A simple guide to health insurance in Switzerland if you’ve just landed here
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A simple guide to health insurance in Switzerland if you’ve just landed here

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Planning to move to Switzerland or just moved here recently? Here is some of the most important information about health insurance and the Swiss health system.

When you live in Switzerland, you benefit from one of the best health systems in the world. Let us explain what you need to know when moving to Switzerland. And how the Swiss healthcare system differs from the system in your home country.

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Compulsory insurance requirement

Health insurance is compulsory in Switzerland, so if you move or work here or draw a pension from Switzerland, you are obliged by law (Swiss Health Insurance Act (KVG/HIA) to take out basic health insurance.


When does the compulsory insurance requirement take effect?

The compulsory insurance requirement applies on your arrival in Switzerland. However, you have three months from the date of entry to take out basic insurance.


What’s the difference between basic and supplementary health insurance?

Unlike basic health insurance, health insurers themselves determine which benefits they want to offer with their supplementary health insurance policies.

There’s a range of solutions to choose from, including:

  • supplementary hospital insurance plans

  • supplementary insurance plans for preventive care and alternative medicine

  • supplementary insurance plans in case of disability and death.

It’s up to you whether you want to take out supplementary insurance.


Good to know: before you can take out supplementary insurance, you have to answer health questions truthfully and in full. The health insurer then decides whether to accept your application, accept it with a restriction or reject it.


What is the deductible (franchise)?

The deductible is the amount you pay each year before the health insurance company covers a share of the costs of services (visits to the doctor, medicines, lab tests, hospitalisation, etc.).

For example, with a deductible of CHF 2,500, your health insurer pays the difference once you have drawn benefits in excess of CHF 2,500.

Good to know: you can choose your deductible. Adults can choose from the following deductibles: CHF 300, 500, 1,000, 1,500, 2,000 or 2,500.


What is the co-payment?

Once you’ve exhausted your deductible, you only have to pay part of the costs of any further treatment. This is known as the co-payment.

It is usually 10%, up to a maximum of CHF 700 per calendar year. If this amount has also been paid in full, all other costs will be covered by your health insurance.


What is the premium?

The premium is the amount that you have to pay regularly to the health insurance company to cover the costs of your insurance policy.

The premium you pay depends, for example, on your chosen insurance model, your place of residence and your deductible. The lower the chosen deductible, the higher the monthly premium.


Sanitas – your health partner

You can be sure of comprehensive insurance with Sanitas, because Switzerland’s most popular insurer offers a range of basic and supplementary health insurance plans tailored to its customers’ requirements.

And what’s more, we explain complicated topics so they’re easy to understand – in German, English, French and Italian.


Any questions?

We’re happy to help you find the best health insurance solution for you.

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