Health insurance covers medical costs in case of sickness or accident. It settles the costs which are not covered by employee accident insurance. It guarantees each person living in Switzerland access to adequate medical care.
Obligation to be insured
Every person living in Switzerland must be insured. Each member of a family, adult and child, is individually insured. Every person who arrives in Switzerland to live must be insured within three months. Parents have the same period of time to affiliate their newborn child to an insurance plan. The insured person has free choice of insurance company, which must accept them without any restrictions or delay irrespective of their age or condition of health.
There are approx.100 companies which are recognized by the Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO) and which are allowed to provide health insurance services. The website of the Federal Social Insurance Office provides more information about compulsory health insurance.
Health insurance is managed by several insurers. Only those that fulfil the conditions required by law, without seeking profit, are recognized and permitted to provide health insurance.
The role of the companies is not only limited to the reimbursement of services provided to the insured person but they also have to duty, together with the cantons, to encourage health promotion.
Health insurance premium
Health insurance premiums vary according to the companies and place of domicile. You have the possibility to compare premiums of different insurance companies on several websites of the FSIO. When the client chooses to pay a share of the costs themselves (franchise system) they are entitled to several premium discounts. Companies offer several possibilities. Clients on low incomes can, in some instances, ask for cantonal grants. The relevant cantonal office will provide the necessary information.