Social Insurance in Sweden is unlike many other countries in the world as it covers basically everyone who works and lives in Sweden. The insurance is an essential part of the public welfare system that protects the needs of the individual, family and companies.
When you live in Sweden, social insurance covers numerous benefits related to sickness, disability, having children and retirement. As a person living in Sweden, you may be entitled to various types of compensation from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (“Försäkringskassan”).
This compensation can include such benefits as child and housing allowance. You are also entitled to medical and dental care under the same terms as other residents. If you are unable to work and need to stay at home due to illness for longer than a two-week period, then the administration and sickness benefits are taken over from your employer and paid out directly by The Swedish Social Insurance Agency.
As a rule, sickness benefits amount to 80% of your salary up to a set limit. When receiving benefits, you pay income tax just like you would on your regular salary with a few exceptions.
You are not socially insured in Sweden until you have received your personal identification number ("personnummer"); therefore, we suggest you purchase travel insurance before coming to Sweden. Travel insurance to cover you in Sweden cannot be purchased once you are in the country.
Sweden offers one of the best parental leave ("föräldraledighet") policies in the world. Parents are granted a total of 480 days of leave per child, with 180 additional days given for twins. To be eligible for “basic benefits” you must be a legal resident of Sweden; while additional benefits are tied to several factors including, how long you have been living and working in Sweden, your salary, and recent employment.
Parental leave is a legal right in Sweden for both the mother and father, so companies cannot deny your requests for leave. You are also entitled to reduce your working hours by up to 25% when caring for your child to a designated age. The rules surrounding entitlements and level of payment can vary widely depending on your circumstances, so it is recommended that you contact Försäkringskassan for further information:
Försäkringskassan - Parental Leave
In addition to the benefits paid out by Försäkringskassan, people can also purchase their own health and life insurance. This can provide people with a better sense of security should they become terminally ill, get struck down by injury, or are unable to work for an extended period.
If you plan to travel within the EU/EEA or Switzerland, order a European Health Insurance Card from Swedish Social Insurance Agency (“Försäkringskassan”). The card will be delivered to your address within 10 working days and is valid within the EU/EEA and Switzerland, along with a selected number of other countries Sweden has an agreement with. When travelling outside of these countries, private insurance needs to be purchased.
It is ok to travel to other Nordic countries without carrying your European Health Insurance Card, providing you have some form of identification and a home address in Sweden.
Försäkringskassan - EU Health Insurance Card
Children must have their own European Health Insurance Card when traveling.
If traveling to a country outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland which Sweden has an agreement with, always check what the conditions of coverage are before leaving. At times a certificate of entitlement needs to be ordered before leaving.