Private health insurance

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Shenz
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:06 pm

Private health insurance

Post by Shenz » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:37 pm

Hello,

I am in the situation in which I was until recently covered by a (non-Finnish) private health insurance. This was very useful because I could easily go to Mehiläinen or Terveystalo when needed without having waiting queues.

I do not longer have this benefit anymore, but instead I applied and got a Kela card. When discussing about the health care in Finland with my Finnish colleagues they often say that getting an appointment can be challenging. We also heard stories from Finnish friends with tooth problems or in need of foot surgery that they had to wait a couple of weeks before getting help from public healthcare. But in general they are satisfied with the provided health care as such.

So I am still considering to sign up for a private health insurance, but one of the things I noticed so far is that none of the insurances cover for dental issues related to necessary "plumbing" work such as braces, plugging holes in your teeth, placing a crown...

I have the following questions:
  1. What are your experiences with private health insurance? Do you recommend it or do you see it as a total waste of money (as long as you don't need it, it always is 8) )
  2. What is your experience with public healthcare?
  3. Are there any Finnish private health insurance providers which also cover for dental issues not caused by incidents
Thank you for your feedback.



Private health insurance

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FinlandGirl
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Private health insurance

Post by FinlandGirl » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:49 pm

Shenz wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:37 pm
  1. What are your experiences with private health insurance? Do you recommend it or do you see it as a total waste of money (as long as you don't need it, it always is 8) )
Does it make sense for you financially?
For emergencies you can go to the public hospital.
For non-urgent treatments and regular check-ups the waiting times of public healthcare are not a huge problem.
If you want urgent treatment once per year it is cheaper to just book an appointment directly at a specialist and pay the 100-200 Euro yourself.

For expensive necessary treatments you are anyway covered by the public healthcare.
Shenz wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:37 pm
  • What is your experience with public healthcare?
Long waiting times, but otherwise overall OK.
Shenz wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:37 pm
  • Are there any Finnish private health insurance providers which also cover for dental issues not caused by incidents
The business model of an insurance company is that on average you have to pay more than the insurance has to pay.
Crowns or implants tend to cost more than 1000 Euro, and it would be impossible to provide dental insurance at an affordable price unless pre-existing conditions are excluded.

Shenz
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:06 pm

Re: Private health insurance

Post by Shenz » Tue May 05, 2020 7:35 pm

My apologies for the late delay in reply. I want to share my personal experience in case if somebody is having the same question in future.

One week after I posted this topic my child had to go to a doctor. We called in the morning to the public healthcare to make an appointment. This took about half an hour before we got somebody on the phone. (Our Finnish friends told us that we had to call as soon as the healthcare center was open in the morning and that we should not give up waiting, even if a voice in the phone was suggesting to call you back later just do not even consider that.) The nurse on the phone asked what the problem was to assign to us a proper doctor and we got an appointment the same day (propably due to the symptoms of my child). Anyway, we went to the healthcare center in the afternoon and the appointment was a bit delayed but we have to admit that despite the mostly negative stories from our Finnish friends we were truly satisfied by the service.

Still waiting for the invoice... :D

I know that private health insurance might be considered as something non-essential. If you do not need it for 20 years then one can say it is waste of money but the one time you can make use of it you will not think about that anymore. Yes, I agree, it would ease my mind to have it. In case of a serious injury to what extent the public healthcare will help you to go through it? That is my worry.

That said, so far my experience with public healthcare is positive. But I am still impressed how many of our Finnish friends have a negative perception of the public healthcare especially with the ongoing transformation of the healthcare system which started a few years ago.

FinlandGirl
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Private health insurance

Post by FinlandGirl » Tue May 05, 2020 8:13 pm

Shenz wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 7:35 pm
We called in the morning to the public healthcare to make an appointment. This took about half an hour before we got somebody on the phone. (Our Finnish friends told us that we had to call as soon as the healthcare center was open in the morning and that we should not give up waiting, even if a voice in the phone was suggesting to call you back later just do not even consider that.) The nurse on the phone asked what the problem was to assign to us a proper doctor and we got an appointment the same day (propably due to the symptoms of my child). Anyway, we went to the healthcare center in the afternoon and the appointment was a bit delayed but we have to admit that despite the mostly negative stories from our Finnish friends we were truly satisfied by the service.

Still waiting for the invoice... :D
Depends on where you are.
In Helsinki there are no fees on municipal healthcare, only in the hospitals.
Shenz wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 7:35 pm
I know that private health insurance might be considered as something non-essential. If you do not need it for 20 years then one can say it is waste of money but the one time you can make use of it you will not think about that anymore. Yes, I agree, it would ease my mind to have it. In case of a serious injury to what extent the public healthcare will help you to go through it? That is my worry.
With a serious injury you would go to a public hospital, not to a private healthcare center.
Finnish hospitals are at normal first world level, they are not the problem.
Shenz wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 7:35 pm
That said, so far my experience with public healthcare is positive. But I am still impressed how many of our Finnish friends have a negative perception of the public healthcare especially with the ongoing transformation of the healthcare system which started a few years ago.
The main problem with the public healthcare is a lack of political will to properly fund it.
All this "transformation" is just trying to shift the blame for the fact that politicians do not want to spend sufficient money on it.
Doctors get more money in private healthcare, so that's where the better doctors are.
In private healthcare you get an appointment immediately, in public healthcare you wait for non-urgent GP appointments a month and for specialist appointments several months. The same is true for many examinations.


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