Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Denmark - Public healthcare

This chapter provides you with information on who is entitled to public healthcare in Denmark, how much can be claimed and how to claim it.

In what situation can I claim?

Your entitlement to health care under the Danish public health insurance scheme depends on which of the following groups you belong to:

  • Residents in Denmark;
  • Persons covered by public health insurance in Denmark according to the EU coordination regulations;
  • Persons who are temporarily staying in Denmark.

What conditions do I need to meet?

  • You must show your yellow health insurance card/special health insurance card/European Health Insurance Card/a certificate that temporarily replaces the European Health Insurance Card to prove your entitlement to public health care;
  • If you are a Nordic resident, you only need to show a valid national ID card or other document of your residence.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

What are you entitled to?

The kind of healthcare you are entitled to depends on the group you belong to.

  1. As a resident in Denmark (i.e. you are registered in the Civil Registration System), you are entitled to all public healthcare benefits.

The yellow health insurance card proves that you are entitled to the services offered under the national health insurance scheme.

  1. As a person covered by public health insurance in Denmark according to the EU coordination rules, you are entitled to all public healthcare benefits.

The special health insurance card proves that you are entitled to the services offered under the national health insurance scheme. Read more about the special health insurance card in Danish and in English.

  1. As a person temporarily staying in Denmark.

If you are covered by public health insurance in another country according to the EU coordination rules, you are entitled to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during your stay under the same conditions and at the same cost (free for the most) as a resident in Denmark. The European Health Insurance Card or a certificate that temporarily replaces this card proves your right to healthcare.

Please note that some treatments need to be planned before you arrive in Denmark, for example dialysis and chemotherapy. For more information contact the Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen).

If you do not have a European Health Insurance Card or a certificate which temporarily replaces this card with you, you will have to pay for non-urgent health care yourself. You may seek reimbursement afterwards.

If you are not covered by public health insurance in another country and you become acutely ill, you are entitled to urgent treatment in a hospital. You also are entitled to hospital treatment in addition to urgent treatment if, according to the circumstances, it is not considered reasonable to refer you for treatment in your home country, or you cannot be moved to a hospital in your home country due to your condition. You will be required to pay for urgent hospital treatment and the additional treatment.

You are entitled to an additional allowance to cover home transport if you:

  • are a resident of a Nordic country (i.e. Denmark, Finland, Island, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Island and Greenland);
  • are covered by the national health insurance scheme in that country;
  • have been prescribed your home transport by a doctor who is attached to the Danish health insurance scheme.

There are several authorities in the Danish health insurance scheme which provide public health care, including:

  1. hospitals;
  2. general practitioners;
  3. medical specialists;
  4. dentists;
  5. other healthcare professionals, such as physiotherapists, chiropractors and psychologists.

How do you claim public health care from these authorities?

1. Hospitals

  • In an emergency, call 112;
  • If you need urgent assistance, you must contact your general practitioner (between 8 am and 4 pm) or after-hours service (between 4 pm and 8 am) before going to the acute-care department/accident and emergency unit;
  • Contact details for the after-hours service in your area. If you reside/stay in the Capital Region, you should call 1813 instead of the after-hours service;
  • In non-urgent cases you must have a referral from a general practitioner (GP);
  • Treatment is free of charge.

2. General practitioners

  • If you need treatment by a general practitioner, you must contact any general practitioner who has a contract with the public health insurance scheme. Find a general practitioner in the list of healthcare providers;
  • Opening hours are normally from 8 am to 4 pm;
  • Outside opening hours you should contact the after-hours service. Contact details for the after-hours service in your area. If you reside/stay in the Capital Region you should call 1813 instead of the after-hours service;
  • Treatment is free of charge.

3. Specialists

  • To obtain treatment by a specialist, you usually must have a referral from a general practitioner who has a contract with the public health insurance scheme;
  • Treatment is free of charge.

4. Dentists

  • If you need treatment by a dentist, you can contact any dentist who has a contract with the public health insurance scheme. Find a dentist in the list of healthcare providers;
  • The public health care reimburses a share of the costs depending on the type of dental treatment;
  • On average, the reimbursement level is close to 30%, but some diagnostic procedures are subject to higher levels of reimbursement (above 60%);
  • Other procedures (dentures, crowns etc.) are not reimbursed.

5. Other healthcare professionals

  • To have healthcare by professional groups other than those mentioned above, for example psychologists and physiotherapists who have a contract with the public health insurance scheme, subsidised, you must have a referral from a general practitioner;
  • You must pay for part of the cost for treatment. In some instances, the general practitioner can refer citizens to treatment from physiotherapists free of charge

How do you get medicines?

  • In Denmark medicines are divided into three groups: 1) over-the-counter medicines sold only at pharmacies without prescription, 2) over-the-counter medicines sold at pharmacies and shops authorised by the Danish Medicines Agency without prescription, 3) prescription medicines where the medicine is only handed to you at the pharmacy if you have a prescription from a general practitioner, medical specialist or hospital.
  • Over-the-counter medicines are generally not reimbursed. If you spend more than DKK 1,010 (2021 rate) on prescription medicine in a year, it is possible for you to have some of your expenditure reimbursed.
  • Please note that you can have 60% of the amount spent on medicines for children under the age of 18 reimbursed regardless of the annual expenditure.
  • The first time you purchase medicines in Denmark as a non-resident you will receive a special card with a unique number. Remember to present this card on all future purchases of medication. It has to be used when reimbursements are calculated.
  • Here you can get further information on subsidies for medicines.

How can you have your expenditure in Denmark reimbursed?

  • If you have paid the full price for your health care, because you did not present your European Health Insurance Card or a certificate replacing this card, it is possible for you to obtain reimbursement from the public health insurance scheme from the local municipality where you stay.
  • You must present all your bills, receipts and referrals and your European Health Insurance Card/certificate replacing this card.
  • Remember also to give your bank account details.

How can you have your expenditure reimbursed after you have gone home?

  • Contact your health insurance company for assistance;
  • Present all bills, receipts and referrals;
  • Your health insurance company will then contact the Danish Patient Safety Authority to be informed of the amount of reimbursement.

Jargon busters

  • The Civil Registration System (CPR) contains a register of all people who resides/have resided in Denmark;
  • Yellow health insurance cards are issued to residents (persons who are registered in the CPR). New born infants do not receive the card until they have been named;
  • Special health insurance cards are issued to persons who are entitled to public healthcare in Denmark without being registered as residents in the CPR. This card is issued by Udbetaling Danmark;
  • The Danish Health Authority is the highest-level health authority in Denmark;
  • The Danish Medicines Agency is the highest-level medicines authority in Denmark;
  • Sundhed.dk is the online public hospital service, where personal services and data can be accessed, for example your patient record from a hospital (electronic patient record). You can also find general information on health, illness and patient rights from the public sector;
  • The Danish Patient Safety Authority is an authority under the Ministry of Health. When expenditure on medical assistance abroad is reimbursed under the EU coordination rules, the bills are sent between the countries through central liaison bodies. The Danish Patient Safety Authority is the Danish liaison body.
  • The regions are the five regional authorities which deal with hospitals and all public healthcare. Read more about the regions.
  • Udbetaling Danmark is the competent institution for issuance and exchange of EU-forms, issuance of European Health Insurance Card/Replacement certificate and Special Health Insurance Card.

Forms you may need to fill in

European Health Insurance Card, self-service.

Know your rights

At the links below you can get information about your legal rights. They do not refer to European Commission websites and therefore do not represent the views of the Commission:

European Commission website:

Who do you need to contact?

Udbetaling Danmark
Kongens Vænge 8
3400 Hillerød
DENMARK
Tel. +45 70 11 12 13

Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed (Danish Patient Safety Authority)
Islands Brygge 67

2300 København S
DENMARK
Tel. +45 72286600
E-mail: stps@stps.dk
Website: www.stps.dk

Sundhedsministeriet (Ministry of Health)
Holbergsgade 6
1057 København K
DENMARK
Tel. +45 72269000
E-mail: sum@sum.dk
Website: www.sum.dk

Sundhedsstyrelsen (Danish Health Authority)
Islands Brygge 67
2300 København S
DENMARK
Tel. +45 72227400
E-mail: sst@sst.dk

Website: www.sst.dk

Lægemiddelstyrelsen (Danish Medicines Agency)
Axel Heides Gade 1
2300 København S
DENMARK
Tel. +45 44889595
E-mail: dkma@dkma.dk
Website: http://laegemiddelstyrelsen.dk/

General information on health: Sundhed.dk

For general information on coming to, living in and leaving Denmark: Borger.dk, Phone 1881 or +45 70101881

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