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HEALTH

Can foreigners in Denmark access free health care?

People who move to or reside in Denmark have the right to access the country’s public health system, while different rules apply to those in the country on a more temporary basis.

Hillerød hospital near Copenhagen
Hillerød sygehus

All persons who are registered as resident in Denmark and have been issued with a personal registration number are entitled to all public health services.

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.

It should be noted that, as previously reported by The Local, foreign nationals can experience extended waiting times on residence applications in Denmark. Since they may not have automatic access to the public health system during this time, some decide to take out private health insurance to cover the waiting period.

READ ALSO: Applying for residency in Denmark: Why you might need health insurance during processing period

In some cases, you can also use Denmark’s public health system if you are not a permanent or temporary resident of the country.

This includes people who work in Denmark but live in another EU or EEA country (the EU plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) or Switzerland, who may be entitled to a special health card which provides access to the health system on the same footing as residents.

The card can be issued to persons who do not live in Denmark but are “socially insured” in the country due to one of a number of reasons, including:

  • Working in Denmark while resident in another EU, EEA country or Switzerland
  • Employed by a Danish company and stationed to work in another EU, EEA country or Switzerland
  • Receiving early retirement pay (efterløn) from the Danish state
  • Are employed on an EU contract and have selected Danish social insurance
  • Work on a ship which sails under the Danish flag
  • Are a family member of someone in one of the above categories and are not covered by the public health system in your home country.

It’s also possible to apply for and be granted the special health card if you are staying in Denmark without a personal registration (CPR) number, in some cases. These can include:

  • EU, EEA or Swiss nationals who work for Nato, the WHO or another international organisation in Denmark
  • People who work at EU, EEA or Swiss embassies or consulates in Denmark
  • Non- EU, EEA or Swiss nationals who work for Nato, the WHO or another international organisation in Denmark may also be encompassed by Danish or Nordic law in some cases
  • Family members of people in the above categories who do not have social health insurance in their home countries.

The card is also issued to people who normally live in Denmark but are residing outside of the country for up to one year, and are therefore removed from the Danish personal registration system. Examples of such a situation include students on international programmes, people visiting families, or au pairs or volunteers who work abroad for a limited period.

The special health card is issued for up to two years at a time and does not cost anything. It can be applied for here.

It should also be noted that people from EU countries may be able to use the EU’s European Health Insurance (EHIC) card in Denmark.

British nationals who moved to Denmark after 1st January 2021 are not covered by the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and so cannot use the EHIC in Denmark.

However, Britons can use the UK’s new Global Health Insurance card (GHIC) to access emergency healthcare in Denmark.

Sources: borger.dk (1), (2), (3)

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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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