Monday January 18, 2021

164,000 student yet to pay healthcare fee

Published : 14 Jan 2021, 01:52

Updated : 14 Jan 2021, 10:37

  DF Report

DF File Photo.

About 164,000 students who have registered to date for the spring session did not pay the newly introduced student healthcare fee to the national social insurance institution Kela, said Kela in a press release on Wednesday.

The current year is the first year in which students in higher education are required to pay a healthcare fee to Kela. The students registered as attending the spring term must pay the fee by 31 January.

Students who attend a traditional university or a university of applied sciences (Polytechnic Institute) and who are entitled to use the services of the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) have the obligation to pay a healthcare fee to Kela.

Although the students have been able to pay the fee since 30 November 2020 either through their bank or on Kela’s e-service, a total of 90,000 students have paid it until now.

Kela is sending a letter from 11 January to students who have registered as attending the spring semester but have not yet paid the fee to do so by early January.

The letter will inform them of their liability to pay the fee and explain how to pay it.

The letter will not be sent to students whose payment is registered at Kela or who have not registered as attending. Students will be able to read the letter on Kela’s e-service immediately after it has been mailed.

In 2021, the student healthcare fee in higher education will be EUR 35.80 per term. Students are not billed for the fee but are expected to pay it unprompted.

Students who register as attending the spring term but do not pay the healthcare fee by 31 January will get a letter from Kela reminding them to pay it with an additional late fee of five euros.

Kela can withhold the healthcare fee and the late fee from study grant payments without consulting the students concerned.

If the fee cannot be withheld from the study grant payments, the healthcare fee will be referred to the enforcement authorities for collection.

The fee is used to finance healthcare services for higher education students. The state finances 77% of the healthcare services costs for higher education students and the rest, 23%, are financed through the healthcare fee. The amount of the fee is specified in a government decree, which will be issued annually.