research-in-finland
Information on family members' eligibility for social security benefits in Finland can be found here (kela.fi).
Social security matters are quite complex and many different factors have affect on the decision concerning social security benefits. Therefore, it is advisable to contact the local KELA office or In To - Finland service point that has been designed especially for foreign employees coming to work in Finland.
Local Kela Offices
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.00-16.00
- Joensuu:Koulukatu 24 and Puronsuunkatu 1
- Kuopio: Suokatu 40 and Jalkasenkatu 7
- Savonlinna: Kirkkokatu 8
- Moving to or from Finland (kela.fi)
- About Finnish social security in Russian, Estonian, French and German (kela.fi)
- EU Social Security Coordination (ec.europa.eu)
- Moving within Europe - which country is responsible for your social security rights? (ec.europa.eu)
- General Collective Agreement for Universities (sivistystyonantajat.fi)
- Social security agreements (kela.fi)
- Finnish Social Security (infopankki.fi)
- Social Security (Expat Finland)
To apply for Kela's social security coverage, please submit the Y77e form to your local Kela office. You will receive a written decision about whether you have been enrolled in the Finnish social security system. If the decision is positive, you will be sent a personal health insurance card (Kela card). Unfortunately, decisions of Kela are only issued in the official languages of Finland (i.e. Finnish or Swedish). If you have difficulties with understanding the decision, please contact Kela. If you cannot find a common language, Kela's customers are entitled to interpreter services free of charge.
If you have been enrolled in the Finnish social security system you will get a KELA card. It proves that you belong to the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme of Finland. By presenting your KELA card at pharmacies or many private medical clinics, you can get a direct, on-the-spot reimbursement for your costs.