Under the Federal Health Insurance Act (KVG), every person resident in Switzerland must have at least mandatory basic insurance.
Families must take out separate basic insurance for each member of the family, regardless of age.
You have three months from the date on which you register with the residents' registration office to register with a health insurer for mandatory basic insurance. Because insurance cover begins as soon as you register with the residents' registration office, the premiums for basic insurance are owed with effect from the month of registration. This means that you may have to make more than one month’s payment when you pay for the first time.
The medical benefits covered are regulated by law and are the same with all insurance providers. Insurance companies are obliged to accept all applications for basic insurance.
Yes, it is obligatory in Switzerland to contribute towards your own healthcare costs. This contribution is levied through the annual excess and the deductible. The excess is the annual amount which the insured person must contribute towards the services which he/she uses. Individuals can select the level of excess that suits them. The options for excesses are defined in law and are set at CHF 300 to CHF 2,500 for adults. Once the excess has been paid, the insured person is also responsible for paying the deductible, which is 10% of the relevant healthcare costs. However, the deductible never exceeds 700 francs per calendar year. So, with an excess of CHF 300, the maximum cost to the insured person would be CHF 1,000.The excess and deductible are lower for children. The larger the excess, the lower the monthly premium.
The right choice of excess depends on the expected healthcare costs. The larger the excess you choose, the lower your monthly premium will be. Therefore, if you expect your monthly healthcare costs to be low, you would usually choose a large excess and so keep your insurance costs to a minimum. The options for excesses are defined in law and are set at CHF 300 to CHF 2,500 for adults.
The basic insurance provides all insured persons with the same scope of cover. The premium to be paid depends on the insured person’s place of residence and age. However, insurance costs can be significantly reduced depending on the basic insurance model chosen.
In Switzerland, unlike in other countries, premiums are paid in full by the insured person. Depending on the insurance company, the insured person can choose the payment frequency.
If you miss the registration deadline, you will be assigned to a statutory health insurer by your municipality and a premium surcharge will apply.
You can only have medical treatment in Switzerland, even if the costs are lower in your home country.
Normally the doctor's bill is sent directly to the health insurer from the doctor’s practice. To take advantage of this facility you must present your insurance card when you register with a doctor. The practice may, however, send the invoice directly to you. In this case you would pay the bill and submit the paid invoice to the health insurer. If you are entitled to reimbursement, the amount in question will be transferred to you by the health insurer.
Every health insurer will be happy to provide you with more detailed information about the benefits available under the mandatory basic insurance. Make an appointment with the health insurer of your choosing.
As a rule, invoices which you have settled yourself can be submitted to the health insurer either digitally or by post. Submitted invoices are checked and, if you are entitled to reimbursement, the sum in question will be transferred to you. This process generally takes a few days.
In Switzerland there are a number of statutory social insurance providers and schemes. You'll find an overview in our fact sheet on social insurers in Switzerland.
No, supplementary insurance is voluntary. It is used to top up the benefits available under the mandatory basic insurance in line with the insured person's individual needs.
Supplementary insurance tops up the benefits available under the mandatory basic insurance in line with the insured person's individual needs. For example, supplementary insurance could cover benefits in the field of complementary medicine, the cost of glasses and contact lenses, dental treatment and much more. Personal advice from an expert will help you to find the supplementary insurance plan that is right for you.
Supplementary insurance can be purchased at any time.
An insurance advisor is the right person to approach for advice in this area. He will put together a personal quotation that is tailored to your needs. You will have to complete a medical check before you can buy supplementary insurance. This will also be provided by the insurance advisor. The insurance application is then submitted and checked by the health insurer. Usually you will be informed in writing if your application is successful. Health insurers are entitled to accept an application in full, accept it with certain exclusions, or reject it.
Yes, health insurers can reject an application in part (i.e. by specifying exclusions) or in full if the applicant has previously suffered a serious illness or accident. However, it is always possible to take out basic insurance.
No, under the Federal Health Insurance Act only the basic insurance is mandatory for people living in Switzerland.
As a matter of principle you can be admitted to any hospital in Switzerland. However, if you do not have hospitalisation insurance, the costs are only covered up to the amount that would be covered for the same treatment in your canton of residence. Since treatment costs vary from canton to canton, insured persons may face additional costs as a result. The only exception is if the treatment required is unavailable in your canton of residence.
When you buy hospitalisation insurance, you select a deductible of between CHF 0 and CHF 5,000, representing your contribution towards the cost of hospital treatment.
SWICA is the only health insurer which applies co-payments from its basic plans to its supplementary plans, which means that your maximum annual cost is substantially lower than it would be with other health insurers.