Entitlement to healthcare in Iceland

Réttur til heilbrigðisþjónustu á Íslandi
Here you will find information on what healthcare services you are entitled to in Iceland.

Social insurance for persons residing and working in Iceland

You can only be registered for social insurance in one country at a time. Social insurance provides financial protection for families and children, the handicapped and disabled, persons who have suffered accidents at work and the elderly. The social insurance system in Iceland is divided into pensions, accident and health insurance. Social insurance covers persons domiciled in Iceland.


A person who has given notice of change of residence (registered as domiciled in Iceland) and has submitted an application for social insurance registration when moving from the Nordic countries will be covered by health insurance in Iceland once confirmation of coverage by healthcare insurance in the former country of residence has been received. The healthcare insurance is then valid from the date of registered domicile in Iceland. The individuals are then entitled to the same healthcare and dental care services as other Icelanders. Persons who have Icelandic health insurance pay a lower fee for general healthcare service and enjoy a wide range of other benefits not available to non-insured persons.


While the application is being processed, individuals are uninsured. If you need medical services while your application is being processed, you can present your European Health Insurance Card from the previous country of residence, if you have such a card, and then pay as a person with health insurance, or pay as a person without health insurance and apply for reimbursement from Icelandic Health Insurance one your health insurance has been approved with retroactive effect. You then need to submit an application for reimbursement of the Icelandic healthcare costs, along with invoices and confirmation of payment or receipts at laeknareikningar@sjukra.is.

    Returning to Iceland within 12 months

    Persons who move back to Iceland from other Nordic countries within 12 months will automatically have health insurance once they have registered their domicile with Registers Iceland (Þjóðskrá).


    Students returning from the Nordic countries within six months from the end of their course of study can provide confirmation of their study during the period concerned together with an application for health insurance registration to be insured immediately upon the date of registration.

    Persons who live in other Nordic countries but are working in Iceland

    Nordic citizens who work temporarily or are self-employed in Iceland can remain insured in the social insurance system of the country where they previously resided.

    Persons who live in Iceland but are working in another Nordic country

    An individual living in Iceland who is employed in another Nordic country is generally covered by social insurance in the country of employment. A person who becomes ill is generally entitled to care in the country of employment and also in Iceland.

    European Health Insurance Card

    Persons who are covered by social insurance in Iceland are entitled to receive a European Health Insurance Card.

    The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is used if the card holder becomes ill or is injured in another EEA country or Switzerland. It confirms the right to healthcare needed during a temporary stay in the EEA and Switzerland.

    Healthcare services during temporary stays in Iceland

    Residents of other Nordic countries can visit primary healthcare clinics and hospitals if necessary and pay the same fee as persons with health insurance in Iceland. They must present a European Health Insurance Card and a passport confirming the nationality of the person concerned.


    Pre-arranged medical treatment in another Nordic country

    Individuals with health insurance in Iceland are entitled by law to healthcare wherever they choose within the EEA, subject to certain conditions.

      Healthcare services in Iceland during temporary residence abroad

      Individuals have health insurance in the country in which they are employed and are not entitled to healthcare in Iceland despite being domiciled there unless, for example, they present a European Health Insurance Card when they see a physician.

      Students and pensioners are entitled to healthcare service in Iceland despite being domiciled abroad..

      Healthcare in Iceland for persons working in more than one country 

      When a person works in more than one country, it is always the country in which he/she earns the greatest portion of income that is to provide health insurance.

      Pensioners domiciled in another EEA country or Switzerland who receive a pension from Iceland have health insurance in Iceland on the basis of income.

      What does healthcare cost, and is financial support available?

      Under the patient-participation system for healthcare in Iceland, no person is to pay more than a certain maximum amount each month for healthcare. These amounts are specified in a Regulation on patients’ participation in the cost of healthcare.

      All payments for services provided at primary healthcare centres and hospitals, healthcare provided by independent physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and psychologists who have agreements with Icelandic Health Insurance are included in this system. Furthermore, payments for treatment of dermatological diseases, provided by healthcare professionals other than physicians according to agreements, are covered.


      Dental care

      All children who have health insurance in Iceland are entitled to free dental care if they have a registered family dentist. An appointment fee must be paid once every 12 months. Icelandic Health Insurance reimburses part of the cost of dental care for the elderly, pension recipients and children.


      Who should I contact if I have questions?

      For more information see the website of the Icelandic Health Insurance (Sjúkratrygging Íslands). You can also get information from a service advisor by telephone at +354 515 0000. 

      Contact the authorities
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      Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.

      NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.

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