Beginning on Friday, the Danish CPR card will no longer provide health insurance outside of Denmark and its territories.
As of August 1st, receiving medical treatment in other EU countries, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein (EEA countries), or Switzerland will require a new European Health Insurance Card.
The new card will mean that Danish travellers will be covered under the same conditions as the citizens in the county they are visiting. But unlike the yellow CPR card, Danish travellers will no longer be able to get out-of-pocket expenses refunded under the new blue European insurance card.
The European insurance card can be ordered for free via the website www.borger.dk. However, not everyone in Denmark is able to receive the card.
To qualify for the card, one must be a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland. For non-EU citizens to qualify, they must be either married to or cohabitating with a Danish citizen.
In a closed Facebook group for Americans in Denmark, the EU insurance card has been a frequent topic of discussion. Americans married to Danes reported that they were able to receive the card by either calling or personally visiting their local council, while US citizens not related to a Dane have complained about not qualifying.
Some green card holders are also upset with the rule change. The Danish Green Card Holders Association Facebook group has also seen a fair amount of discussion about the new EU insurance card.
Emran Mehmud, a green card holder from Pakistan who lives in Kolding, told The Local that he feels he and other non-EU citizens working in Denmark should qualify for the card.
"If I work and pay taxes here, why can't I get it? I contacted my local council and they said that I cannot get it unless I am married to a Danish person. That seems strange to me," Mehmud said.
He's not alone. Association New Dane (Foreningen Nydansker), an organisation that works to promote diversity and integration in the workforce, said that the unequal treatment is a problem not only for foreigners in Denmark but for the country itself.
“People from all over the world should be able to come to Denmark to live and work under the same terms,” Torben Møller-Hansen, the head of the association, told The Local. “It should be attractive for workers to come to Denmark. Obviously all people want to feel safe, so if this is an area in which terms differ depending on where you come from, then talented workers could end up choosing other countries that give them better conditions, and that could end up hurting Denmark.”
Even those who are eligible for a blue EU insurance card may want to consider private travel insurance, as out-of-pocket costs can vary significantly between EU countries.
According to figures from the National Agency for Patients' Rights and Complaints, a visit to the doctor in the UK is free with the blue card while visiting the doctor in Belgium can cost up to 40 percent of the the total fee and in Sweden it could cost as much as 336 kroner.
As has been the case with the yellow CPR card since 2008, the EU card will not cover the costs of being transported back to Denmark for medical treatment. And of course, just like the yellow card, the new EU card does not provide any insurance coverage outside of the EU/EEA and Switzerland.
An overview of costs in EU countries, as well as more information about the new insurance card programme, can be found at www.huskdetblaa.dk (limited information in English).
A short video about the new blue EU insurance card is below.