New to Switzerland
All information on health insurance
Welcome to Switzerland! Here you will find everything you need to know about compulsory health insurance (also called basic insurance) in accordance with the Swiss Federal Law on Sickness Insurance (KVG) and voluntary supplementary insurance in accordance with the Swiss Federal Law on Insurance Contracts (VVG).
Compulsory health insurance
This insurance covers the basic medical needs associated with illness, accidental injury and pregnancy. All health insurance companies provide basic insurance with the same benefits. Premiums are based on your place of residence or age.
The obligation to take out insurance
In Switzerland, the obligation to take out insurance applies for basic insurance based on the place of employment principle. If you move from abroad to live in Switzerland and work in Switzerland or draw your pension while living in a country other than Switzerland, you have to have health insurance in Switzerland. As the Swiss health insurance system is based on per capita premiums, families have to take out basic insurance for each individual family member.
Once you have registered with the residents’ registration office, you have three months to take out compulsory health insurance. When you take out insurance before the three-month deadline, you will be insured from the date you took up residence in Switzerland. Premiums must also be paid retrospectively with effect from this date. If you miss the three-month deadline, your insurance cover will start from the date you take out the policy. You will also be charged a fee for taking out insurance after the deadline has expired.
You are not obliged to take out insurance if the following cases apply to you:
Based on the place of employment principle, you are obliged to take out insurance in the country of your employer and cannot take out health insurance in Switzerland.
Based on the place of employment principle, you are obliged to take out insurance in the country where your pension is paid. You cannot take out health insurance in Switzerland.
Your employer sends you to Switzerland to work for a certain period of time and you move to Switzerland temporarily. In this case, you are not subject to the Swiss obligation to take out insurance and cannot take out health insurance in Switzerland.
If you see a doctor, go to hospital or need medication, you must contribute to the costs of using these services. This cost contribution comprises the franchise as well as an additional excess of 10 per cent. Learn more >
If you work at least eight hours a week, you fall under your employer’s insurance for work-related and non-work-related accidents and can exclude accident cover from your basic insurance.
Voluntary supplementary insurance
You can extend and increase the benefits of your basic insurance cover to suit your needs by taking out supplementary insurance. You can include supplementary insurance cover for outpatient treatment (e.g. alternative medicine, preventive treatment, glasses, dental treatment) or inpatient treatment (e.g. free choice of doctor and hospital, greater room comfort).
Unlike compulsory basic insurance, the benefits offered with supplementary insurance products are different with each health insurance company. The premiums for each supplementary insurance product are the same across the whole of Switzerland and are calculated according to your age and gender. For existing illnesses, pre-existing conditions or injuries, Sympany can issue a policy with a reservation or refuse to issue insurance altogether.
Taking out insurance
You can use the premium calculator to generate a quote for you and your family. Premiums are calculated based on your personal data. Please include the following documents in your insurance application:
- a copy of your confirmation of place of residence (available from the residents’ registration office or municipal administration)
- a copy of your residence permit (e.g. B, C, G, L)
- if you had health insurance cover in your country of origin at the time you moved to Switzerland, please provide proof of insurance from your non-Swiss insurance provider
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