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Illness during sabbatical

If you fall ill abroad, it is important that you have kept your rights under the Norwegian National Insurance scheme (folketrygd). This will help you to get the medical care you need.

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Before you travel

When you stay abroad for some time, you do not automatically have the same rights under the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme as you do when you are in Norway. In some cases, you must apply for continued membership in the Norwegian National Insurance scheme.

If not:

  • apply for membership of the National Insurance Scheme
  • apply to keep your rights to leave of absence

In both cases, send your application to NAV Oppfølging utland (Information in Norwegian).

However, when you are abroad your rights may be limited. You may need personal travel insurance as well.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you stay in an EEA country/Switzerland and you are a member of the Norwegian National Insurance scheme, you should take your European Health Insurance Card with you. This card entitles you to the health care you need in line with the health care that is offered to residents of the country you are visiting.

Order European Health Insurance Card. (If the page is displayed in Norwegian, click the link "Information in English".)

If you have questions about the coverage of health services, contact:

  • HELFO utland (Norwegian Health Economics Administration - international services)
  • In Norway, phone: 21 07 46 00
  • Email:

To contact HELFO from countries outside Norway:

  • Telephone: 00 47 33 51 22 80
  • Fax: 00 47 33 51 22 89

If you fall ill

Expenses for treatment abroad

If you fall ill while you are abroad, your expenses for health services will be covered. This also applies to accompanying family members who are members of the Norwegian National Insurance scheme.

Additional expenses for medical help outside the public health service are covered only in emergencies and in cases where the public health service cannot provide adequate treatment.

You must pay the treatment expenses yourself and claim reimbursement from NAV International (by filling in the required form). "Krav om refusjon av utgifter til sykebehandling i utlandet" (Claim for reimbursement of expenses for medical treatment abroad.) The time limit for submitting a claim for reimbursement is 6 months.

To claim reimbursement for essential medicine, use Form SBL 010, "Godtgjørelse av viktige legemidler" ("Allowance for essential medicine"). You need to submit receipts documenting payment for treatment together with the claim for reimbursement.

If expenses for treatment are high, for example in connection with hospitalization, you can send Form SBL 002 to your employer to apply for advance payment.

Extension of sabbatical

If you are ill for a long period, you can apply for an extension of your sabbatical. Your sabbatical should be extended to resume immediately after the original sabbatical was scheduled to end.

Cancelling a sabbatical due to illness

If you have to suspend your sabbatical leave because of illness, childbirth, or similar, you can apply to take the remainder of your sabbatical later.