Purchase of food products for medical purposes in the EU/EEA

You can get your expenses for food products purchased in another EU/EEA country reimbursed. Go through all the steps in this guide to understand your rights and what you need to do. You will find the claim form in step 3.

Customer and salesperson at a pharmacy

1

Your rights

You can only get reimbursed for expenses for food products that correspond to the products listed in the product and price list.

In order to have the right to claim reimbursement, you must, as a general rule, be a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme. In many cases, your family members may also be entitled to benefits. In principle, Helfo cannot cover expenses for the purchase of food products in an EU/EEA country you are considered to be ordinarily resident in. Click here for important information about eligibility for this scheme.

In order to get a refund, you must have been approved for food products on blue prescription. This means that you must have a decision from Helfo granting you an individual subsidy for food products for medical purposes. It is your doctor who must apply to Helfo for the individual subsidy on your behalf. At the time of purchase, you must fulfil the conditions to receive a refund according to the Blue Prescription Regulation in Norway.  

You can only get reimbursement for food products that correspond to the products stated in Helfo's product and price lists. The maximum reimbursement price is listed there. You will not be reimbursed more than what you have paid for the product. This means that if you have paid more than the maximum price, you must cover the difference yourself.

You can not claim reimbursement for food products purchased through an online pharmacy abroad and sent to Norway.

Example

Janne and her five-month-old son Marcus are staying abroad for four months. Marcus is allergic to milk protein and can only have breast milk substitute. He has a decision from Helfo, and Janne buys breast milk substitute at the pharmacy. Jane makes sure that she buys a product stated in Helfo’s product and price list. The maximum price that can be reimbursed is stated in the list. Janne receives the same reimbursement that she would have received in Norway.

2

Don’t forget the documentation!

It is essential that you remember to obtain the correct documentation.

To apply to Helfo for reimbursement, you must send us:

  • a copy of the prescription (or other confirmation from your doctor) showing that you met the conditions for reimbursement in Norway at the time of the purchase
  • valid decision from Helfo concerning an individual subsidy for food products for medical purposes
  • specified receipts containing the product name, price, and date of purchase 

 

Example

Janne makes sure she retains the prescription and the original receipts stating the food products that she has purchased.

3

Submit your application

Once you have purchased the food products, you can apply to Helfo for reimbursement. Applications must be submitted within six months.

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

 

For details about the applicable documentation requirements, see "Don't forget the documentation". The appropriate forms and documentation must be sent to Helfo within six months from the date of each purchase.

Paper form

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

and send this form together with the necessary documentation to Helfo, Postboks 2415, 3104 Tønsberg.

Example

During her stay abroad, Janne purchased food products for medical purposes on several occasions. She decides to submit a single combined application for reimbursement from Helfo after she and her son have returned home to Norway. She submits a digital form together with the prescription and the original receipts as attachments. Janne makes sure she submits the application within six months of the first purchase of food products.

Guidance Helsenorge

If you have any questions, please call Guidance Helsenorge: +47 23 32 70 00

4

Exemption card

Several types of healthcare provide entitlement to an exemption card for healthcare expenses once you have paid user fees up to a certain amount (the user-fee limit).

This also applies if the healthcare is received in another EU/EEA country.

The user fee payable will be calculated during processing of your claim for reimbursement for treatment abroad. This user fee will be entered in the user-fee registry and will form the basis for a healthcare exemption card. If you already hold an exemption card, the user fee will be paid to you together with the reimbursement.

Once you have been issued with an exemption card by Helfo, you will no longer have to pay user fees for healthcare covered by the exemption card scheme. The exemption card is valid in Norway. In other EU/EEA countries you must pay for treatment out of pocket.

Read more about maximum user fees and which types of healthcare are comprised by the exemption card system.

Content provided by Helfo

Helfo. Purchase of food products for medical purposes in the EU/EEA. [Internet]. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate of Health; updated Wednesday, July 5, 2023 [retrieved Saturday, March 2, 2024]. Available from: https://www.helsenorge.no/en/treatment-abroad/purchase-of-food-products-for-medical-purposes-in-the-eueea/

Last updated Wednesday, July 5, 2023