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?

The Danish yellow health insurance card
The Danish yellow health insurance card is replaced for free when you move address but you may have to pay for a new one if you lose it. File photo: Jonas Skovbjerg Fogh/Ritzau Scanpix

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, 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.


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Why many people in Denmark don’t have a regular GP

The number of residents of Denmark who do not have a regular GP is higher than ever before.

Why many people in Denmark don’t have a regular GP

Numbers from the trade union for general practitioners, Praktiserende Lægers Organisation, (PLO), show that 219,000 people in Denmark are registered at GP’s clinics where the doctor is an employee of the clinic and not its owner, newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad reports.

The head of the PLO trade union Jørgen Skadborg said the situation was “regrettable”.

“The Danish model for general practice ensures high quality and continuity of treatment, but is under strain because increasing numbers of clinics are being run without permanent doctors,” Skadborg said to Kristeligt Dagblad.

“Never before have so many Danes been without a permanent GP,” he said.

The figure for people without a regular doctor was 182,000 in 2020 and 129,000 in 2018, according to PLO.

A GP, or familielæge (“family doctor”) in Danish, traditionally means a doctor who owns and runs their own clinic.

Health authorities generally favour the model because patient care is improved if their doctor is familiar with them and their care history.

But recent years have seen increasing difficulties finding buyers for GP’s clinics when their previous owners retire. Patients can therefore find themselves registered at practices where the doctor is an employee, and not guaranteed to remain in the role long-term.

The issue is unlikely to improve in the near future, Skadborg said.

“The number keeps increasing because there aren’t enough doctors who want to take over these clinics under normal conditions,” he said.

“But neither has it been possible to reach an alternative mutual vision for how general practice should be organised,”he said.

The Zealand and North Jutland regional health authorities are worst affected by the problem, Kristeligt Dagblad reports.