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Old 03.07.2015, 11:39
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Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

Hi all!

I am a Swiss national by birth, although I have never lived in Switzerland.
Moreover, as I was born in South Africa I have a South African passport, as well as a Greek passport by birth.
All three of these countries allow multiple citizenship, and I hold all three passports.
In half a month I will be moving to Switzerland for 5 months (mid-July to mid-Dec 2015).
I shall be living with my Swiss partner in Bern, and plan to undertake my PhD in Geography at a Swiss university.
As I will mostly be supporting myself on my (South African Rands) savings for these five months, while I decide upon a university, and apply for student funding, my budget is consequently considerably tight.
After these five months, and having initiated my PhD, I return to South Africa with my partner, and will not reside in Switzerland for an extended period for the near future thereafter.

This constrained budget is an issue when it comes to the cost of Swiss health insurance for these 5 months.
In essence I would like to query the viability of differing scenarios in which such medical coverage costs may be cheaper.
If I were to obtain (cheaper) Travel Insurance in South Africa, would it be better/possible to enter and reside in Switzerland on my Greek passport? (I would not get a Swiss visa on my South African passport as that would be of little point).
Or, could I enter on my Greek passport and only register as a Greek residing in Switzerland after three months, and then pay for Swiss medical insurance (~255CHF/m) for the remaining 2 months?
Or, must I enter Switzerland on my Swiss passport and pay the full basic Swiss health insurance for the 5 months I will be residing there?
Essentially I wish to abide by the relevant requirements/legislation, have medical insurance in case of emergency/accident, and have it as cost effectively as possible.
Thank you for your assistance with this!
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Old 03.07.2015, 11:46
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

To my knowledge, whatever passport, when you apply for a permit you need a Swiss health insurance. As you will be studying, you are not a tourist so any health insurance for tourists will not be valid.

And the health insurance will be dated back to the date you entered the country/applied for your permit

Last edited by roegner; 03.07.2015 at 11:47. Reason: Addition
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Old 03.07.2015, 12:07
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

As you are a Swiss national, from the Swiss perspective you are ONLY a Swiss national, other citizenships are of no matter regardless of what passport you use to enter the country.

Tom
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Old 03.07.2015, 12:09
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

Welcome to the forum.

For a resident in CH, Swiss health insurance is mandatory irrespective of income or nationality.
If you have a limited budget, call the health office of the canton you're moving to and ask about a partial reduction by health insurance subsidy/premium reduction. I doubt this'll be possible as you'll be living here for less than a year, but you can try.


As to your questions regarding cheapest insurance:
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
and the EF search function

Read this and if you still have questions, ask.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 03.07.2015 at 12:29.
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Old 03.07.2015, 12:11
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

https://en.comparis.ch/krankenkassen/default.aspx
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Old 03.07.2015, 12:22
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

Sorry, but why are you bothering to do this? If you're only going to be here for 5 months is there some desperate reason why you must do so? I have no idea what initiating a PhD does, but can't you do that in South Africa? I can't see that this is going to achieve anything useful career-wise, lifestyle, etc, if you're not planning to stay here. Why not just stay in South Africa until your partner can join you there?

As far as I know being Swiss you must use a Swiss passport to enter and leave the country. What you do at the South African end is up to you, but their rules may be the same.
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Old 03.07.2015, 12:25
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

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As far as I know being Swiss you must use a Swiss passport to enter and leave the country.
You know wrong. No need whatsoever. However what Tom says above about the Swiss authorities regarding you as Swiss whatever passport you use is 100% correct.
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Old 03.07.2015, 12:30
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

The Swiss will look at you as Swiss....

... but this makes no difference to insurance. Health insurance cost doesn't change based on your nationality. Only the provider, plan and canton make price difference. You can't have travel insurance, you'll have to have Swiss health insurance.
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Old 05.07.2015, 23:00
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

Thanks for the replies all!
Your support is much appreciated and the advice helps me be practical about the stresses.

Based on all replies and research, I can't avoid the minimum CH health insurance. I may be able to get some cantonal assistance - but will ask that question of the authorities when I arrive.

What I would like to understand, is by when I have to register and pay?
Do I have 14 days grace? I seem to have gathered that along the way. In which case, I could get by on travel insurance till the beginning of August (I arrive on the 18th of July), and thus pay a full premium for a full month as opposed to a full premium for only half of July....
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Old 05.07.2015, 23:04
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

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Thanks for the replies all!
Your support is much appreciated and the advice helps me be practical about the stresses.

Based on all replies and research, I can't avoid the minimum CH health insurance. I may be able to get some cantonal assistance - but will ask that question of the authorities when I arrive.

What I would like to understand, is by when I have to register and pay?
Do I have 14 days grace? I seem to have gathered that along the way. In which case, I could get by on travel insurance till the beginning of August (I arrive on the 18th of July), and thus pay a full premium for a full month as opposed to a full premium for only half of July....
They will back date the premium to your arrival date.
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Old 05.07.2015, 23:08
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

If it is a pro-rata backdating, fair enough...
However, would it be for the whole month of July?
For I've understood that when I leave mid-Dec, I will have to pay the whole of December...
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Old 05.07.2015, 23:14
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

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If it is a pro-rata backdating, fair enough...
However, would it be for the whole month of July?
For I've understood that when I leave mid-Dec, I will have to pay the whole of December...
If you arrive 31 December, you will have to pay for all of December.

My daughter was born 31 March at 18:30, guess what I had to pay for?

Tom
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Old 05.07.2015, 23:19
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

There's no way to get out of the compulsory insurance, but there are ways to reduce your premiums. If you're generally healthy and don't take lots of medicine, choose a higher franchise/deductible.

Consider which model of insurance works for you. Do you want to have lots of free choice or you don't mind having to call a hotline first before you go to the doctor? If you don't mind the latter you can chose a Telmed option, which will also save on the premiums.

Some insurance companies also give a discount if you pay 6 months at a time.
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Old 05.07.2015, 23:19
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

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If it is a pro-rata backdating, fair enough...
However, would it be for the whole month of July? Yes
For I've understood that when I leave mid-Dec, I will have to pay the whole of December...
You arrive on Dec 1st or Dec 31st - you pay for the whole month of Dec.
You leave on Jun 1st or Jun 30th - you pay for the whole month of Jun.

You walk into the resident registry office (Einwohnerkontrolle) on Dec 15 - you pay for the whole month of Dec.

You rent a flat from Dec 1 and walk into the resident registry office the same day - you pay for the whole month of Dec.

So, irrespective of when during a month you arrive or leave - you pay for health insurance for the whole month.

As, in the Swiss social insurance system, everyone pays for everyone (see this post for the breakdown) you pay no matter how ill or healthy you are, for the whole time you are here, for the full months.
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Old 05.07.2015, 23:26
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

Well I guess I could say I drove over the border... On the 1st of Aug... >.<
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Old 05.07.2015, 23:32
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

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Well I guess I could say I drove over the border... On the 1st of Aug... >.<
Do NOT go that route.

If they find out you lied about your date of arrival to get out of paying, you'll be in deep $%#& - better to pay the month and stay away from legal battles, Betreibung (debt collection and compulsory execution) etc., which I can guarantee WILL be more stressful, annoying and hard on you than a month's premium payment.

Also, as I said elsewhere on this forum already, it's only right to do your fair share for the social system which is in place for all at all times - not only for the individual when it suits him. Did you read the link I put in my last post? Perhaps you should read it (again) and consider how fair it would be to the ill, infirm and elderly in CH to lie about your date of arrival so you can profit from our social system, pay less than they do and leave after half a year.
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Old 06.07.2015, 00:04
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

Please don't get me wrong, I wish to remain above board - I said it more tongue in cheek.
However, as I am budget conscious, paying for a full month, while I will be there for only half of it, and the system not working on a pro-rata payment from the date of arrival (which is logical and reasonable) - that I find a little unfair.
But it is what it is, I'll arrive and sign up
Thanks for your advice, am just understanding all the options
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Old 06.07.2015, 00:09
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

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Please don't get me wrong, I wish to remain above board - I said it more tongue in cheek.
However, as I am budget conscious, paying for a full month, while I will be there for only half of it, and the system not working on a pro-rata payment from the date of arrival (which is logical and reasonable) - that I find a little unfair.
But it is what it is, I'll arrive and sign up
Thanks for your advice, am just understanding all the options
It's not unfair (even if it might seem so now, it isn't in the long run), it's social and there are reasons for it, not to mention that this system works extremely well.
Thanks for adhering to our system and being fair to the rest of us
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Old 06.07.2015, 00:12
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

edit: I see now that OP is not a PhD student yet. However, I not deleting this as it may be useful for someone who happens to be a future international PhD student without a stipend/salary....

OP, if you are not getting any stipend/salary from the university, you could explore these options (if these are accepted in your canton):

http://www.swisscare.com/en/all-plan...e-switzerland/

http://www.advisor-swiss.ch/Student/...ents+insurance

You can also ask your university if they have any special agreements with an insurance provider.

Last edited by vuachère; 06.07.2015 at 00:35. Reason: to add "edit" statement above
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Old 06.07.2015, 00:24
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Re: Please help! Cheapest health insurance options as a Greek/Swiss/South African

Correct, I am not yet a PhD student, but that is my plan by mid-Dec this year.
Then I return to South Africa, and don't necessarily plan on coming back in the immediate future thereafter.
So upon my arrival I am simply unemployed, and not yet a student.
Hence my savings must stretch till I can garner funding, and some freelance writing/editing.
Hence all my questions about the most cost effective options
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