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Old 02.03.2015, 23:01
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Swiss citizen who returned to CH from US is in need of insurance.

Hi,

I am assisting my coworker with this, as his mother is ill in Switzerland without health insurance and they are going through a lot of money!

His mother is a Swiss Citizen and has had a green card in the US for 30 years. Four years ago she also received her US citizenship. She lives part of the year in Morges and most of the year in California. As a US citizen most of the year, she has insurance in the US that does not cover medical services outside of the US. She had temporary insurance for her time abroad when she last visited CH in summer 2014, but it lapsed before she was diagnosed with cancer. She has not been back to the US since she was diagnosed due to failing health.

She is still in CH (has been for 8 months) with much of that time spent in and out of the hospital. They have now spend a great deal of money on her medical issues including multiple surgeries.

Does anyone know whether she would be eligible for Swiss mandated health insurance and would her pre-existing condition(s) be covered? Does she need to register and become a resident now that she has been there this long? Will there be any problems with her registering to become a resident, since she unexpectedly has been in Switzerland for 8 months (vs the three required to register?)

Are there any other issues, through about what she could do to receive assistance with these medical costs since she is a Swiss citizen?

Thank you for your assistance!
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Old 02.03.2015, 23:08
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Re: Swiss citizen who returned to CH from US is in need of insurance.

Yes, she's eligible for Swiss health insurance once she registers as living here. She may find she has to pay back the months to when she first arrived though. And she'll only be covered by the basic insurance, not any supplemental/alternative health treatments.

She also needs to look at her US tax filing obligations now she's out of the country. If she has a Swiss bank account or opens one for example it'll need to be reported on an FBAR form if the aggregate amount comes to over $10,000 at any time of the year.
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Old 02.03.2015, 23:15
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Re: Swiss citizen who returned to CH from US is in need of insurance.

If she has been in Switzerland for 8 Months then she SHOULD have Swiss health insurance it is compulsory. Has she not registered at her gemeinde? Basic health insurance has to cover pre-existing conditions.

She should have registered at her Gemeinde long ago. She should go there and explain that she arrived on such a date and wants to "sign in" she'll probably get a lecture, but as a Swiss citizen, they can't do too much. Then she should apply for swiss health insurance… hopefully they will back date it to the arrival date. She'll have to pay 8 months of premiums, but then she should be able to claim back much of her treatment costs.

Last edited by Island Monkey; 02.03.2015 at 23:31.
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Old 03.03.2015, 00:40
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Re: Swiss citizen who returned to CH from US is in need of insurance.

Thank you both for your quick responses. She could not physically walk in anywhere due to her health condition. She had not been spending more than 180 days in the country and didn't expect that she would be doing so (and as a result eligible for such insurance). Then she got deathly sick and has been hospitalized so was unable to go anywhere to register.

Medea - why wouldn't she be eligible for supplemental?
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Old 03.03.2015, 00:45
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Re: Swiss citizen who returned to CH from US is in need of insurance.

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Thank you both for your quick responses. She could not physically walk in anywhere due to her health condition. She had not been spending more than 180 days in the country and didn't expect that she would be doing so (and as a result eligible for such insurance). Then she got deathly sick and has been hospitalized so was unable to go anywhere to register.

Medea - why wouldn't she be eligible for supplemental?
You should register in Switzerland if you stay/intend to stay more than 90 days, she can explain to her commune, why she was unable to do so and I'm sure they will be fine with her…. although someone could have done this for her I'm sure. You are eligible for Swiss insurance from the day you register as resident, no matter how short your stay.

She won't be able to get supplementary insurance because of her pre-existing conditions. But she will be able to get basic insurance, which will cover all her care as long as it wasn't private.

But good news is, if she registers and back dates her insurance, it should cover all the costs incurred.
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Old 03.03.2015, 01:09
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Re: Swiss citizen who returned to CH from US is in need of insurance.

Thank you all so much - I appreciate it!
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Old 03.03.2015, 01:36
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Re: Swiss citizen who returned to CH from US is in need of insurance.

Your friend's mother would qualify for membership of "Exit" an organization offering legal assisted suicide. It was designed for just such hopeless situations, allowing patients to die with dignity: http://www.exit.ch/en/
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Old 03.03.2015, 08:18
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Re: Swiss citizen who returned to CH from US is in need of insurance.

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Thank you both for your quick responses. She could not physically walk in anywhere due to her health condition. She had not been spending more than 180 days in the country and didn't expect that she would be doing so (and as a result eligible for such insurance). Then she got deathly sick and has been hospitalized so was unable to go anywhere to register.

Medea - why wouldn't she be eligible for supplemental?
Insurers have to provide the mandatory basic insurance cover which covers pre-existing conditions, they can't not do so. But they'd charge her a fortune to add any additional insurance cover for her illness assuming they'd even consider letting her have it in the first place. They're perfectly within their rights to refuse to give her any supplemental insurance cover due to her pre-existing condition.
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Old 03.03.2015, 10:15
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Re: Swiss citizen who returned to CH from US is in need of insurance.

As she is not registered here, she is not legally obliged to have health insurance and until she does register she will not get it as no insurance company is going to touch this unless they have to, legaly.

As she is Swiss, her commune of origin is obliged to accept her registration irrespective of the circumstances.

The commune will then decide, based on a means test whether she can recieve a subsidy or not for health insurance. She may chose which insurance company she goes with for basic health care, they CANNOT refuse the application.

As she has both US and Swiss citiztenship, this may change things a little, especially if she has been living so long in the US, (30 years)
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