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Cancer and your financies

Having cancer can radically undermine your and your family’s financial situation. Even in the early stages of the disease it is good to bear in mind that dealing with various expenses, benefits and reimbursements will require some effort on your part.

It is best not to delay finding out about benefits

Laws and regulations provide for benefits and compensation. But it’s up to you to find out about them and apply for such things as compensation. It is best not to delay doing this, as many benefits may have to be applied for within deadlines.

But you don’t have to do all of this alone. You can get advice and information about benefits from hospital social workers, the Social Insurance Institution, the benefits advice phone service of the Cancer Society of Finland and your insurance company. You should also ask your workplace supervisor or occupational health official about available work-related benefits.

Cancer patients’ expenses

As a cancer patient, you will find that various expenses accumulate from such things as health centre fees, hospital and treatment fees and medical certificates.

Health centres charge a fee per visit, which may be levied for three visits to the same health centre within a single calendar year. Another option is to pay an annual fee. Most health centres also charge for emergency visits during evenings and weekends. General information on client fees is available on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Client fees(opens in a new window)

Hospitals may charge for such things as outpatient visits, outpatient surgical procedures, a per diem fee for in-patients and for serial treatments per session.

X-ray and laboratory tests are free of charge for cancer patients if they are to do with outpatient visits. Medical certificates are not charged for at health centres, if the certificate concerns treatment such as a certificate for sick leave to give your employer. Other doctors’ certificates carry a fee.

You may have to pay a penalty charge at a health centre and hospital for unused appointments, for example with a health centre doctor or for costly imaging examinations

There is an annual cap to public health care costs. Patients must themselves check when the cost ceiling is reached. To do this you can use a tracking card available from your health centre. User fees for family members under the age of 18 can be marked up on a parent’s expense tracking card. Make sure you keep all original payment receipts. The medical institution treating you and where you have reached the payment cap will issue you a document to verify this.

The Social Insurance Institution (Kela) does not reimburse public health care user fees.

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