Reminder for higher education students to pay the student healthcare fee to Kela

Higher education students who are entitled to student healthcare must pay a healthcare fee to Kela for each spring and autumn term. Students who are entitled to student healthcare can use the services available from the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS).

You can use FSHS services if you have registered as attending for the autumn term 2021, and one of the below applies to you:

  • you are studying for a bachelor's or master's degree in a university
  • you are studying for a bachelor's or master's degree in a university of applied sciences
  • you are studying for a bachelor’s degree at the Police University College
  • you are studying in the Executive Assistance Programme at the National Defence University.

If you are entitled to FSHS services, you must pay the student healthcare fee. You cannot get an exemption for example for using occupational health services instead of FSHS, or for not receiving any financial aid for students.

You are entitled to use the student healthcare services to the end of the term for which you have registered as attending. If you graduate part way through a term, you are entitled to use the healthcare services until the end of that term.

For more information on the services available from the Finnish Student Health Service, see its website.

If you attend Högskolan på Åland or a contract-based educational programme, you are not entitled to use FSHS services. In that case, you do not have to pay the healthcare fee.

How to pay the healthcare fee in higher education  

The healthcare fee must be paid on your own initiative

In 2021, the student healthcare fee in higher education is EUR 35.80 per term. The fee is paid to Kela once per term, i.e. twice a year. You are not billed for the fee but are expected to pay it on your own initiative.

The due date for paying the student healthcare fee is determined based on the date on which you register as attending:

  • For the autumn term, the due date is 30 September provided you have registered as attending by then. If you register as attending for the autumn term on or after 1 October, the due date is 31 December.
  • For the spring term, the due date is 31 January provided you have registered as attending by then. If you register as attending for the spring term on or after 1 February, the due date is 31 July.

There is an application in OmaKela which you can use to pay the healthcare fee. Instructions for paying the healthcare fee. The instructions also explain how to pay the fee if you cannot use OmaKela. Please make sure to pay the fee for the correct term.

If you do not pay the healthcare fee by the due date, Kela will send you a reminder. If your payment is late, you will also be charged a late-payment penalty of EUR 5, which is specified by law. Please note that if your payment is overdue, you can no longer use the OmaKela application to pay the fee. Instructions for payment and information about the recovery of overdue payments can be found in OmaKela.

If you do not pay the healthcare fee after having been reminded of it, Kela can withhold the fee and the late-payment fee from your study grant payments without consulting you. If the fee and the late-payment charge cannot be withheld from the study grant payments, the healthcare fee will be referred to the enforcement authority for collection.

Exchange students and international students

Under the law, only students who are pursuing a degree in a Finnish higher education institution and are registered as attending for the current term are eligible for student health services.

If you are an exchange student who comes from another country, you are not pursuing a degree in a Finnish higher education institution, and are thus not eligible for FSHS services. EU citizens can use the public healthcare services. Students from other countries must have private health insurance.

If you are completing a higher education degree at a Finnish higher education institution, you have to pay the healthcare fee for the months of attendance even when you pursue studies abroad. Where you live is not important.

If you are enrolled in a degree programme at a Finnish higher education institution and have registered as non-attending for the current term, you do not have to pay the healthcare fee.

Read more: Medical treatment in international situations. 

The Act on Student Health Services for Students in Higher Education entered into force on 1 January 2021

Since 1 January 2021, Kela has had administrative responsibility for providing access to health services for higher education students and for collecting a specific healthcare fee. Since 1 January 2021, the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) has provided services not only to students of traditional universities but also to students of universities of applied sciences.

The fee is used to finance healthcare services for higher education students. The Act defines the fee as a tax-like charge levied irrespective of whether a student uses student health services. The State finances 77% of the costs for healthcare services for higher education students and the rest, 23%, are financed through the healthcare fee. The amount of the fee is specified in a Government decree, which will be issued annually.

Learn more