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Old 19.04.2015, 21:17
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Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

Hi all,

As a Swiss citizen, if I stay with my basic health insurance while traveling abroad (outside Europe), how long is this coverage valid for? Is there a legal limit (set by the government) or do the insurers set a limit themselves if they wish to?

I know that I am covered for emergencies when traveling abroad (even outside Europe). see this answer www.englishforum.ch/insurance/195372-basic-swiss-health-insurance-coverage-while-traveling-us.html#post2377044

I read on the Assura website that there is a 6 months time limit.

Here is the quote from Assura (sorry, not available in English):
  • "10.1 En cas de séjour temporaire à l'étranger d'assurés soumis à l'obligation d'assurance, Assura n'alloue en principe ses prestations que pour les seuls frais de traitements d’urgence. Cette disposition est sans autre valable pour une durée de 6 mois au plus. Pour une plus longue période, une autorisation formelle peut être accordée sur demande." fr.assura.ch/assurance/products/conditions-generales-lamal.pdf
  • "10.1 Bei einem vorübergehenden Auslandaufenthalt der versicherten Person übernimmt die Assura grundsätzlich nur die Kosten von Behandlungen, die in Notfällen erbracht werden. Diese Regelung gilt nur bei Aufenthalten bis höchstens 6 Monate, kann jedoch auf entsprechendes Gesuch hin mit Zustimmung der Assura auf längere Auslandaufenthalte ausgedehnt werden." de.assura.ch/assurance/products/allgemeine-versicherungsbedingungen-kvg_1.pdf

But I could not find this time limit mentioned anywhere else online.

I read these official sources of information (governmental web pages) but found nothing regarding this time limit:
I also read through many other websites, along with many threads on EnglishForum, again I found nothing regarding this time limit.

Last edited by AdrienBe; 20.04.2015 at 00:05. Reason: pretty things up
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Old 19.04.2015, 21:24
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

From your other post it says you will be re-imbursed for your costs outside of Europe which means you'd have to pay up front and claim it back. If that is the case then for travel to the US at least you should take out travel insurance with a minimum figure of $3 million as cover.
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Old 19.04.2015, 21:25
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

As long as you are resident and paying insurance in CH, you are covered.

If you give up residency, you are not.

Tom
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Old 19.04.2015, 21:32
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

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As long as you are resident and paying insurance in CH, you are covered.
Do you have a proof of this though?

Sorry but I can't rely only on what people say for obvious reasons, so any link to official document from the Swiss government or other related organisation would be great. Thanks.

Last edited by AdrienBe; 19.04.2015 at 22:10.
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Old 19.04.2015, 22:13
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

Where is the problem? If Assura tell you it is maximum 6 months cover, then it probably is.

How can the Swiss government impose rules on a service that is outside Switzerland?

And why the groan? Very good advice from someone that knows the USA.......
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Old 19.04.2015, 22:20
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

Why don't you just contact Assura and ask?
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Old 19.04.2015, 23:40
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Where is the problem? If Assura tell you it is maximum 6 months cover, then it probably is.
You are right, it seems to be the case for Assura. I want to know if that's only with this company or a general rule.

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How can the Swiss government impose rules on a service that is outside Switzerland?
Because we are discussing a Swiss mandatory health insurance, not a separated (complementary) travel insurance. Hence, a lot of the terms are dictated by laws & "ordonnances", even for events happening outside Switzerland. It's pretty surprising I know, but hey, it's like that. You can double check this in the links I provided in my question.

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And why the groan? Very good advice from someone that knows the USA
The intention was probably good but this answer is out of scope. I am not asking specifically how should I get insured when going to USA (as I know this already), but rather: how long is my mandatory health insurance covering me for if I'm traveling for a very long time (ie. 1+ year).

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Why don't you just contact Assura and ask?
Actually you're right. I might do that too. Couldn't help to post this question on EF since it often gives good tips.

UPDATE: there does NOT seem to be a general rule (anything set by law)

Groupe Mutuel seems to have a 12 month time limit:
Art. 4 “L’assurance est valable dans le monde entier. Lors de voyages ou de séjours temporaires en dehors de la Suisse et de la Principauté du Liechtenstein, la durée de la couverture d’assurance est limitée à 12 mois au plus dès le passage de la frontière, dans la mesure où rien de particulier n’a été convenu; I’assurance est suspendue dès l’expiration de ce délai. En cas de séjour à l’étranger, I’assuré doit en informer l’assureur dans les 20 jours."
www.groupemutuel.ch/content/dam/gm/docs/fr/produits/sante/conditions_d_assurances/conditions_generales/conditions_generales_assurances_maladie_accidents_ complementaires.pdf

Atupri does not seem to have a time limit:
B 13 “Dans le cadre des dispositions légales, Atupri prend en charge les frais de traitement occasionnés, en cas d’urgence, lors d’un séjour à l’étranger. Est considéré comme cas d’urgence le traitement médical d’une personne assurée lors d’un séjour temporaire à l’étranger qui occasionne des frais, mais qui ne justifie pas le retour de cette personne en Suisse."
www.atupri.ch/fr/caisse-maladie/prives/download-center.html?eID=dam_frontend_push&docID=5615

Sanitas does not seem to have a time limit:
C3 "Sanitas ne prend en charge les séjours hospitaliers ou de cure à l’étranger que si l’assuré tombe malade ou est victime d’un accident."
www.sanitas.com/content/dam/Sanitas/Web/Services/Kundenservice/Downloads/Versicherungsbedingungen/FR/AVB/6004_HIP_AVB_fr.pdf.res/6004_HIP_AVB_fr.pdf

Last edited by 3Wishes; 20.04.2015 at 02:24. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 20.04.2015, 01:04
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

Here's the bit for Supra:

En cas de séjour temporaire à l'étranger d'assurés soumis à l'obligation d'assurance, SUPRA n'alloue en principe ses prestations que pour les seuls frais
de traitements d'urgence. Cette disposition est sans autre valable pour une durée de 6 mois au plus. Pour une plus longue période, une autorisation formelle peut être accordée sur demande.
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Old 20.04.2015, 02:43
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

Mod hat on:

A friendly reminder to please include at least a Google translate of any non-English text. Thank you.

/mod hat off


OP - I'm not clear on your question. Are you asking if the emergency cover under your policy is valid for longer than X amount of time, or if your insurance will cover you for routine types of things for up to a year while abroad? The way I'm reading it you would like to be covered for both?

From what I'm reading in your copy/paste text, it's still only emergencies that are covered, not routine care. And you might need to seek authorization in advance in order for them to extend the coverage.

This of course assumes you're able to put your permit on hold/maintain residence. If you don't really need to do that (you're EU so can come back any time with a job offer or your own business), you might want to look into a worldwide policy, such as one with Allianz.

It could be more cost effective, comprehensive, and straightforward than paying for basic here and then only being able to use it for emergencies wherever you travel. Something to consider, anyway.
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Old 20.04.2015, 02:55
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

The answer to this good question is actually extremely simple, indeed.

But first of all let me still irritate you a little bit :

All the following statements a fully correct:

1. You are covered as long as you are a resident of Switzerland.
2. If you stay more than six months outside of Switzerland, you are not covered anymore. As a general rule.
3. There is no such law to be found in the KVG/LAMal.

So, why are these three statements correct, by law? Who is smart enough to answer?

....


Well, because there is a law that you have to deregister from your municipality, if you stay away more than three/six month from your registered residency. And since you (temporarily) give up your residency, then you also consequently will have to terminate your health insurance at the same time (the time you officially emigrate from Switzerland).

For foreigners, this is defined by the AuG/Letr/LStr//FNA.: Art. 61 Abs. 2 AuG

The same is true for Swiss nationals, but probably defined on a communal/cantonal level.

As simple as that.

Ask your Einwohneramt or Kreisbüro!
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Last edited by Sublime; 20.04.2015 at 03:06.
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Old 20.04.2015, 14:20
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

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Here's the bit for Supra:

En cas de séjour temporaire à l'étranger d'assurés soumis à l'obligation d'assurance, SUPRA n'alloue en principe ses prestations que pour les seuls frais
de traitements d'urgence. Cette disposition est sans autre valable pour une durée de 6 mois au plus. Pour une plus longue période, une autorisation formelle peut être accordée sur demande.
Do you have the link to the relevant "Terms & Conditions" document?

By the way, it's exactly the same text (word by word) that is found in the terms of conditions provided by Assura! Seems like those lawyers drafting the contracts are simply doing some copy/pasting..!
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Old 20.04.2015, 14:28
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

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Mod hat on:

A friendly reminder to please include at least a Google translate of any non-English text. Thank you.

/mod hat off
Oh ok, will do. Sorry for that!

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OP - I'm not clear on your question. Are you asking if the emergency cover under your policy is valid for longer than X amount of time, or if your insurance will cover you for routine types of things for up to a year while abroad? The way I'm reading it you would like to be covered for both?
You are right, I am only concerned for the emergency cover.

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From what I'm reading in your copy/paste text, it's still only emergencies that are covered, not routine care. And you might need to seek authorization in advance in order for them to extend the coverage.

This of course assumes you're able to put your permit on hold/maintain residence. If you don't really need to do that (you're EU so can come back any time with a job offer or your own business), you might want to look into a worldwide policy, such as one with Allianz.

It could be more cost effective, comprehensive, and straightforward than paying for basic here and then only being able to use it for emergencies wherever you travel. Something to consider, anyway.
Yes, only emergencies are covered by the basic health insurance while traveling abroad (see details in linked post in the question). I know, it'd probably be simpler & cheaper to cancel (or put on hold) my basic swiss health insurance, and instead get an international travel insurance. But I am in a special case where I have to keep it running, I will spare you the gory details.
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Old 20.04.2015, 14:38
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

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3. There is no such law to be found in the KVG/LAMal.
Interesting.
How to prove that something does not exists is another story. I won't be the one going through all the ordonnances, I went through 1 law (LAMal) & 2 ordonnances, that was enough for me! For those bored on a rainy day, here are all the relevant documents www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classified-compilation/83.html#832

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Well, because there is a law that you have to deregister from your municipality, if you stay away more than three/six month from your registered residency. And since you (temporarily) give up your residency, then you also consequently will have to terminate your health insurance at the same time (the time you officially emigrate from Switzerland).

For foreigners, this is defined by the AuG/Letr/LStr//FNA.: Art. 61 Abs. 2 AuG

The same is true for Swiss nationals, but probably defined on a communal/cantonal level.

As simple as that.

Ask your Einwohneramt or Kreisbüro!
That's the part that interests me. So even as a Swiss national I am supposed to deregister!? crazy.
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Old 20.04.2015, 15:43
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

General
"13. Do I have to remain insured in Switzerland when I am temporarily abroad (travelling, studying)?
Yes. If you leave the country for a certain period to travel or study but do not take up residence abroad, you are still required to have insurance in Switzerland (even if you have informed the local authority of your absence)." Source, English

If you have to deregister from your commune or not will depend on the commune, so you'll have to call them up and ask.


Basic health insurance
As long as you're registered in CH you have basic insurance coverage, because it is mandatory.

With deregistration
When you deregister from CH, your coverage for basic health insurance will end (when, will depend on the insurance company). You are neither obligated nor do you have the right to have basic health insurance then.
Upon your return (if you have deregistered to travel), you will have to get basic health insurance coverage, and you will be accepted by any insurance company since they are obligated to cover people registered in CH.

Without deregistration
During your travel (without deregistration having occurred), you will be covered for emergencies if return to CH isn't deemed more appropriate than emergency treatment. The maximum amount covered is twice the cost treatment would cost in CH.
Note that repatriation costs aren't necessarily covered by basic health insurance and neither is full coverage of emergency transport to the next hospital. Make sure you have insurance for that.
Source 1, English
Source 2, German


Supplemental health insurance
Before deregistering from CH, apply for suspension of your supplemental health insurance. If you don't, you might be treated like a new patient by the supplemental health insurance company upon your return, meaning that you'll have to submit to their (health) etc. tests and could be rejected despite having paid for insurance for years previously while you were registered in CH.
If you suspend your supplemental health insurance, they might subject you to high fees. Source (German)
If the travel is only a short stay abroad I'd recommend keeping your supplemental health insurance. No matter how much you'll actually need it during the trip (depending on what is covered), you will run into less hassle upon your return to CH.

-------------------

So:

1. Find out from your commune if you need to deregister or not due to duration of your travel

2. If you have to deregister, find out at your basic health insurance company
a) when you have to inform them of your deregistration
b) when the coverage will stop

3. If you have to deregister, find out at your supplemental health insurance company
a) if suspension of coverage is possible and how much it would cost

4. Make sure you have sufficient insurance coverage without your Swiss health insurance, especially for repatriation and emergency transports

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As long as you are resident and paying insurance in CH, you are covered.

If you give up residency, you are not.

Tom
Do you have a proof of this though?

Sorry but I can't rely only on what people say for obvious reasons, so any link to official document from the Swiss government or other related organisation would be great. Thanks.
Q1 here

To add to Tom's info: Even if you're not paying insurance premiums, as long as you're resident, you are covered for medical emergencies.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 20.04.2015 at 16:11.
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Old 20.04.2015, 16:05
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

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Interesting.
How to prove that something does not exists is another story. I won't be the one going through all the ordonnances, I went through 1 law (LAMal) & 2 ordonnances, that was enough for me! For those bored on a rainy day, here are all the relevant documents www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classified-compilation/83.html#832


That's the part that interests me. So even as a Swiss national I am supposed to deregister!? crazy.
What's crazy about it?! In general, health insurance here is for Swiss residents for services provided in Switzerland. "For convenience" you are – of course – also covered for emergency outside of Switzerland during holidays and business trips. But as soon as you emigrate you have to look for other services under other circumstances: different law and different regulations apply, kind and quality of services are different, costs are different etc.

So to me, it sounds even extremly reasonable not to provide the same insurance (speak: conditions) outside of the local, harmonized circumstances. An insurance is also a contract based on local law and regulations, nevertheless.
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Old 20.04.2015, 16:06
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

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Hi all,

As a Swiss citizen, if I stay with my basic health insurance while traveling abroad (outside Europe), how long is this coverage valid for? Is there a legal limit (set by the government) or do the insurers set a limit themselves if they wish to?

I know that I am covered for emergencies when traveling abroad (even outside Europe). see this answer www.englishforum.ch/insurance/195372-basic-swiss-health-insurance-coverage-while-traveling-us.html#post2377044

I read on the Assura website that there is a 6 months time limit.

Here is the quote from Assura (sorry, not available in English):
  • "10.1 En cas de séjour temporaire à l'étranger d'assurés soumis à l'obligation d'assurance, Assura n'alloue en principe ses prestations que pour les seuls frais de traitements d’urgence. Cette disposition est sans autre valable pour une durée de 6 mois au plus. Pour une plus longue période, une autorisation formelle peut être accordée sur demande." fr.assura.ch/assurance/products/conditions-generales-lamal.pdf
  • "10.1 Bei einem vorübergehenden Auslandaufenthalt der versicherten Person übernimmt die Assura grundsätzlich nur die Kosten von Behandlungen, die in Notfällen erbracht werden. Diese Regelung gilt nur bei Aufenthalten bis höchstens 6 Monate, kann jedoch auf entsprechendes Gesuch hin mit Zustimmung der Assura auf längere Auslandaufenthalte ausgedehnt werden." de.assura.ch/assurance/products/allgemeine-versicherungsbedingungen-kvg_1.pdf

But I could not find this time limit mentioned anywhere else online.

I read these official sources of information (governmental web pages) but found nothing regarding this time limit:
I also read through many other websites, along with many threads on EnglishForum, again I found nothing regarding this time limit.
It's all a moot point unless your Swiss, as by being away for more than 6 months your resident permit will no longer be valid.
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Old 20.04.2015, 16:07
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

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It's all a moot point unless your Swiss, as by being away for more than 6 months your resident permit will no longer be valid.
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Hi all,

As a Swiss citizen,
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Old 20.04.2015, 19:36
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

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Do you have the link to the relevant "Terms & Conditions" document?

By the way, it's exactly the same text (word by word) that is found in the terms of conditions provided by Assura! Seems like those lawyers drafting the contracts are simply doing some copy/pasting..!
Do you mean this? http://www.supra.ch/sites/default/fi...GA_LAMal_F.pdf
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Old 20.04.2015, 20:21
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

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Well the insurers never ask many questions in CH, they just pay up without blinking, so I don't think there will be any issue.
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Old 20.04.2015, 21:04
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Re: Basic Health Insurance length of validity while traveling abroad

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It's all a moot point unless your Swiss, as by being away for more than 6 months your resident permit will no longer be valid.
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Hi all,

As a Swiss citizen...
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Fair enough but just a few months ago he was EU with a B-permit, thus why some folks might still be wondering what's accurate.

Anyway OP, I had another thought today - if you're currently here and registered properly, you already have insurance and have provided that information to the authorities when you registered. AFAIK you can only change basic insurance once a year - in the fall - and the change takes effect on 01 January.

All this shopping around and looking for rules might be wasting your time if A) your current plan won't cover you more than 6 months and B) you can't change plans.
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