5 questions about the health insurance

1. Is the health insurance compulsory or voluntary in Switzerland?

Generally, you are required to have a health insurance in Switzerland. A registration is mandatory in the following cases:

  • You are resident in Switzerland
  • You are a foreigner and you own a resident authorisation for more than three months
  • You have immigrated to Switzerland

If you have a health insurance in a country of the European Union, Island or Norway, you can be exempt from compulsory health insurance in exceptional cases. 

If you are a frontier worker and you already benefit from a health insurance, Swiss health insurance is not compulsory.

2. When should I apply for health insurance?

You have to apply for health insurance within the period of three months after your settlement to Switzerland. Furthermore, you have to proof your registration at the Resident’s Registration Office of your domicile.

3. Where can I apply for health insurance?

There are more than 80 companies offering health insurance services. You can apply online, in written form or register at their offices. We recommend you to compare the rates of the different service providers. Thus, you can save more than thousands of francs per year.

4. What is a "premium" und what is a "franchise"?

The premium is the monthly contribution. It is the amount that the insured person pays to the health insurance, independently if he/she makes use of it or not.

Franchise is an annual fixed amount that the insured person pays in the context of the contribution to the costs of the medical services. This amount can be variable and can have an impact on the monthly premium. In general, you can say: the higher the franchise, the lower the premium.

5. Which costs do I pay myself for a doctor’s visit?

You pay:

  • the franchise
  • 10% of the costs above the fixed amount of the franchise (retention fee)

Example: Aftre your visit, you pay your doctor’s visit and then you submit it to your health insurance. Now, the franchise that you have selected is decisive.

If we admit that you have a yearly cost of 1'000 CHF  for doctor’s visits and a franchise of 500 CHF, then, you have a co-payment of

  • 500 CHF, as well as
  • 10% of the total amount of 1'000 CHF, thus 100 CHF

Therefore, you pay 600 CHF yearly as a co-payment and the remaining 400 CHF are paid by your insurance. 

The franchise can be a decisive factor for the yearly costs. The person who can foresee frequent doctor’s visits should select a low franchise.


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