“To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.”
Switzerland has a solid and effective social insurance network. Every person living in Switzerland is obliged to take out health insurance. In accordance with the law, health insurance companies may not refuse anyone applying for basic health insurance. This also applies to persons without a residence permit.
Any person living and working in Switzerland, irrespective of their age and state of health, must obtain insurance for basic nursing care from a health insurance company within three months after his/her arrival in Switzerland.
Any health insurance company throughout Switzerland can be chosen. The contributions to the health insurance are not deducted from the salary, i.e. the premiums and contributions to the costs (franchise and share) must be paid by the insured person himself/herself.
Healthcare insurance is divided into two parts, one of which is an obligatory basic product that is the same for every company, and supplemental insurance, which is not obligatory and which is handled differently by each company. Supplemental insurance coverage is not obligatory, as, for example private or semi-private hospital rooms, supplemental insurance coverage etc.
Health insurance covers services provided in case of illness, accidents, insofar as no separate accident insurance exists, and maternity. In case of illness, the insurance company reimburses the cost of medical treatment minus the legally prescribed contributions to the costs of the insured person.
Health insurance covers the costs of medical treatment and hospitalisation of the insured. However, the insured person pays part of the cost of treatment. This is done (a) by means of an annual excess (or deductible, called the franchise), which ranges from CHF 300 to a maximum of CHF 2,500 as chosen by the insured person (premiums are adjusted accordingly) and (b) by a charge of 10% of the costs over and above the excess up to a stop-loss amount of CHF 700.-.
The cost of medical treatment abroad in case of an emergency is also reimbursed up to twice the amount which would be reimbursed in Switzerland. Insurance claims in case of an emergency during a stay in Germany are also covered for persons being not citizens of an EU or EFTA member country due to the social security agreement between Germany and Switzerland.
What exactly is covered by the insurance is determined in your insurance policy. Ask your health insurance about the exact insurance benefit.
1.) Comparis provides information on the health insurance companies in Switzerland.
2.) The Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO) provides general information about the Swiss social insurances and health insurances.