Health Insurance in Switzerland

Guide byHelvetia

Health insurance is mandatory in Switzerland. Within 3 months of your arrival in Switzerland, you will be asked to provide proof that you have health insurance coverage.

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  • When living in Switzerland, health insurance is required by law.

  • Within 3 months of your arrival in Switzerland, you will be asked to provide proof that you have Swiss health insurance coverage. 

  • There is no advantage in waiting until the third month to take out the policy, because you will have to pay for all three months regardless of when you sign the insurance contract.

Health insurance is normally obtained from a private insurance company.

What does the insurance cover?

By law, the basic coverage covers the majority of the basic medical costs resulting from an illness. It is compulsory to have this basic coverage. Depending on your health situation or individual needs, additional options may be required.

Additional coverage for more specific treatment or access to a wider range of private healthcare services:

Accident insurance: coverage of treatment costs resulting from an accident. Usually, accident insurance is covered by one‘s employer. If you are not employed, you are required to take out accident insurance in the form of supplementary health insurance.

Costs of Swiss health insurance

The costs depend on the level of coverage; the basic cover is approximately CHF 380 per month for an adult and CHF 90 for a child. 

Additional coverage is usually recommended and therefore the premium varies depending on the additional coverage chosen. The insured person must also pay part of the costs – the so-called Franchise – to a maximum of CHF 2,500 per year.

Change of health insurance provider

You will only be able to change your health insurance provider once a year (on 30 November each year), provided you give one-month notice.

How to proceed

Step 1: Discuss with your employer whether there are options that can be taken out through a corporate agreement that may exist and that may be a benefit provided to all employees

Step 2: Assess your situation and that of your entire family to ensure that you are adequately covered both in the event of illness and accident.

During your selection process these are a few questions to consider:

• How long will it take for hospitalisation coverage to begin? What is the coverage limited to?

• Is all prescribed medication covered up to 90% of the costs, or are there restrictions?

• Is there a deductible (excess)?

• Is prescribed treatment at a spa or wellness centre included in coverage?

• Are there restrictions on hospitalisation outside the canton of residence?

• What is covered whilst travelling abroad?

• Are emergency ambulance costs covered?

• Is a cash sum payable in the event of death?

• Which costs are covered for dental care due to an accident?

• Are extra charges likely to be incurred? If so, what are they?

• What costs are included for spectacles and contact lenses?

• Is there a waiting period for special care, maternity or other?

• What specific treatments does this policy exclude?

Step 3: Once you have taken out the insurance policies that you and your family need, be sure to you inform your local authority by sending them a certificate of attestation.