Health Insurance Switzerland
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Swiss health insurance for expats and newcomers
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. 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
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Health Insurance Switzerland
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
|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:|
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.