Frequently asked questions for students outside the EU/EEA
Are you going to study outside of Europe? Will you have your family with you? Are you going to study in Canada or the USA? Here you can find answers to important health care related questions.
I will have my family with me during my studies outside the EU/EEA. What should I organise in terms health care services for them before we leave?
Spouses and own children who, pursuant to the Norwegian National Insurance Act, do not have independent rights to benefits for health care services abroad, can apply for voluntary membership in the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme. The application must be sent to NAV.
A spouse is considered to be
- a person who has entered into marriage pursuant to the Norwegian Marriage Act or has entered into marriage abroad that is recognised in Norway
- a cohabitant where the cohabiting couple have or have had joint children, or were previously married to one another
Children refers to people under the age of 18.
If the stay is intended to be for less than one year and the accompanying spouse is not working, the spouse shall retain membership in the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme and will be considered a tourist. This means that the accompanying spouse is not entitled to coverage of expenses for health care services in the country of study and has to take out private insurance. The spouse is still entitled to health care services in Norway.
Benefits from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund are intended to support one person. As a student with a loan from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund, you are therefore considered to be the provider for your own children, but not your spouse.
Are there any special rules for coverage of expenses for health care services for Norwegian students in the USA?
If you study in the USA and either receive support from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund or have voluntary membership in the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme, you may use the American insurance agent Optum (previously known as Equian). They can assist you in finding the right medical practitioner and can provide guarantees throughout the entire USA. You then avoid having to pay yourself if you incur large expenses due to illness.
Optum can provide confirmation for your institution that you are covered for healthcare expenses you might incur during your studies abroad. In most cases, your Optum cover will be approved by the institution, and you will be exempt from having to take out health insurance through them. However, approval of Optum cover is discretionary on the part of the institution. At certain institutions, you may be required to take out separate health insurance.
If you choose to use Optum, you have to use Optum for all of your health care expenses in the USA.
Helfo will share your personal- and health information with Optum. This will be done in accordance with the privacy laws. If you, however, do not wish to share your personal information, please contact Helfo. You will then have to pay for any health expenses and request a refund from Helfo afterwards.
I am going to study in Canada. What health care am I entitled to there?
In most cases, the documentation from Helfo confirming your health care entitlements outside of Norway will be approved by the institution, and you will be exempt from having to take out health insurance through them. However, approval is discretionary on the part of the institution. At certain institutions, you may be required to take out separate health insurance.
I have heard that Norway and Quebec have entered into a separate social security agreement for students in Quebec Province
That is correct. Under this agreement, students at colleges and universities in Quebec are entitled to health care services in Quebec in accordance with the rules there. The same applies for accompanying dependent family members. By having this right, you are no longer entitled to coverage from the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme
Please note that the rules for coverage of health care costs may be different than in Norway. For example, you must have your own insurance to cover the cost of medicines. Familiarize yourself with the rules that apply at Régie de l´assurance maladie du Quebéc.
If you receive support from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund to study in Quebec, you will automatically receive a document/letter from Helfo confirming that you are covered by the social security agreement between Norway and Quebec. The document will be sent to your address that is registered in the Norwegian National Registry. It takes approximately 15 working days from when the support is approved until you receive confirmation.
If you do not receive support from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund while studying in Quebec, you have to send the following information to Helfo, Postboks 2415, 3104 Tønsberg:
- Name and date of birth.
- Information about the type of citizenship you hold.
- Study documentation issued by the educational institution. The documentation must clearly state that you are undertaking organised studies in Quebec, the period of time in which you study/will study at the educational institution and the scope of the studies (full-time/number of hours per week).
- If you are an exchange student: written confirmation from the university/school in Norway that the planned period of study in Quebec will be undertaken in connection with studies in Norway.