Government proposal could make CPR card invalid abroad

If residents obtain ‘blue card’ insurance, government estimates it could save over 70 million kroner a year


The new governmentÂ’s 2012 budget proposal recommends eliminating state-funded public health insurance while travelling throughout the European Union, the Faroe Islands, or Greenland, public broadcaster DR reports. By making the national yellow CPR cards invalid for health coverage outside of Denmark, the government estimates it would save an extra 70 million kroner a year.

Under the proposal, residents could use ‘the blue card’ – the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – to receive medical and health treatment outside Denmark.

Coverage with the EHIC means that, for example, if a Danish citizen is in France and is in need of medical care, the treatment, medication and all other health expenses are covered under the same terms as FranceÂ’s own public health insurance.

Currently, the blue EHIC card can only be used if the length of stay in another EU country is longer than one month. On shorter stays, the yellow CPR card “covers expenses for acute medical treatment under the Danish Health Act during periods of vacation”. But the government’s new budget proposal suggests that Danes should be covered by the blue card while travelling within the EU, regardless of the length of stay.

Although the EHIC is offered to residents throughout the EU with the same overall coverage regulations, the Danish contention is that, under the current rules, it ends up costing more to use the yellow health card when it is needed during short-term travels.

The EHIC card can be obtained free of charge from all of the nationÂ’s councils. Not everyone in Denmark, however, has the right to receive an EHIC. If the proposed legislative change is approved, it will not benefit the 3.8 percent of Danish residents who are not EU citizens.

The citizenship requirements are not readily apparent when attempting to obtain a ‘blue card’ online. Only after providing a valid Danish address, a local doctor’s name, CPR number and NemID number, is it mentioned that a person can obtain an EHIC if the following terms are met: the applicant has a Danish CPR number, lives in Denmark permanently, and is a citizen of an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

For those who meet these conditions, the blue card is normally valid for five years. 

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