Students in universities and universities of applied sciences (polytechnics) who are entitled to use the services of the Finnish Student Health Service (YTHS) must pay a healthcare fee to Kela.
The student healthcare fee must be paid by all students who are completing a degree at a Finnish institution of higher education and have registered as attending for the term.
As announced by the Social Security Institution last spring, Kela will have administrative responsibility for providing health services to higher education students, including the collection of a healthcare fee, since 1 January 2021.
Higher education students must for the first time pay the healthcare fee to Kela for the spring term 2021.
"The fee can now be paid," the Social Security said Tuesday in a press release.
Starting 1 January 2021, the Finnish Student Health Service (Finnish abbreviation YTHS) will provide services not only to students of traditional universities but also to students of universities of applied sciences.
According to Kela, the fee is used to finance health services for higher education students. The State finances 77% of the health services for higher education students and the rest, 23%, is financed through the healthcare fee.
35.80 euros per term in 2021
The amount of the fee is specified in a Government decree, which will be issued annually. In 2021, the student healthcare fee in higher education will be 35.80 euros per term. Students are not billed for the fee but are expected to pay it by their own initiative twice a week (once per term).
The due date of payment is determined based on the date on which the student has registered as attending. For the spring term, the healthcare fee must be paid by 31 January at the latest, provided the student has registered as attending by then. It can be paid via Kela's e-service or as a bank transfer.
Students who do not pay the fee by the due date will get a reminder and a late-payment charge of 5 euros.
International and exchange students
Only students who are pursuing a degree in a Finnish higher education institution are eligible for student health services. Because exchange students who come from another country are not pursuing a degree in a Finnish institution, they are not eligible for student health services. EU citizens can use the public healthcare services. Students from other countries must have private health insurance.
Students who are pursuing a degree at a Finnish institution of higher education must pay the healthcare fee for the months of attendance even when they pursue studies abroad. The healthcare fee does not have to be paid if the student has registered as non-attending for the whole term.