Before arriving in Sweden, you need to ensure that you have adequate health insurance coverage.
Medical insurance for Nordic, EU/EEA citizens and Switzerland
If you are a citizen of any of the Nordic, EU/EEA countries or Switzerland, you have access to essential health care if you register beforehand at a social insurance office in your home country and obtain a European Health Insurance card. If European health insurance cards are not yet issued in your country, ask for a form E128, or a form E111. With this form you only pay the normal patient fee, just like all other Swedes.
Students that do not register with their social insurance office in their home country need to arrange their own insurance coverage. This is also best done in your home country. Medical treatment is expensive without any form of health insurance.
However, if the local tax office has entered you in the Population Register, you are entitled to all health care and pay the Swedish patient fee.
You should consult the specific rules applicable to you at Försäkringskassan.
Medical insurance for non-EU/EEA citizens: stays of one year or more
As a visiting student, if your study programme is longer than one year, you are entitled to the same health benefits as Swedes. However, you must first register at your tax office and obtain a personal identity number (“personnummer” in Swedish) as soon as you arrive.
The application procedure can take some time, but you will be fully covered if you need medical help during the time it takes to process your application. While you are still waiting for your “personnummer”, you need to show that you have applied for an identity number and civil registration when seeking medical attention.
Please note that this medical insurance does not cover your journey to Sweden or the time you spend in the country prior to applying for civil registration. Thus, to be fully covered for that period, you will need some form of travel insurance.
Non-EU/EEA citizens: stays of less than one year
If you have a residence permit valid for a period of less than a year, you will not be able to obtain a personal identity number (“personnummer” in Swedish), and you do not have automatic access to health care. However, the Swedish university or university college to which you have been accepted may provide you with health insurance coverage through Kammarkollegiet’s FAS plan. Check with your university if they offer this plan. To read more, visit Kammarkollegiet’s information page (Swedish only), or download the FAS terms and conditions (PDF) in English.
In addition to governmental Kammarkollegiet insurance, Sweden has reciprocal agreements for medical benefits with a number of countries. To find out whether your country has such an agreement, you should contact the social insurance office in your home country.
Students from countries with this type of agreement need only present their passport and a certificate from their national social insurance office when seeking medical help. For the reciprocal agreement to apply, the need for medical care must arise during (not prior to) your stay in Sweden.
Students who are not covered by any of these agreements must arrange their own insurance coverage. In Sweden, medical treatment is very expensive without any form of insurance. Either purchase it in your home country, or else check with your student union. It may have a special agreement with an insurance company.
Medical treatment in Sweden
If you need to consult a doctor (and you are covered, see above) you can either make an appointment with the doctor at the student union health centre at your university, or go to the local health clinic, Vårdcentralen. They are listed in the blue pages of the telephone directory. Vårdcentralen will charge you about SEK 150-200 for a consultation.
It might be a good idea to have a thorough check-up at your dentist before leaving for Sweden. Should you still need to consult a dentist here, go to your nearest public dental clinic, Folktandvården. For urgent dental treatment, see the emergency dental clinic, “jourhavande tandläkare”. Doctors speak good English. Your student union may be able to assist you if you would like to consult a doctor that speaks another foreign language.
There are no vaccination requirements for any international traveller entering Sweden. However, some universities may require a medical certificate as part of the application to their programmes.Photo: Yulia Usova