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What’s the reality of expat life in Europe today?

Many of Europe’s 33 million international residents have hit something of a jackpot - at least if recent research is anything to go by.

What’s the reality of expat life in Europe today?
Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

From longer parental leave and better educational opportunities to bigger paychecks and career boosters, expats in Europe seem to be enjoying the many perks of living abroad.

One of the greatest appeals of relocating to Europe in particular seems to be the promise of a higher quality of life. A recent survey conducted by Vitreous World on behalf of AXA – Global Healthcare* suggests that expats in Europe are more likely to have packed their bags for better pay and more benefits than for the chance to embark on a new adventure. In France, for example, 31 percent of foreigners say that the French lifestyle is by far the best thing about living there – and about 44 percent benefit from things such as improved pay and learning a new language.

Find out more about AXA’s health insurance packages for expats

Fresh statistics from the world’s longest-running survey of expats* found that, among other things, many European expat hotspots seem to be hitting the high notes on a wide variety of criteria. In Spain, for example, more expats than in any other expat community report that more sun and a slower pace of life has led to significant improvements in both their physical and mental health.** In Switzerland, too, international residents are enthusiastic about their lifestyle upgrade, which includes reaping the benefits of the strong economy (by way of higher-than-global-average salaries) and taking care of their families without having to worry about political instability.*

Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

Despite digital technologies alleviating some of the problems once experienced by expats, living and working abroad does, like most things, have a flipside – or, at any rate, its own set of hurdles. As AXA – Global Healthcare’s survey indicates, these can include language barriers, making new friends, seasonal depression, and adapting to a change in climate. But if you’re aware of these challenges before you move, downloading a language app or joining an online expat community can help you to prepare yourself.

Learn more about how you can benefit from AXA’s global healthcare plans

Moreover, expats often face bureaucratic obstacles as they navigate everything from banking services to local healthcare systems. According to AXA – Global Healthcare’s survey, almost four out of five expats had concerns when seeking healthcare in their current country, with 63 percent saying they would travel back to their home country if they needed medical treatment. Fortunately, you can make use of services such as the Virtual Doctor Service – which is offered with some of AXA’s global health plans with out-patient cover. This provides a handy solution for healthcare challenges if they do arise, allowing you to speak to a doctor at short notice, in a range of languages, at any time and from anywhere in the world.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

On the whole, it does appear that for international dwellers in Europe, expat life comes with many benefits. Although over half of the expats surveyed did report that being away from friends and family made it harder to integrate, and 43 percent said that making new friends was tough, AXA – Global Healthcare’s research indicates that, overall, the majority of both European and global expats believe that their experience of living abroad has been a positive one. For example, close to a majority of expats globally attest to having a better work-life balance than in their home country, citing better leisure opportunities, an easier commute, more disposable income, and more time to spend with family as main reasons.

With AXA’s global health cover, you and your family are covered at every stage of expat life. Find out more about how AXA’s international health insurance can help you to get the most out of life abroad.

*Research conducted in February 2019 by Vitreous World on behalf of AXA. A total of 1,352 expats were surveyed (250 in the UK, France, UAE, Canada and China, and 100 in Hong Kong).

**HSBC Expat Explorer Survey 2019

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and presented by AXA.

AXA Global Healthcare (EU) Limited. Registered in Ireland number 630468. Registered Office: Wolfe Tone House, Wolfe Tone Street, Dublin 1. AXA Global Healthcare (EU) Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

AXA Global Healthcare (UK) Limited. Registered in England (No. 03039521). Registered Office: 20 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 0BG, United Kingdom. AXA Global Healthcare (UK) Limited is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.

 

HEALTH

What happens if you lose your Danish yellow health insurance card?

Most people who live in Denmark will be familiar with the yellow health insurance card, but what do you do if it gets misplaced?

What happens if you lose your Danish yellow health insurance card?

All persons who are registered as resident in Denmark are given a personal registration number, which allows you to access public health services.

Your personal registration (CPR) number is printed on a yellow health insurance card which is issued to all residents of the country. Your GP’s surgery name and address are also printed on the card along with your name, address and the regional health authority you come under.

The rights to public health services are stated on the yellow health card itself, which is issued by the municipality in which you reside.

Denmark’s health services included under the public health system provide you with a family doctor or GP as well as free specialist consultations and treatments under the national health system, should you be referred for these.

You can also receive subsidies for medicine and medical services including some dental treatment, physiotherapy, chiropractor treatment and psychological consultations.

In most cases, you use your yellow health card to register that you have arrived for health appointments by scanning it once you enter the clinic’s reception area.

READ ALSO: Can foreigners in Denmark access free health care?

The yellow card can also be used as a form of ID in some situations – for example, newsagents will often accept it when you collect a package. This is despite the fact it doesn’t have a photo printed on it.

When you change address, thereby rendering the details on your yellow card obsolete, a new one is automatically sent out to your free of charge. But what happens if you lose the card or it is stolen (if inside your wallet, for example)?

According to borger.dk, it costs 215 kroner to replace a yellow health insurance card if you lose it, as well as if it is damaged beyond repair and is less than four years old; if you change doctor or insurance category; and if you change your name (provided the name change is not related to marriage). Some municipalities do not charge at all for new cards issued due to a change of name.

Most municipalities require you to pay for your new health insurance card with a debit card (Dankort), rather than by post or with payment apps like MobilePay.

In addition to a change of address, there are a few other circumstances in which the new yellow card is issued for free. These include your current GP closing or moving; if you change CPR number; if the card breaks and is over four years old; or if it is defective.

Unless you have a broken or defective card, in which case you should contact your municipality, the new one will be sent out automatically.

It usually takes around two weeks for a new health card to arrive, but if you need one more urgently for documentation purposes, municipalities can provide you with a temporary version. This is free of charge.

New cards can be ordered online, including cards ordered on behalf of children under 18 who live at home.

Source: borger.dk

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