Pensioners outside the EU/EEA

If you are a pensioner and have moved to another country, you are no longer automatically a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme. If you take up residence outside the EU/EEA, you must apply for voluntary membership of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme in order to be entitled to coverage of expenses on healthcare.

Happy old couple on a bench

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Your rights

If you are a pensioner and take up permanent residence outside the EU/EEA, you must apply for voluntary membership of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme in order to be entitled to coverage of expenses on healthcare.

You must have voluntary membership to be entitled to coverage of expenses on healthcare both abroad and in Norway. This applies regardless of whether you are a disability pensioner, old-age pensioner or AFP pensioner (entitled to a public-sector contractual pension).

When you move out of Norway, you lose the right to a GP even if you have voluntary membership in the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.

Read more about voluntary membership on nav.no (in Norwegian).

Any family members supported by you and who are staying with you abroad are also eligible for voluntary membership subject to application.

If you are a pensioner living in Norway and are on holiday/temporarily resident abroad, you have the same rights as other tourists. Read about being a tourist outside the EU /EEA.

 

Example

Kenneth is a pensioner and is a resident in Thailand. He has applied for and been granted voluntary membership of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme and has been granted this.

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What can you be covered for?

As a voluntary member you are entitled to medical care in the country you have moved to and to have a percentage of your expenses covered subject to the rules on ordinary subsidisation.

You will have to pay the expenses out of pocket and apply to Helfo for reimbursement. Your expenses will then be reimbursed to you at fixed rates. This typically means that the reimbursement you receive is less than what you paid for the medical care.

Read more about what you can be covered for when you are entitled to ordinary subsidisation.

As a pensioner with voluntary membership of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme you retain your right to receive health services during temporary residence in Norway. This means that you also have the option of travelling to Norway to receive treatment, but you will have to pay your own travel expenses.

Family members who have been granted voluntary membership will gain the same rights as you.

Example

After living in Thailand for some time, Kenneth is diagnosed with lung cancer. He investigates the cost of treatment in Thailand and discovers that a reimbursement from Helfo will only cover a small fraction of the cost. Kenneth considers travelling to Norway to receive treatment there. He is entitled to this because he has taken care to retain his membership of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.

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Submit your application

When you submit an application for reimbursement, you must take care to enclose the required documentation.

​You must obtain documentation of all the medical investigations/treatment you have undergone. You must retain the original receipts and the packaging of any medication.

In order for Helfo to consider the claim and reach a decision, the documentation must be comprehensible. This means that all documentation must initially be in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish or English. You should therefore try to get the documentation issued in one of these languages. If the documents are in another language, Helfo can, if necessary, ask you to have them translated. You must pay for the translation yourself. If you send in a translated document, you must also send in the original.

As a voluntary member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme, you can apply for a refund of some of your healthcare expenses using a digital form.

Log in to Helfo's digital form and apply for a refund of expenses (only in Norwegian)

 

Deadline

You must send the application form and documentation to Helfo within 6 months of each treatment date. If you have not settled on the spot but paid later, we calculate the deadline from the payment date.

Paper form

If you are unable to use our digital form, you can complete the following form instead:

Send the application to: Helfo, Postboks 2415, 3104 Tønsberg.

Example

Kenneth has decided to remain in Thailand even if it means he has to cover a large percentage of the costs of treatment himself. However, a fraction will be covered by Helfo. He sends the application form to Helfo, enclosing the original receipts and documentation as proof that he has received the treatment. He takes care to do this within six months from each payment date.

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Power of attorney in connection with enquiries to Helfo

If you contact Helfo on behalf of anyone else, you must have power of attorney for them.

Parents/guardians must also have power of attorney from any children aged 18 or over. In the case of health information, you must have power of attorney from any children aged 16 or over. This is because the age of majority under health law is 16.

Complete the power of attorney form and send it to Helfo as an attachment to a digital form, or send it by post to Helfo, PO Box 2415, 3104 Tønsberg. Remember to enclose a copy of valid identification for the person granting power of attorney.

Content provided by Helfo

Helfo. Pensioners outside the EU/EEA. [Internet]. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate of Health; updated Monday, October 2, 2023 [retrieved Friday, April 19, 2024]. Available from: https://www.helsenorge.no/en/health-rights-living-abroad/pensioners-outside-the-eu-eea/

Last updated Monday, October 2, 2023