Health Insurance Switzerland

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Expat Health Insurance Switzerland

What's more stressful than arriving in a new country and being told you have 3 months to take out mandatory health insurance? The Swiss insurance market can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we at GRYPS help you by introducing you to up to 3 suitable insurance companies. Each of these will make you an individual quote for you to compare and find the solution that suits you best.

If you understand German please fill out the blue questionnaire on the right and we will start looking for suitable insurance companies for you. You can also contact us in English trough the number 055 211 05 30. Our service is free of charge and without any obligation on your side.

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Health Insurance Switzer­land – Get quotes to compare

Here’s what you need to know about the Swiss health care system:

  • it is mandatory for everyone living or working in Switzerland to take out health insurance
  • upon your registration at a Swiss municipality you have 3 months to do so
  • health insurance begins retroactively on the day you enter the country, i.e. you are obliged to pay the insurance premiums from day one as well
  • the individual monthly premium depends on your place of residence, insurance model, age and chosen deductible / excess
  • for more comfort and service there is optional supplementary insurance (Zusatzversicherung) available
Do you need to take out or want to change your health insurance in Switzerland? Fill out the blue questionnaire on top of this page or

call us at 055 211 05 30
write us at [email protected]

Basic Health Insurance – How to find the best option?

Basic insurance is compulsory for people living in Switzerland. Several insurance companies provide health insurances, each of them covering the same catalogue of benefits.

The difference between these insurers mainly lies in the customer service and premium fees. The Swiss health care system is based on a yearly deductible / excess system, i.e. you have to pay a minimum fee, which is variable. Your health insurance will cover costs that exceed your chosen deductible, you will however have to pay a charge of 10-20% of your medical expenses yourself until you reach the amount of 700 CHF.

Swiss Health Insurance – How it works

The example shows how Swiss health insurance works, assuming your deductible is 300 CHF. These prices are estimates:

treatment costs your expenses paid by insurance
doctor consultation including virus screening and medication 280 CHF 280 CHF 0 CHF
doctor consultation including basic medical tests for vitamins, thyroid function etc. 180 CHF

20 CHF to reach your total deductible of 300 CHF
10% of the remaining 160 CHF
36 CHF

160 CHF - 10% charge
144 CHF
total 460 CHF 316 CHF 144 CHF

In this example the deductible of 300 CHF is exceeded during the second consultation. If there are more consultations, treatments or medication required you would only have to pay the required charge of 10% for each invoice made until your own expenses exceed 700 CHF (350 for children).

Basic Health Insurance deductible / excess choice

There are several deductible levels possible:

  • 300 CHF – results in high monthly premiums
  • 500 CHF
  • 1000 CHF
  • 1500 CHF
  • 2000 CHF
  • 2500 CHF – lowest monthly premiums

Children's deductibles range from 0 to 600 CHF per year.

It is generally recommended to choose a low deductible if you expect high health costs, while the highest level is suitable if you are in good general health and no surgery or visits to the doctor are planned. Your health insurance company can give you more information and advice.

Basic Health Insurance models – How to keep premiums low?

There are various health insurance models that offer discounts depending on your choice. The benefits remain the same for all models, but the first contact point changes:

  • Standard model: any doctor (except hospital doctors) can be consulted.
  • Family doctor model: A family doctor must be selected and always contacted first (except in emergencies). 15-20% discount compared to standard model.
  • HMO model: A doctor from your chosen health network must be consulted. 25% discount.
  • TelMed model: A medical consultation hotline is consulted. The medical staff gives advice, but the consequent choice to see a doctor (free choice) is up to you. 15-20% discount.

Basic Health Insurance benefits

Basic health insurance covers costs of most medical treatments including: The following medical services are covered as well, although not fully or limited to certain conditions:
  • doctor or hospital visits
  • maternity care
  • medication
  • mental health care
  • gynecological screenings
  • vaccinations
  • cancer screenings
  • alternative therapy
  • medical aids and devices
  • rehabilitation and stay at a health resort
  • emergency transport or rescue
  • emergency treatment abroad
  • eye care
  • dental care (only in case of a severe disease or similar)

It is worthwhile to compare health insurance offers since the various providers each offer a wide range of options.

Important: More tips on health care in Switzerland

  • Health insurance companies are obliged by law to accept any applicant for the basic health insurance.
  • Children are not automatically insured with their parents's insurance company
  • Premiums can vary drastically from canton to canton and even within different regions of a canton. If you are planning to move within Switzerland we recommend that you always compare the premium fees in that region and change your health insurance company if necessary.
  • Change of basic insurance is possible at each start of the year with a mandatory one month’s notice.;

Exceptions: Who doesn’t have to take out health insurance in Switzer­land?

There are few exceptions to the rule. You don’t have to take out health insurance under the following conditions:

  • Pensioners if they receive a pension exclusively from an EU/EFTA country.
  • Employed persons working in an EU/EFTA country (cross-border workers)
  • Students with temporary residence and equivalent insurance.
  • Staff of international organisations, embassies and consulates and, under certain conditions, their family members.

Supplementary Health Insurance

Supplementary insurance offers additional comfort to basic insurance. They are more complex; the offers differ not only in terms of premiums, but also in terms of benefits and service. The offers differ depending on the health insurance company and each insurer only contributes up to a certain maximum amount to the costs - both annually and per treatment. Therefore, compare the different offers well.

Supplementary insurance premiums and benefits

Health insurance companies calculate the premiums for supplementary insurance considering risk factors like age, sex and medical history. They require a health declaration, which you are obliged to fill out truthfully. The insurance companies are not obliged to accept you in the supplementary insurance and can reject your application without explanation.

Two categories: Supplemental hos­pital insurance and supplemental outpatient insurance

Supplementary insurance is divided into two categories:

Supplemental hospital insurance includes:

  • General supplementary hospital insurance: You are free to choose any hospital in Switzerland.
  • Semi-private and private supplementary hospital insurance: You have a free choice of doctor and a choice of two-bed or single rooms.
  • Flex model: You have a free choice of hospital ward before each stay against a deductible that varies from insurance company to insurance company.

Supplemental outpatient insurance includes a wide range of benefits, among them:

  • psychotherapeutic treatments by psychologists without medical training
  • medications that are not covered by basic health insurance
  • complementary / alternative medicine
  • vaccination costs
  • fitness subscription / yoga classes
  • bathing and recreational cures
  • visual aids & hearing aids
  • household help
  • dental treatments

Tips on changing your supplemen­tary insurance:

  • Do not cancel your old supplementary insurance until you have signed the contract for the new supplementary insurance! Otherwise you run the risk of being without supplementary insurance.
  • It is possible to change your supplementary insurance or terminate it at the end of the year with a notice period of 3 months.
  • Some insurances offer particularly favourable tariffs with a long contract duration.
  • The supplementary insurance does not have to be taken out with the same insurance company as the basic insurance.

How to compare and change health insurance policies in Switzerland

Each health insurance company has to communicate their new premiums for the next year by October 31st in written form. If you wish to change your basic health insurance your letter of cancellation has to reach your current health insurance provider by November 30th. The new basic health insurance comes into effect by January 1st. It is important that your notice of cancellation reaches your current health insurance provider before the deadline is over. The date of receipt counts! If you hold a basic health insurance with a regular deductible of CHF 300 (Children: CHF 0) and standard model you additionally have the option to send the cancellation form by March 31th changing the health insurance with effect from July 1st.

It is possible to change your supplementary insurance or terminate it at the end of the year with a notice period of 3 months. We at GRYPS can help you to find up to three insurance companies that can each provide you with an individual health insurance offer.


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