Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Norway - Healthcare services

In what situation can I claim?

If you have planned to reside in Norway for more than 1 year because of work or study, and you need healthcare services during your stay, the National Insurance Scheme may cover you for parts of the healthcare costs.

If your stay is intended to be for less than 1 year, you must have a European Health Insurance Card in order to be covered for treatment costs.

What conditions do I need to meet?

Everyone is entitled to healthcare services in Norway, but you must be a member of the National Insurance Scheme in order to be entitled to coverage for healthcare services. As an EEA citizen, you automatically become a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme on the first day you start work in Norway, which means that you are entitled to coverage for healthcare costs from the first day. As an EEA citizen, you should not pay a higher co-payment amount than persons who are members of the National Insurance Scheme who are resident in Norway.

If your period of work or study is less than 1 year, you must have a European Health Insurance Card in order for treatment costs to be covered.

You may be covered by mutual social security agreements which Norway has signed with countries outside the EEA area, which means that different rules apply to you. The Nordic Convention on Social Assistance and Social Services covers the Nordic countries, including the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

To find out more about how this social services convention may affect you, you can read more about the Nordic Convention here.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

If your stay in Norway is less than 1 year, but you are not covered by the European Health Insurance Card, you may apply for voluntary membership of the National Insurance Scheme in order to be covered for your healthcare costs in Norway.

Acute illness/injury (admission to hospital)

If you are staying in Norway temporarily and are admitted to hospital, all costs relating to your treatment and food are covered, and no co-payment is required. Even if you are not a member of the National Insurance Scheme, you are entitled to receive assistance if you are suddenly taken ill. The fees are only covered by the government/National Insurance Scheme if you have a European Health Insurance Card or are covered by a mutual social security agreement signed by Norway and a country outside the EEA area.

Medicines on prescription

Prescription medicines may be covered by the National Insurance Scheme, depending on whether the particular medication is on a blue or a white prescription. If the medication is on a blue prescription, the patient pays a co‑payment of 39% of the cost of the prescription, up to NOK 520 per prescription. Children under the age of 16 and pensioners receiving the minimum pension do not have to pay any co-payment.

If there are several alternatives available, the pharmacist will dispense the cheapest alternative unless there is a medical reason indicating otherwise.

You can look up whether your medication is covered by the blue prescription scheme on the refund list here (in Norwegian only).

To receive medication on the blue prescription list, you must obtain a prescription from a doctor (regular GP or other).

If you have paid co-payments for blue prescription medication exceeding NOK 2 258 in 1 year, you will automatically be issued with a healthcare exemption card that exempts you from further co-payments for the remainder of the calendar year. Read more about the healthcare exemption card here.

If the prescription for the medication is not on a blue prescription (but on a white prescription), the fee may still be covered if annual costs exceed NOK 1 858 and the medication is not on an exception list, such as addictive medicines, etc. You can look up various exceptions via this link (in Norwegian only). (All exceptions are listed under 'no subsidy is available for:'). The National Insurance Scheme covers 90% of costs that exceed NOK 1 858).

In order to be covered through the subsidy scheme, you must first buy the medication yourself, and then submit the receipts and application to HELFO (Norwegian Health Economics Administration). (There are some exceptions to this, such as for persons with long-term illnesses, cancer or auto-immune diseases. These persons may be covered for the relevant medication without having to buy it themselves first.)

Read more about what is covered and not covered, and how you can benefit from the subsidy scheme here.

Regular GP

Everyone who is resident in Norway is entitled to be registered with their own regular GP.

The standard co-payment for a consultation with a regular GP is NOK 152. To be allocated to a regular GP, or to change your regular GP, telephone +47 810 59 500, or visit the Norwegian Health Economics Administration (HELFO) website.

The total annual co-payment cap for visits to your regular GP, medication on blue prescriptions and other healthcare services covered by the scheme with co-payment cap 1 is NOK 2 258. If costs go above this cap, you will automatically be sent a healthcare exemption card, which means that you will not have to pay any more co-payments for healthcare services covered by the scheme for the remainder of the calendar year.

Read more about the healthcare exemption card here.

Vaccinations

In accordance with the national childhood vaccination programme, vaccination of children is free. Costs for vaccinations for children and adults for protection related to travel outside Norway is not covered by the National Insurance Scheme.

Dental health

Children and young people up to the age of 18, persons with mental handicaps and elderly people who are receiving care services from the municipality are entitled to free dental treatment from the public dental service (county authority). Young people aged between 19 and 20 are entitled to public dental treatment, but they must pay a reduced co-payment. Other adults must visit a private dentist and pay the treatment costs themselves. The National Insurance Scheme covers the cost of treatment by dentists or dental hygienists if patients are suffering from certain illnesses.

Jargon busters

  • Co-payment: A co-payment is the portion of the costs that you must pay yourself when only a certain portion is covered by the National Insurance Scheme;
  • Blue prescription: Prescription medicines which are covered fully or partly by the National Insurance Scheme;
  • White prescription: Prescription medicines which are not generally covered by the National Insurance Scheme. However, it is possible to receive a subsidy towards the costs if the annual costs exceed NOK 1 858.

Know your rights

The links below direct you to websites that describe your legal rights, but they are not part of the European Commission's websites. The Commission is therefore not responsible for the content.

The Commission's publications and websites:

Who do you need to contact?

  • For consultations and treatment for an illness or injury, contact your regular GP or local Public Emergency Room;
  • To be assigned a regular GP or to change your regular GP, contact the Norwegian Health Economics Administration (HELFO). Telephone: +47 815 70 030. Website: https://helfo.no/english

If you need emergency medical assistance, telephone 113 for an ambulance.

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