Försäkringskassan (or the Swedish social security system)
 

As soon as you get here, you should sign up with Försäkringskassan to get insured. Everyone should be insured in their country of employment. If you are not employed, because you are working on a stipend, you should be insured in your country of residence. Not having a personnummer and not being employed are no valid excuses for Försäkringskassan to reject you. If you do have a personnummer, you should apply too. To sign up for försäkringskassan, click here.
When you apply to försäkringskassan when you are on a stipend (so not employed), refer to their internal information letter with the ID: IM2013:041. In this information letter, the person at försäkringskassan can read about the status of postdocs on stipends.
If they do reject your application, appeal! (And send a copy of their rejection to us!) The chances are bigger that you will be accepted after the appeal. If not, you should contact Robert Andersson at SULF (one of the trade unions; ra@sulf.se). 
NB If you don't hear from them after your application, give them a call. They probably just didn't process your application yet. Make clear that you would like to receive your European Health Insurance Card. 
NB According to Robert Andersson, it sometimes is possible to get some extra benefits from försäkringskassan if you have been employed in Europe before. However, there are limits to the time range of these benefits. For more information, please contact Robert! 
For more information, click on the heading of this paragraph.
 
 
 
Even though they write that everyone who lives or works in Sweden is entitled to social security, they tend to turn your request down if you work on a stipend, even if you manage to fill in all forms correctly. However, THEY SHOULD ACCEPT YOU! So if they turn down your application, you will have to appeal! Furthermore, we would like you to send a copy of the mail/letter you received to us. We will bundle them and send them to SULF, so that they can show Försäkringskassan that they are making too many mistakes in these applications.
If you work on a salary (and thus pay taxes), you should more easily be accepted to take part in the social security system. You can find the form to join at their website (you will need the latest version of Acrobat Reader to be able to open this page).
So whether you work on a salary or on a stipend, you should be accepted by försäkringskassan. However, the rights you have are slightly different: on a stipend you have the right to receive barnbidrag (1000 sek per child per month), dental costs, bostadsbidrag (support to pay your rent, depending on your circumstances), and the basic form of parental leave (225 sek/day), but NOT the full parental leave and/or sick leave.
If you get annoyed with försäkringskassan and you want to have a laugh, try to communicate with Hanna, their online help. If you ask her anything in English, she will stubbornly respond in Swedish, until you tell her to f#€k off (but then written out fully)…
Sometimes the postdoc ombudsman (John Steen) is successful in getting postdocs on stipends into försäkringskassan. Robert Andersson (SULF, one of the trade unions) is specialized in social insurances. So he can definitely help you (if you are a member of SULF). You can contact him on ra@sulf.se. 
 


If you have received your right of residence, you should sign up with Försäkringskassan to get your social insurance. According to the European law, everyone should be insured in their country of employment. If you are not employed, because you are working on a stipend, you should be insured in your country of residence. Not having a personnummer and not being employed are no valid excuses for Försäkringskassan to reject your application. 
 
If you work on a salary (and thus pay taxes), you should more easily be accepted to take part in the social security system. You can find the form at their  website  (you will need the latest version of Acrobat Reader to be able to open the online form).
 
Being a postdoc on a Stipend (particularly when on 6 months contracts) means you are likely to have difficulty with Försäkringskassan. Even though they write that everyone who lives or works in Sweden is entitled to social security, they tend to turn your request down even if you manage to fill in all forms correctly. However, THEY SHOULD ACCEPT YOU! 

When you apply to försäkringskassan when you are on a stipend (so not employed), refer to their internal information letter with the ID: IM2013:041. In this information letter, the person at försäkringskassan can read about the status of postdocs on stipends.

If they turn down your application, you will have to appeal! Please, send a copy of their rejection letter to us: kipostdocs@gmail.com. We will bundle them and send them to SULF, so that they can show Försäkringskassan that they are making too many mistakes in these applications. 

The chances are bigger that you will be accepted when you appeal the initial rejection, as these cases are dealt with higher up in the system, by people with more knowledge about the European laws. If you do not get accepted after the appeal, you should contact Robert Andersson at SULF (one of the trade unions; ra@sulf.se). 

If you do not hear back from försäkringskassan, they might just be waiting until you send in a claim. If you want to be sure whether they will accept you or not, you can ask them for a European Health Insurance Card (see below). If they mention that that is not a valid excuse to be processed earlier, you can indicate you need to go to the dentist.


Tips how to fill in the form:

As the form is not really suitable for postdocs on stipends, Robert Andersson recommends to add a personal letter to explain the situation. 
The answer to question number 3 should be 'Yes, I have moved to Sweden' and then also filling in all subquestions. Regarding the subquestion whether you came here to study, you have to answer 'no', as you are not a student (you are just performing studies).
The answer to question 4 should be 'no', as on a stipend, you do not have an employer.

If you don't hear from them within 2 weeks after your application, give them a call. They probably just didn't process your application yet. Make clear that you would like to receive your European Health Insurance Card. 

According to Robert Andersson, it sometimes is possible to get some extra benefits from försäkringskassan if you have been employed in Europe before. However, there are limits to the time range of these benefits. For more information, please contact Robert!

So whether you work on a salary or on a stipend, you should be accepted by försäkringskassan. However, the rights you have are slightly different: on a stipend you have the right to receive barnbidrag (1050 sek per child per month), dental costs, bostadsbidrag (housing allowance, depending on your circumstances, see försäkringskassan's website for more information), and the basic form of parental leave (225 sek/day), but NOT the full parental leave and/or sick leave.

If you get annoyed with försäkringskassan and you want to have a laugh, try to communicate with Hanna, their online help. If you ask her anything in English, she will stubbornly respond in Swedish, until you tell her to f#€k off (but then written out fully)…

Sometimes the postdoc ombudsman (John Steen) is successful in getting postdocs on stipends into försäkringskassan. Robert Andersson (SULF) is specialized in social insurances. So he can definitely help you (if you are a member of SULF). You can contact him on ra@sulf.se. 
 
 
 
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) 

If you have applied for försäkringskassan (and they have accepted your application), you can ask them for a European Health Insurance Card. According to conditions in travel insurances “A person who is planning to travel to an EU country or to another Convention country should take a certificate from the Social Insurance Office which proves that he/she is covered by the Swedish social insurance system, so that he/she is certain to receive medical care in accordance with the EU rules or the Convention, i.e. cost free except for any patient fee.” So when you are insured in Sweden, you should have the EU card/certificate when you travel in Europe (private and business travel).