There is a misconception that healthcare is free in Norway. Not quite. The only people who get absolutely free healthcare are those under 16 and those who are pregnant (and that is only for pregnancy related healthcare!). The rest of us has to pay up to a NOK 2040 cap per individual a year. Those who require physiotherapy, special forms of dental care and rehabilitation are also required to pay another NOK 2620 cap on top of the regular cap. That means every individual has to pay for all their doctors appointments and specialist appointments, such as gynecologists, until they have paid all the excess. You have to pay for the doctors time, the instruments used, even the bandages. Like any insurance, the Norwegian National Insurance requires people to pay an excess. The National Healthcare does not include any regular dental care. This applies to ALL residents in Norway – Norwegians and Internationals. On top everyone also has to pay higher taxes to cover healthcare costs for the country. All non-residents have to pay the expensive charges whether pregnant, under 16, or not. After you have paid your NOK2600 or NOK 4660 excess you can get a ‘exemption card’ that allows you to get the rest of your healthcare for free only for the rest of the year. For prescriptions, certain people qualify for medication on a so called ‘blue prescription’, which allows them to only pay an excess of NOK520 a year.
What this means for the average family, say us:
We don’t pay for any health care appointments for our kids ages 4 and 6 – no doctor appointments, dentist, eye doctors, ear doctors, or the like. However, when Lil’ Red injured himself (a glass mirror fell on him in a costume room) and was taken to the emergency ward at the hospital, we had to pay for bandages and equipment.
Me, an international with permanent residency status – I have to pay for every appointment I have – a doctors appointment is around NOK140 during the day and NOK 235 at night, a specialist is NOK315, and my gynecology appointments for just a general paps smear are around NOK600 because of all the lab tests involved. Even if I have to go to the doctor just to get a doctors certificate for sickness to give to my work, I have to pay. I have never surpassed the excess user fee, so have had to pay for everything every year. I also have to pay for all my dental, flat out (it isn’t covered in the health insurance).
Moose, a Norwegian National – he has to pay for everything too – general doctors appointments, specialists, and everything dental. He is lucky enough to have a doctor at his work and is covered by corporate healthcare. But then again, that doctor just recommended for him to see his own (pay) doctor for a check up.
***Please note: prices and policies correct at time of publication.***