Travel costs within Iceland

Travel costs when seeking medical treatment in Iceland

Insured persons can be eligible for reimbursement for travel cost when medical treatment is not provided in their home region. Certain conditions need to be met according to regulation no. 871/2004 on travel costs for patients within Iceland.

How do I apply for reimbursement of travel costs?

A doctor in your home region fills out an application and sends it to our agency at the District magistrate (Sýslumaður). An application must be sent before you travel unless it is an emergency. When you return from your travels you hand in a confirmation of your medical treatment and receipt of payment for your travels to the District magistrate’s office.

How much is reimbursed?

Icelandic Health Insurance reimburse 2/3 of the travel cost but the patient never pays more than 1.500 kr. for each trip. There is a fixed rate for every kilometer driven, 31,34 kr. per km. (2017), please be advised that this can change at any time.

If the patient costs are more than 10.000 kr. within 12 months then he should never pay more than 500 kr. for each trip for the remainder of the 12 months period.

If a patient is 17 years old or younger or is unable to travel on his own the travel costs of an accompanying person is also reimbursed. The patient never pays more than 1.500 kr. for himself and the accompanying person.

In case of short (less than 20 km) and frequent trips for serious illness the reimbursement is 3/4 of the cost for transportation with a taxi if the patient is unable to travel with a bus.

Conditions for reimbursement?

When the medical treatment is not available in your home region:

· a doctor in your home region needs to send you away for treatment

· treatment is at a public health care facility

· treatment is with other health care facility or specialists who have agreement with the IHI that IHI participates in the costs.

· treatment with a speech pathologist or orthodontic treatment under certain conditions

· Travel cost for dentistry must be applied by the dentist

In case of long trips from home: Travel costs for two trips during 12-month period

· Necessary trips

· at least 20 km distance between places

· health care is sought (on request from your doctor) for inevitably medical treatment for diagnosis, treatment, supervision or rehabilitation

· the medical service is not available in your home region

In case of repeated trips - travel costs are paid for:

· malignant disease

· kidney failure

· severe eye diseases

· urgent plastic surgery

· orthopedic care for children

· orthodontics due to major defects or serious causes

· other similar diseases

· serious problems during pregnancy

· In vitro fertilization (IVF) (only treatments that are co-paid by IHI)

· For repeated trips due to serious illnesses, it is now possible to approve travel expenses on a medical report from the doctor who is treating the disease and not only from the doctor in the home region.

Short and repeated trips

For necessary repeated trips do to serious illness 3/4 of travel cost is reimbursed for trips travelled with taxi if the patient is unable to travel with a public transportation even if the distance is shorter than 20 km.

If a patient travels by private car 2/3 is reimbursed according to fixed rate for every kilometer driven.

Trips home during weekends in case of long time care

If a patient must spend more than 4 weeks away from home due to serious illness IHI reimburses trips back home every other weekend if the distance is more than 20 km.

If the patient is younger than 18 years old IHI can reimburse trips every weekend.

Trips for parents or immediate relatives
According to article 2 of the regulation 871/2004 IHI reimburses daily trips for parent or immediate relatives, up to 200 km for each way, to visit a hospital patient younger than 18 years old. This applies to prolonged or repeated hospitalization.

Reimbursement of flights is limited to one trip per week.

Emergency trips

Icelandic Health Insurance reimburses travel cost due to emergency cases that are taken according to a doctor´s decision because it cannot be provided in the home region.

Emergency cases are defined as accidents or illness that is acute, the patient’s health is put at risk if the patient does not get treatment with in a short period of time (48 hours).

Travel cost for the trip back home after hospitalization is also reimbursed.

Education course and necessary meetings

Icelandic Health Insurance is authorized to reimburse travel cost for parents or immediate relatives of severely disabled individuals and patients with chronic and serious illnesses to attend a training course or necessary meeting approved by the Icelandic Health Insurance. Reimbursement is limited to two trips a year.

Car rental

If the patient or his family member does not own a car and is unable to travel by public transportation due to health reasons, for example due to risk of infection, the Icelandic Health Insurance will reimburse 3/4 of the necessary cost for trips taken by taxi (shorter than 20 km) or car rental from an authorized car rental company (longer than 20 km).

Disability assessment

If an applicant for an invalidity pension or a rehabilitation pension is required to attend meetings or interviews the travel cost can be reimbursed. This is usually due to necessary assessments for disability/rehabilitation. The applicant needs to send the receipt of payment for travel cost to our agency at the District magistrate (Sýslumaður) in their home region.

For more information and further conditions please contact the travel cost department, [email protected]

Living expenses while seeking medical treatment away from home

Icelandic Health Insurance reimburse living expenses when a child is hospitalized away from home. One of the parents or a guardian receives a reimbursement for a stay in a hotel, guest house or rented apartment. This applies when the distance is more than 20 km between the hospital and home.

If the child is undergoing a difficult medical treatment or life-threatening disease it is possible that both parents or guardians can get reimbursed for their living expenses.

If a person is getting living expenses reimbursed the travel cost is not reimbursed for the same time.

How to apply for reimbursement?

When you apply for reimbursement you will have to hand in a receipt of payment for your living expenses, confirmation from the hospital that your child was hospitalized and a doctor´s confirmation if the child was undergoing a difficult medical treatment or had a life-threatening disease. These documents should be sent to our agency at the District magistrate (Sýslumaður).

How much is reimbursed?

Icelandic Health Insurance reimburses 80% of living expenses but never more than 50% of the price that the Red cross charges for their medical hotel. If both parents have the right to apply for reimbursement then the limit is 75% of that cost.

For further information please contact the District magistrate’s office in your home region.

Air ambulance

Icelandic Health Insurance take part in the cost of an air ambulance.


· An urgent necessity for the transport of a person to a hospital or from a hospital to a person’s home or residence.

· Patient’s health is critical that other transportations or not available.

The person that is transported by air ambulance pays a certain fixed cost.

If a patient needs an escort

If it is necessary for a patient to have someone escort them then the escort’s fare is also paid, even if it is by regular flight, the doctor needs to confirm that the escort was necessary. If the escort is a health professional his fare and commission is also paid.

Air ambulance between hospitals

If a patient is transported by air ambulance from one hospital to another the hospital pays for the transport and charges the patient for the patient cost.

For further information please contact [email protected]




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