CPR cards will no longer provide EU insurance coverage
The yellow Danish health insurance card will no longer cover travellers on holiday in Europe. The change comes as a bid to save the government 80 million kroner annually.
The proposal was included in the 2014 budget that was recently agreed upon between the government and right-wing parties Venstre and Konservative. The change will take effect in 2014, though no exact date has yet been set.
The government argues that the Danish yellow CPR card is unique in Europe – Sweden and the UK, for example, don’t automatically insure their residents on holiday in Europe – and that the blue European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) performs the same function.
The EHIC does not offer exactly the same coverage as the CPR card, however, and residents may be forced to pay for a share of their health costs in the countries the EHIC covers: all 28 EU countries as well as Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland.
The EHIC’s website states that the card is not an alternative to travel insurance and does not cover any private healthcare or costs such as a return flight to your home country or lost or stolen property,
It also does not cover the cost of travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment, and does not guarantee free services as each country’s healthcare system is different.
Enhedslisten – which lost out on an opportunity to form the 2014 budget with the government – has decried the the extra costs that Danish travellers may face, but coalition partner Radikale said the decision was the right one.
“We will now only have one health insurance card [for EU travel] and that means a large reduction in bureaucracy because it will be easier to administer,” Sofie Carsten Nielsen (R) told Politiken. “It will mean some minimal extra costs in some places because there are some countries that charge for some health services.”
Private health raising prices
Taking out a private health insurance is the only way to make sure travellers are fully covered in the EU, and private companies such as Europæiske offer a year’s coverage for as little as 234 kroner.
But according to Europæiske, these insurance plans may now increase in price as private insurers take over administrative responsibilities from the state.
“Someone has to pay the 80 million kroner,” Europæiske spokesperson Mark Bartram told Politiken newspaper. “We assume the extra costs will be added to the price of coverage.”
EU residents living in Denmark can order a free EHIC by clicking here.