Coverage of healthcare expenses in the USA for students, posted workers and pensioners who are entitled to extended subsidisation

From 12 September 2022, Norway will cease to have a special arrangement to cover healthcare expenses in the USA. Find out more about what this will mean for you if you are a student, posted worker or pensioner in the USA.

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If you are a full-time student studying abroad or an employee of a Norwegian employer who has been posted abroad to work in another country, you may be entitled to extended subsidisation. Some pensioners are also entitled to extended subsidisation. Find out more about what extended subsidisation covers in connection with stays abroad.

In the USA, Norway has for many years had an agreement with a US insurance agent which has assisted students, posted employees and pensioners with regard to access to healthcare, and coverage of healthcare expenses. The current agreement with the insurance agent Optum ends on 11 September 2022.

The European Court of Justice pronounced a landmark judgment in 2020 (the Schrems II judgement) concerning the transfer of personal data to countries outside the EU/EEA. The judgement means that this special arrangement can no longer continue.

Without the special arrangement, you will have to use your private health insurance or pay for the treatment yourself and apply to Helfo for reimbursement afterwards. Your rights to have your expenses relating to essential healthcare services reimbursed under the Norwegian National Insurance Act are the same as before.

Helfo recommends that you take out private health insurance.

Students who are already registered with Optum

The agreement between Norway and Optum is valid until 11 September 2022. If you are already registered with Optum, you must therefore continue to use their services until this date.

If you need healthcare before 11 September 2022, you must contact Optum in order to use their services.

Optum will no longer be able to issue a waiver confirming your health rights for the 2022/2023 academic year. You will need to contact your place of study to find out what insurance cover they will require.

Students starting a course in the USA in autumn 2022

Most places of study in the USA require you to have health insurance. Contact your place of study to find out what insurance cover they will require.

If, while studying in the USA, you need healthcare services that are not covered by your insurance, you will have to pay for the treatment yourself and apply to Helfo for reimbursement afterwards. Find out more about the rules that apply to you on the "Students outside the EU/EEA" website.

Posted employees

The agreement between Norway and Optum is valid until 11 September 2022. If you are already registered with Optum, you must continue to use their services until this date. You should therefore contact Optum if you need healthcare services.

Your employer is obliged to cover expenses for healthcare services that you need during your posting. This obligation applies to all employees, but not to their family members living in the USA with you.

From 12 September 2022, you and your family members will no longer be able to use Optum. Helfo recommends that you contact your employer about insurance for you and your family members.

If you or your family have paid for healthcare services yourself, you can send an application to Helfo to have these expenses reimbursed. Find out more about what extended subsidisation covers in connection with stays abroad.

Pensioners entitled to extended subsidisation

The agreement between Norway and Optum is valid until 11 September 2022. If you are already registered with Optum, you must continue to use their services until this date. You should therefore contact Optum if you need healthcare services.

After this, you must either take out private health insurance or pay for the treatment yourself and apply for reimbursement afterwards. Find out more about what extended subsidisation covers in connection with stays abroad.