Exemption card for public health services

You receive an exemption card (in Norwegian: frikort) for public health services once you have paid more than a certain amount in user fees. When you show the exemption card, you do not have to pay user fees for the remainder of the calendar year.

Foto: Morten Rakke / Helfo

There are two exemption card schemes in Norway, one for user fee group 1 and one for user fee group 2.

The two exemption card schemes apply to different health services. If you have received an exemption card for one scheme, you cannot use it for the other scheme. Both schemes work automatically.

You can check which user fees have been registered, the refunds you have received and exemption card decisions by logging in to helsenorge.no.

Treatment and service providers are responsible for reporting all approved user fees to Helfo within 14 days. Your user fees are registered automatically.

Exemption card for user fee group 1Exemption card for user fee group 2

User fees for

  • doctor
  • psychologist
  • outpatient clinic (hospital)
  • radiology department
  • patient travel
  • medicines and equipment on the "blue prescription"

User fees for

  • examination and treatment by a physiotherapist
  • certain types of dental treatment
  • stays at an approved rehabilitation centre
  • travel for treatment abroad arranged by Oslo University Hospital - Rikshospitalet HF
Maximum user fees per year: NOK 2,460 (in 2020)Maximum user fees per year: NOK 2,176 (in 2020)


Exemption card for user fee group 1

You will receive the exemption card for user fee group 1 automatically (in the mail) within three weeks from the date you have paid more than a total of NOK 2,460 (in user fees). The exemption card will be sent to your registered address. If you have paid too much, you will be refunded automatically.

You can find more information about payments and user fees for different treatment providers on the following pages:

Groups which are exempt from paying user fees

Children under 16 do not have to pay user fees. Some other groups are also exempt from paying user fees for examination and treatment.

You can find out more about exemption from user fees for recognised occupational injuries here (in Norwegian).

Exemption card for user fee group 2

You will receive the exemption card for user fee group 2 automatically (in the mail) within three weeks from when you have paid more than NOK 2,176 (in user fees). The exemption card will be sent to your registered address. If you have paid too much, you will be refunded automatically.

Children under 16 and people with recognised occupational injuries are exempt from paying user fees for treatment by a physiotherapist. Everyone else must pay user fees for their first treatment starting from 1 January 2017.

Approved user fees in user fee group 2

Physiotherapy: Examination and treatment by a physiotherapist who has a contract with or is permanently employed by the municipality. You can find out more about user fees for physiotherapists here (in Norwegian).

Dental diseases: Dental diseases and conditions that affect dental health. User fees for the following treatments are included in the scheme:

  • Diseases and abnormalities (malformations) in the mouth and jaw (in Norwegian: anomalier)
  • Treatment of certain forms of periodontitis (marginal periodontitis and peri-implantitis) (in Norwegian: marginal periodontitt and periimplantitt)

Dentists and dental hygienists are not bound by the defined reimbursement rates. They set their own prices. Even if you have an exemption card, you must still pay the difference between the price charged by the dentist/dental hygienist and the amount covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme (in Norwegian).

Rehabilitation: User fees at approved rehabilitation centres that have a contract with a regional health authority.

Travelling abroad for treatment: User fees for treatment trips abroad that are arranged by the Oslo University Hospital – Rikshospitalet. Adult patients pay a user fee, while children and adolescents receive the service for free. If you travel with someone, their costs are not included when Helfo calculates your exemption card entitlement.

The following apply to both exemption card schemes: Refunds and minimum refunds

Exemption card refunds are paid out as soon as possible. It may take ten work days for the payment to reach your bank account. 

You can check which address and bank account number we have registered for you by logging into helsenorge.no. 

Each year, the Norwegian Parliament sets the threshold amount (the user fee limit) for receiving an exemption card for public health services. If you pay more than this limit, the amount you are entitled to have refunded will be paid into your (bank) account. Parliament has decided that amounts less than NOK 200 will not be refunded (Section 22-19 (2) of the National Insurance Act).

However, if you are entitled to refunds from both the exemption card schemes that together come to more than NOK 200, the money will be paid back to you automatically.

Change of account number for exemption card refunds from Helfo

Helfo and NAV have a shared address and account number register that is used for the exemption card schemes (in Norwegian). 

Coverage of travel expenses for medical treatment

Travel to and from treatment under user fee group 1 and user fee group 2 counts towards the user fee limit for the exemption card for group 1. Log in to the Patient-travel service at helsenorge.no  (in Norwegian) and send an application for cover of travel expenses for patient travel.

User fee reporting and exemption card look-ups

Your user fees are reported to us by your treatment/service provider. All treatment providers who charge user fees must report the user fees within 14 days. It is necessary for the treatment provider to do this in order for you to receive your exemption card within three weeks. 

Treatment/service providers have the option of using a look-up service to check if you have to pay user fees or not. If the treatment provider has access to use this look-up service, you do not need to show your exemption card. If your treatment provider does not use the look-up service, you must continue to show your exemption card in order to avoid paying user fees.

Power of Attorney over exemption card communications

To contact Helfo on behalf of someone else you need to have power of attorney. Parents/guardians also require power of attorney for children over 16. This is because the legal age of majority in Norwegian health care is 16 years.

​«Fullmaktsskjema for Helfo-henvendelser/Power of attorney form for requests to Helfo (21-00.01)» Bokmål | Nynorsk | English 

 Health records contain sensitive information and should not be sent by e-mail. We therefore request that you send the power of attorney to Helfo by letter post. Remember to enclose a copy of valid proof of your identity. Complete the Power of Attorney form and send it to Helfo, Postboks 2415, 3104 Tønsberg.

Check your user fees and exemption card status

You can log in to helsenorge.no to see a list of the user fees you have paid, exemption card decisions and refunds made to you.

Even though the scheme is automatic, you should still save all your receipts so you can double check.

If you discover that a user fee is missing from the list, you can call Veiledning helsenorge.no (user service) at phone number 23 32 70 30. It may take up to three weeks for user fees to be registered by Helfo.

Other important exemption card information:

What is not covered by the exemption card schemes

You yourself must pay charges that are not approved user fees. Such charges do not count towards the user fee limits for exemption cards.

They may include fees for bandaging and equipment necessary for your treatment.

If you use private treatment providers who do not have reimbursement agreements, you will have to cover all the costs yourself.

Opting out of storing user fee information

You may opt out of the exemption card schemes (in Norwegian).  In that case, you will not be included in the scheme for automatic issue of exemption cards for user fee groups 1 and 2. If you opt out, treatment providers and health personnel will not be able to find out from the exemption card look-up service whether you are required to pay user fees or not.

You yourself must look after the receipts and apply for an exemption card once you have paid the amount that entitles you to exemption from more fees (the user fee limit).