Health insurance for foreign students in Sweden

 Sweden's health systemIt is regulated nationally and administered locally. The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs regulates general health policies; Regions provide financial services and health services, and municipalities are responsible for the elderly and disabled. The budget is primarily financed through regional and municipal taxes. Financial assistance is also provided by the central government and registration is done automatically. Covered services include inpatient, outpatient, dental, mental health and long-term care, as well as prescription drugs. Regions determine the costs of providing services at all levels of care, as well as the co-payment rates for services such as primary care visits and hospitalizations. Dental and pharmaceutical benefits are determined at the national level and the subsidy amount is applied to them. Approximately 13% of working residents have private supplemental coverage, mostly for better access to private specialists.

Everyone living or working in Sweden has equal access to healthcare services provided by the central government, county councils and municipalities. Each of these organizations has different responsibilities related to health care.

Depending on where you are from and how long you plan to stay in Sweden, you may have access to health care services that are available to Swedish citizens. This applies if you are from Nordic countries, the European Union or Switzerland, or if you are from non-EU countries; But you want to stay in Sweden for more than one year, it is true.

?How does overall health coverage work

The Health and Medical Services Act states that the Swedish health system must cover all those with legal residence. Health coverage is general and automatic. Emergency coverage is provided for all patients of the European Union, the countries of the European Economic Area and 9 other countries with which Sweden has bilateral agreements. Asylum seekers and undocumented children have the same right to health services as permanent resident children. Adult asylum seekers and undocumented adults have the right to non-deferrable care such as maternity care.

The three basic principles that apply to all health care in Sweden include:

Human dignity: All human beings have equal dignity and have the same rights regardless of their position in society.

Common need and responsibility: Those who have more urgent conditions are given priority.

Affordability : When costs are estimated, there should be a reasonable balance between costs and revenues, costs that should be reasonable in relation to improving health and quality of life and should be in harmony with the average income of people.

The role of the government: All three levels of the Swedish government system are involved in the health care system.


At the national level, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs is responsible for overall health care policy and regulation, and sets budgets for government agencies and grants to regions, which collaborates with eight national government agencies.

At the regional level, 21 regional institutions are responsible for financing and providing health services to residents.

At the local level, 290 municipalities are responsible for elderly and disabled care, including long-term care.

Local and regional authorities are guided in their decisions by local priorities and national regulations.

At the national level, they are represented by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR). Eight independent government agencies directly involved in medical care and public health:

The National Board of Health and Welfare supervises and licenses all health care personnel, disseminates information, and develops norms and standards for medical care (eg, national guidelines for specific treatment areas). , and through data collection and analysis, ensures that these norms and standards are properly met. The agency is also responsible for recording health data and official statistics.

The Swedish eHealth Agency facilitates information sharing among health and social care professionals and decision makers. Stores and transfers electronic versions issued in Sweden and is responsible for transferring electronic versions abroad. This agency is also responsible for statistics on sales of drugs and medical supplies.

The Health and Social Care Inspectorate is responsible for overseeing health care, social services and activities related to support and services for disabled people. They are also responsible for issuing licenses in those areas.

The Swedish Agency for Health and Care Services Analysis analyzes and evaluates health policy and the availability of health care information for citizens and patients.

The Public Health Agency provides evidence-based knowledge on infectious disease control and public health to the national government, government agencies, municipalities and regions.

The Swedish Health Care Technology Assessment Council promotes the use of cost-effective health care technologies. This council examines and evaluates new treatments from medical, economic, ethical and social points of view.

The Agency for Dental and Drug Benefits is the main agency for evaluating drugs. Since 2002, the agency has decided to cover certain drugs and medical devices. Part of the pricing of these items is based on their original price. The mission of this agency also includes dental care.

Health insurance for foreign students in Sweden  

Staying for one year or more

Students who intend to immigrate to Sweden and stay for one year or more must register to receive a personal number from the Swedish Tax Administration. When students receive their personal number, they are covered by the Swedish national healthcare system. To get a travel visa to Sweden, medical coverage and private assistance are required. Also, upon arrival in Sweden, you need to have your own medical cover and private assistance until you are properly registered by the Swedish Tax Agency. But in general, it is recommended to have medical coverage and private assistance for the entire duration of your studies in Sweden.

 Click on the link to learn about health insurance in Norway and the Netherlands

Staying less than one year :

Students who intend to study in this country for less than one year cannot obtain a personal number from the Swedish Tax Agency and therefore cannot access the Swedish national health care system. However, many universities and colleges in Sweden cover their students through the FAS Kammarkollegiet scheme, so you should contact the university where you have been accepted to see if they offer this scheme. In addition to the Kammarkollegiet insurance, Sweden has reciprocal agreements for medical benefits with a number of different countries. To find out if your country has this type of agreement with Sweden, contact the social insurance office in your country. If you do this, you only need to present your passport and a certificate from the country's social security department if you request medical assistance.

Private health insurance is necessary and recommended for the following reasons:

To obtain a travel visa to Sweden.

To cover medical expenses until registration in Swedish national funds.

To enjoy all insurance benefits during study abroad such as:

Medical treatments (illness and accident) that are not covered by the Swedish national budget.

Return to your country

Ambulance by air, sea and land

Search and rescue

Accidental death and disability benefits

Third party liability insurance

Health insurance for foreign students in Sweden 

Services covered by public insurance

There is no specific coverage package in this country. As regions and municipalities are responsible for organizing and financing health care, services vary somewhat across the country. Broadly speaking, a publicly funded public health system covers the following:

Public health and preventive services

Primary care, including prenatal care

Specialized inpatient and outpatient care

Emergency care

Outpatient and inpatient prescription drugs

Mental health care

Rehabilitation services, including physiotherapy

Disability support services, including durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs and hearing aids

Patient transportation support services

Home care and long-term care, including nursing home care and hospital care

Dental care and optometry for children and young people

Dental care for adults with limited subsidies.

Primary Care : Primary care accounts for about 17% of total health care spending and employs about 16% of all physicians. There are about 1,200 primary care programs. 60% belongs to the regions and the rest belongs to the private sector.

Primary care centers (public and private) are paid through a combination of methods:

Fixed capitation for registered individuals (including 60% – 95% of total payment)

Service fee (5% to 38% of total payment)

Performance-related bonuses (0%-3% of payments) for achieving quality goals related to patient satisfaction, coordination of patient care, compliance with evidence-based guidelines, and other criteria.

Health insurance for foreign students in Sweden  

Outpatient specialized care: specialized outpatient services are provided in university and regional hospitals and private clinics. In both cases, specialists are paid employees (hospitals and clinics). Patients are free to choose a specialist.

Administrative mechanisms for direct patient-to-provider payment: Patients typically pay directly to the patient for primary care and other outpatient visits, including specialist physician visits. In most cases, late payment is also possible for patients.

After-hours care: Primary care providers are required to provide after-hours care. Providers advise registered patients where to go for care through their websites and telephone services. Regions and regional bodies also provide information on how and where to get care through their websites and a national hotline, medical staff available around the clock for treatment advice.

Hospitals: There are seven university hospitals, all of which are government-owned, and about 70 public hospitals are owned by the regions. There are also six private hospitals, three of which are non-profit hospitals. Private hospitals include emergency, orthopedic and surgical centers. All hospital staff are salaried employees.

Mental health care: Mental health care is an integrated part of the health care system and has the same rules and user fees as other health care services. Inpatient and long-term psychiatric specialty care, including substance use disorder services, is available for adults, children, and adolescents. People with minor mental health problems are usually cared for in primary care settings either by a general practitioner or by a psychologist or psychotherapist.

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