Health insurance

In general, all persons resident in Switzerland need health insurance. Eligible persons receive premium reduction. Limited groups of people are exempted from compulsory health insurance. The Department of Health decides on requests for exemption.

Table of contents

Compulsory health insurance

According to federal law, every person resident in Switzerland must be insured with a recognised Swiss health insurance company (KVG) [Swiss Federal Law on Compulsory Health Care]. The compulsory health insurance starts from birth or at taking up residence in Switzerland, whereby the enrolment must be made in within three months.

Persons resident abroad who have a short stay or residence permit valid for more than three months, who work in Switzerland (cross-border commuters) or who draw a Swiss pension are also subject to compulsory insurance.

The insurers calculate the premiums for compulsory health insurance. The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) approves and publishes the premiums.

Exemption from compulsory health insurance

Exemption from compulsory health insurance is possible for a small number of groups of people and only on application and is granted with restraint. The Department of Health decides on applications for exemption. You will find more detailed information below.

Instructions and documents

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Persons staying in Switzerland for education or training purposes: pupils, students, doctoral students, interns, trainees and au-pairs and their accompanying family members.

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

A. Persons with statutory or compulsary state insurance (only possible for students who are not gainfully employed):

  • Confirmation of the educational institution (school or enrolment confirmation)
  • Copy of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

An exemption with the EHIC is only possible for students who are not gainfully employed. Gainful employment is defined as any work for remuneration, even if it is minimal (e.g. part-time job, internship, au-pairs, doctorate).

 

B. Privately or voluntarily insured persons:

  •  Confirmation of the educational institution (confirmation of school, matriculation, doctorate, internship, au-pair contract etc.)
  • Confirmation form A, signed and stamped by the foreign insurer (not necessary for recognised student insurance companies)
  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate

Please note:

To be exempted from the health insurance obligation under the KVG [Swiss Federal Law on Compulsory Health Care], the existing / private / foreign health insurance you have taken out for treatment in Switzerland must be equivalent to the insurance under the KVG. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The decisive factor is that there are no gaps or restrictions compared with the scope of benefits of an insurance policy under the KVG. If the insurance conditions refer directly to the KVG, equivalence is given, unless restrictions have been formulated in individual cases. For insurance policies without reference to the KVG, the following points, among others, are checked:

  • There must not be a general performance limit (e.g. a maximum of EUR 300,000 per year),
  • Illnesses that existed before the insurance was taken out must not be excluded,
  • Exclusion of benefits in the event of need for long-term care,
  • Exclusions of certain types of diseases (e.g. mental illnesses) are not permitted,
  • Exclusions due to personal fault or gross negligence are not permitted,
  • Exclusions of illnesses or accidents resulting from the practice of certain sports (e.g. riding accidents) are not permitted.

This list is not complete. In any case, an individual case assessment will be made.

Persons who are posted to Switzerland as employees, provided they are exempt from the obligation to contribute to the AHV/IV [Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Invalidity Insurance (IV)] scheme, and the members of their families accompanying them.

Please note:

To be exempted from compulsory health insurance, the foreign health insurance policy you have taken out must at least cover the benefits according to KVG [Swiss Federal Law on Compulsory Health Care] for treatment in Switzerland. The exemption or waiver of the exemption cannot be revoked.

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

 

A. For postings from an EU/EFTA member state:

  • Form A1/E101 (obtainable from your employer or from the competent authority in your country of origin)

B. For postings from Australia, Chile, China, Ireland, Israel, Canada (including Québec), the Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, Uruguay, the United States of America, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia:

  • Certificate of coverage of the foreign social security authority
  • Confirmation form C, signed and stamped by the employer

C. For postings from India and Japan:

  • Certificate of coverage of the foreign social security authority

D. In the case of postings from other countries, it is not possible to be exempted from compulsory insurance on the basis of the posting status.

Persons who are compulsorily insured in the country of origin, with which there is no regulation on the delimitation of compulsory insurance (not for persons living in an EU/EFTA member state).

Please note:

To be exempted from compulsory health insurance, the compulsory health insurance you have taken out for treatment in Switzerland must be equivalent to insurance under the KVG [Swiss Federal Law on Compulsory Health Care].

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

  • Confirmation form D, signed and stamped by the foreign insurer
  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate.

Persons who are privately insured abroad and who, due to their age (over 55 years) and/or state of health, cannot take out supplementary insurance in Switzerland, or can only do so on barely acceptable terms and conditions, to the extent that they were previously insured.

Please note:

The exemption or waiver of the exemption cannot be revoked without special reason.

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

  • Confirmation form H, correctly completed, signed and stamped by the foreign insurer
  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate
  • If younger than 55 years: medical certificate of an existing serious health impairment or previous illness

Persons with an EU/EFTA residence permit «without gainful employment» / «not entitled to gainful employment» / «unemployed residence».

Exemption is not possible for non-employed persons with an EU/EFTA residence permit «without gainful employment» who have foreign statutory health insurance (EHIC).

Please note:

The exemption or waiver of exemption cannot be revoked without special reason.

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

  • Copy of the residence permit (front and back)
  • Confirmation form N, signed and stamped by the foreign insurer
  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate

Persons who are resident in Switzerland and who are exclusively employed or on parental leave in an EU/EFTA member state.

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

A. Persons with statutory or compulsory state insurance:

  • Form E 106/S1 (to be obtained from your statutory insurer or the competent authority in the country of employment)


B. Private or voluntarily insured persons:

  • Confirmation of employment / parental leave certificate
  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate

Persons who are employed both in Switzerland and in an EU/EFTA member state.

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

  • Form A1/E101 (obtainable from your insurer or the competent authority of the foreign country) if you are employed in Switzerland and in one or more EU/EFTA member states
  • Confirmations of employment (from all employers abroad and in Switzerland) and/or proof of income in the case of self-employment
  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate

Persons who are registered in Switzerland and have moved their place of residence abroad because of their studies abroad.

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

A. If studying in an EU/EFTA member state (for students up to the age of 25):

  • Explain how you live abroad (own apartment/house, rented apartment, rented room) and enclose supporting documents (e.g. copy of the rental contract etc.)
  • Study confirmation
  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate
  • Information on any employment abroad by means of a copy of the employment contract
  • Details of place of employment, place of residence and existence of Swiss basic insurance of parents (not required if you live and study in one of the following countries: Denmark, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom)
  • Confirmation of your place of residence abroad

B. If studying in an EU/EFTA member state (for students aged 26 and over) or studying in a non-EU/EFTA member state

  • Describe how you live abroad (own apartment/house, rented apartment, rented room) and attach supporting documents (e.g. copy of the rental contract etc.)
  • Study confirmation
  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate
  • Information on any employment abroad by means of a copy of the employment contract
  • Confirmation of your place of residence abroad

Persons who are employed exclusively in Switzerland but have their centre of life in Germany, France, Italy or Austria and return there at least once a week.

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

  • Copy of the residence permit (front and back)
  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate
  • Current confirmation of your place of residence abroad (if you have spouses and/or children, also for them)
  • Describe how you live abroad and in Switzerland (own apartment/house, rented apartment, rented room) and attach supporting documents
  • Explain the periods of time (within one month, within one week) during which you are abroad and in Switzerland and enclose proof of regular return abroad for a period of at least 6-8 weeks (e.g. copies of train tickets, flight tickets, fuel receipts)

Cross-border commuters from Germany, France, Italy or Austria (only with residence permit G).

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

A. Persons with statutory or compulsory state insurance:

  • For France only: Form «Choix du système d'assurances-maladie applicable» completed and signed by the CPAM (form available for download below). Further information can be found on the FOPH's website.
  • Copy of cross-border commuter permit (front and back)
  • Copy of the European Health Insurance Card
  • Copy of the European Health Insurance Card of the non-employed family members (resident in GER, FRA, IT or AUT)

B. Private or voluntarily insured persons:

  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate of the non-employed family members (resident in GER, IT or AUT)
  • Copy of cross-border commuter permit (front and back)
  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate / Certificate of Entitlement

Persons who receive a pension from an EU/EFTA member state.

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

A. Persons with statutory or compulsory state insurance:

  • Form E 121/S1 (to be obtained from the competent authority in your home country)

B. Private or voluntarily insured persons:

  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate
  • Pension statement

Persons who are not gainfully employed in Switzerland and receive unemployment insurance benefits from an EU/EFTA member state.

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

A. Persons with statutory or compulsory state insurance:

  • Form E 303/U2/U3 (to be obtained from the competent authority in your country of origin


B. Private or voluntarily insured persons:

  • Certificate from the unemployment office confirming receipt of benefits
  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate

Persons who have ceased working for an institutional beneficiary – listed by the FOPH.  

Please note:

To be exempted from compulsory health insurance, the insurance you have taken out for treatment in Switzerland must be equivalent to insurance under the KVG. The exemption or waiver of the exemption cannot be revoked.

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate
  • Confirmation from your former institutional beneficiary that you have ceased your activities
  • Confirmation form W, signed and stamped by the competent authority of your former institutional beneficiary / foreign/private health insurer

Persons who are included in the health insurance of a person with privileges under international law or of a person who has ceased working for an institutional beneficiary – listed by the FOPH – and who do not themselves enjoy privileges or immunities.

Please note:

To be exempted from compulsory health insurance, the insurance you have taken out for treatment in Switzerland must be equivalent to insurance under the KVG. The exemption or waiver of the exemption cannot be revoked.

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate
  • Confirmation of inclusion in the health insurance scheme of the institutional beneficiary
  • Confirmation form V, signed and stamped by the competent authority of the institutional beneficiary / foreign / private health insurer

Persons in the registration procedure / with a 90-day or 120-day permit.

Please note:

To be exempted from compulsory health insurance, the insurance you have taken out for treatment in Switzerland must be equivalent to insurance under the KVG. The exemption or waiver of the exemption cannot be revoked.

Please enclose the following documents with your application:

A. Persons resident in Germany, France, Italy or Austria (neighbouring countries)

  • Copy of the confirmation of the registration procedure
  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / insurance certificate of the private health insurance or a copy of the European Health Insurance Card

Comment:

An exemption from compulsory health insurance with a European Health Insurance Card is not possible for persons working in Switzerland because the person is subject to Swiss legislation due to their employment in Switzerland (an exception applies to countries with a right to opt: Germany, France, Italy or Austria).


B. Persons resident in other EU/EFTA countries (not neighbouring countries; not possible with a 120-day permit)

  • Copy of the confirmation of the notification procedure
  • Copy of the currently valid insurance policy / the currently valid insurance certificate of the private health insurance
  • Confirmation form M, signed and stamped by the foreign / private insurer

Premium reduction

The individual premium reduction (IPV) [Social Security Instituition] provides financial support to people in modest economic circumstances. The Confederation and the canton contribute to the premiums of the compulsory health insurance of eligible persons. The IPV is only paid out on application and paid directly to your health insurance company. In early summer, the SVA Zurich sends the entitled persons an application form for the following year. For further information, please contact the SVA Zurich.

Contact

Gesundheitsdirektion – Versicherungsobligatorium

Address

Stampfenbachstrasse 30
8090 Zürich
Show route

Phone

+41 43 259 24 38

Allgemeine telefonische Auskünfte


Montag bis Freitag 9.00 bis 11.30 Uhr

 

+41 43 259 52 10

Fax

Email

kvg­@gd.zh.ch


Im Falle einer Einsprache
kvgeinsprachen@gd.zh.ch

 

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