Guide to Health Insurance in Switzerland

If you’re relocating to Switzerland or just looking for a new international health insurance provider, it’s vital to know what this country has to offer in terms of insurance provision, medical care and facilities.

It will be little surprise to learn that Switzerland provides excellent medical and nursing care with short waiting lists for expert treatment and easy access to new, expensive drug treatments.
However, the system of health care insurance in Switzerland is complicated and can be expensive so it is essential for expatriates to consider taking out a comprehensive international health care plan to cover possible evacuation and repatriation medical costs.

If you’re relocating to Switzerland or just looking for a new international health insurance provider, it’s vital to know what this country has to offer in terms of insurance provision, medical care and facilities.

It will be little surprise to learn that Switzerland provides excellent medical and nursing care with short waiting lists for expert treatment and easy access to new, expensive drug treatments.

However, the system of health care insurance in Switzerland is complicated and can be expensive so it is essential for expatriates to consider taking out a comprehensive international health care plan to cover possible evacuation and repatriation medical costs.

Healthcare facilities

The Swiss healthcare authorities are renowned for providing excellent medical care to the eight million citizens who live there. The average life expectancy of 82 is considerably higher than that found in many other European countries but the Swiss do pay a lot of taxes in order to achieve good health.

It is required by law that everyone must buy and maintain health insurance to cover sickness, benefits and maternity and the Swiss system of health care insurance is administered according to which canton you live or work in.

Someone of 80 will pay the same sickness fund contribution as a 30-year-old – there are no differences in payment rates for those aged over 26 and your gender won’t affect your contribution. This means that price variations generally reflect the local risk.

Contracts exist between sickness fund administrators and hospitals in your canton but it is advisable to buy top-up insurance to cover claims not covered by the Swiss health insurance scheme.

Every person who receives medical care in Switzerland is obliged to cover the first ten per cent of the cost of their treatment.

Expats are required to register with their canton no later than three months after they arrive in Switzerland, regardless of whether they have an international plan or not. The only exception to this rule applies to some members of permanent missions, NGO staff and international foreign civil servants located in larger cities like Geneva.

The registry office of your canton will inform expats whether they need a local policy or whether your international policy will suffice.

It is common practice for expatriates to pay into a local policy and have an international plan as an essential back-up. Having an international plan will provide you with evacuation and repatriation cover should you require urgent medical treatment abroad.

Before you go

According to the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, anyone born after 1963 who has not already been vaccinated against measles should be – advice which is extended to those who have not already had measles.

Next steps

You can obtain a quote for one of our WorldCare plans to cover your time in Switzerland and also access treatment anywhere in the world. Purchase and management of your plan can be done online – it’s an easy and quick way to get instant comprehensive cover.

Back To Top