Financing Treatment Abroad

It is now standard practice in many countries that patients may choose for themselves which doctor and which hospital to visit for treatment. Medical travel to find treatment in another country is becoming ever more common. The European Union is promoting medical travel with the EU Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare.

The directive gives a clear message that medical aid is a service that can be received from a service provider chosen from across Europe with costs covered.

The directive makes it easier for any EU citizen with health insurance from one country to receive treatment in any EU country with the costs being covered on the same basis that they would be in the patient’s home country. Patients have the right to seek healthcare abroad and be reimbursed by their national health insurer or health authority as long as they have a right to such a treatment at home, and they will receive reimbursement for up to the amount they would have received for the same or similar treatment at home. Patients will, however, still need to pay the costs of the treatment upfront and then apply for them to be reimbursed later in their home countries. In some countries on some occasions a prior authorisation might still be required. Since the regulations may vary between EU member states, we recommend you investigate in advance the reimbursement conditions for a particular service and service provider in your home country.

For more information about EU directive on cross-border healthcare 2011/24/EU see here and here.
For information about reimbursement in Sweden, see here.
The website of Försäkringskassa. The application form is here.