There is no previous comparative review available of Nordic social insurance schemes for sickness benefits, rehabilitation allowance and disability pensions.
Based on existing publications, a Nordic expert group in social insurance and insurance medicine has compared important aspects of the Nordic schemes.
The Nordic sickness benefit schemes have many similarities, but differ considerably in degree of compensation, with 100% coverage of salary in Denmark and Norway and less coverage in the other three countries. The length of the self certification period varies from 1 to 14 days. Longer sickness absence have to be certified by a doctor, usually the family physician. To counteract the increasing costs for sickness benefits, the follow-up of sick-listed persons is being intensified. Efforts are also directed towards earlier and more extensive medical and vocational rehabilitation. So far these efforts have had only marginal effect on sickness absence and disability pensioning.
Basic needs for social security are still met by public insurance schemes in all Nordic countries. Private insurance schemes complement these to varying extent.