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Old 12.07.2016, 21:45
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Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

Hi Everyone

My wife and I have moved to the Valais and have just received our B Permits. The Commune now needs to see our evidence of health insurance within three months. As we each receive a UK state pension, we have applied for a Form S1/E121 to entitle us to reciprocal healthcare in Switzerland. We've spoken to The Pensions Service in Newcastle and trawled the Web for precise information but all we can find is that we need to "give the S1/E121 form to the host-country healthcare authority on arrival. This document establishes your right to full healthcare coverage in your country of residence." No mention of how we go about it so several questions arise:

1) How do we register the S1/E121 in Switzerland and with whom?

2) Will we have to pay for a Swiss Basic health insurance policy and, if so, can we claim the premiums back from the UK under the reciprocal agreement?

3) What will be the process for claims/reimbursement of any healthcare costs we are asked to pay at the point of provision (ie, doctor, pharmacy, hospital)? Does this include costs that fall within the franchise?

Thanks in advance, Doubleknee
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Old 12.07.2016, 22:07
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

https://www.kvg.org/en/home.html

These are the people you need to contact, you will find all the info you need on their website.

If you are not in receipt of a Swiss pension then you will not have to pay for Swiss health insurance due yo the agreement with the UK. You will only be liable tor the 300chf franchise and the 10% copay ( up to maximum of 700chf per year).
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Old 12.07.2016, 22:10
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

Previous thread
Advice sought for UK retiree - insurance coverage whilst in CH
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Old 12.07.2016, 22:15
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

I'm just about to do the same having reached UK retirement age at the end of last year. (Note to self - MUST ring the International Pension Service!)

There's some info in this thread

Advice sought for UK retiree - insurance coverage whilst in CH

but KVG, the organisation mentioned, only covers some of the German speaking cantons. Who deals with the French speaking ones I don't know.
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Old 12.07.2016, 22:20
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

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I'm just about to do the same having reached UK retirement age at the end of last year. (Note to self - MUST ring the International Pension Service!)

There's some info in this thread

Advice sought for UK retiree - insurance coverage whilst in CH

but KVG, the organisation mentioned, only covers some of the German speaking cantons. Who deals with the French speaking ones I don't know.
The offices in Solothurn cover the French and Italian speaking cantons too Medea for retirees. You are not eligible to the free health insurance if you have any kind of Swiss pension, though.
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Old 12.07.2016, 22:41
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

Uh, I could have sworn I saw a post somewhere that said they only covered the few cantons listed on their website. Good to know Belgianmum.

Not so good to know is that as I'm coming up on being able to claim my small Swiss pension I won't be eligible anyway.

Here's their PDF with more info Doubleknee.

https://www.kvg.org/stream/en/downlo...-0--0--332.pdf
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Old 12.07.2016, 22:54
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

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Uh, I could have sworn I saw a post somewhere that said they only covered the few cantons listed on their website. Good to know Belgianmum.

Not so good to know is that as I'm coming up on being able to claim my small Swiss pension I won't be eligible anyway.

Here's their PDF with more info Doubleknee.

https://www.kvg.org/stream/en/downlo...-0--0--332.pdf
They cover a few of the German speaking cantons (listed on the website) for all health insurance issues but they deal with retiree cover for all cantons.

In holiday at the moment so couldn't link to all the relevant bits on my phone.
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Old 12.07.2016, 23:44
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

Thanks for the holiday reply, Belgianmum - we'd found the KVG site but thought it was just the mentioned cantons in German. Much clearer now especially in English. Our French isn't bad but we do get a bit lost on some of the official stuff.

Medea - thanks for the PDF as it actually says what we wanted to hear in black and white as well as English - excellent.

And thanks, Sbrinz, my wife saw that thread earlier and then promptly lost it again!

Thank you all soooo much, that has put our minds at rest.
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Old 13.07.2016, 08:20
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

You're welcome Doubleknee. Enjoy your new life here in Switzerland.
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Old 13.07.2016, 09:34
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

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Not so good to know is that as I'm coming up on being able to claim my small Swiss pension I won't be eligible anyway.
Maybe worth checking up on this - I thought I read somewhere that it's tied to the country paying the majority of your pension - but am really not sure.
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Old 13.07.2016, 11:57
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

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Maybe worth checking up on this - I thought I read somewhere that it's tied to the country paying the majority of your pension - but am really not sure.
Unfortunately not baboon. It seems quite clear in the PDF link:

"3. Additional information for pensioners
Not gainfully employed persons, who change their official domicile to Switzerland before the official Swiss pension age (64 for women and 65 for men), are obliged to make contributions to the Swiss AHV (old age-, widow/er’s and orphan’s insurance scheme). Payments into this scheme generate a claim to a pension. The amount of the pension is dependent on the length of time of the contributions. More information in this respect can be obtained at your local AHV/AVS offices. As mentioned under item 3, even a small pension can result in the obligation to be insured with a Swiss health insurance.

The amount of the pension does not have an influence on the necessity for being covered by a Swiss health insurance. An application on a pension must be forwarded to the Gemeinsame Einrichtung KVG immediately."

We've been here 18 years so have that much contributions which means no chance of changing. Maybe if it was only 1-2 years you might be able to ask and find you could do the change, but our years are too many.

I'd forgotten that the OH was also paying Swiss AHV for me too since I haven't worked here so I thought I'd be able to switch. But with only a year between getting the UK State pension and being eligible for the Swiss one it's now not worth it. If I'd been organised and applied early last year when I started getting the UK one only I might have squeezed a "free" year out of the UK, but it's not worth applying now as only a few more months before I reach the Swiss age for claiming.
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Old 13.07.2016, 12:16
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

Interesting thought - what would happen if you decided to retire to Switzerland and you received a pension from your own country, had maybe paid into the Swiss system but for a short time only ( if you were a student/ temp job), and decided not to claim the Swiss pension as it was more advantageous to have the reciprocal health cover instead.
I imagine your AVS number would flag up.

Also Post brexit will this cover remain the same, hopefully it will continue.
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Old 13.07.2016, 12:47
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

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Interesting thought - what would happen if you decided to retire to Switzerland and you received a pension from your own country, had maybe paid into the Swiss system but for a short time only ( if you were a student/ temp job), and decided not to claim the Swiss pension as it was more advantageous to have the reciprocal health cover instead.
I imagine your AVS number would flag up.

Also Post brexit will this cover remain the same, hopefully it will continue.
That's one of the many thousands of things that will have to be renegotiated with Switzerland, EU and EFTA countries post Brexit.
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Old 29.08.2016, 21:00
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

Since starting this thread, my wife and I have been delayed in registering our S1 forms with KVG but hope to rectify that in a few days. Now a further question has arisen - as we will NOT be paying for basic healthcare and since we are UK pensioners with no gainful employment, do we also need some form of Swiss accident insurance? If so, can this be purchased without any basic or supplementary healthcare cover?
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Old 29.08.2016, 21:08
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

No, accidents are covered too. We are also UK retirees with UK pensions only- and are fully covered by KGV- they speak excellent English too. We had to pay for Swiss health insurance until OH was 65 and of UK State pension age- as he had retired aged 62, to be covered. I was then also covered as his dependant, even though I was not of UK pensionable age. We found it much easier to go to Soleure and talk to someone face to face, with all our papers and detail- fill forms, etc, with a KGV advisor. Why not make an appointment and book a Hôtel overnight and turn it into a nice trip. Not too far for us in Neuchâtel to go for the day.


But do not delay or your Commune may appoint a health insurance on your behalf. How long have you been at La Tsoumaz btw?.

Your Forum name 'amused' me- had a knee replacement recently under KVG- had to pay 300 CHF + 10 % (about 1000 CHF). Second knee to be done Spring 2018.

Last edited by Odile; 29.08.2016 at 21:20.
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Old 30.08.2016, 13:18
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

Thanks for that, Odile, you've removed a lot of confusion! We received our Permis B in mid July and plan on lodging our S1 and KVG questionnaire next week. We're keeping our friendly commune office informed along the way.

Yes, you guessed correctly - knees replaced in 2007 and 2008 which improved my skiing no end! The sobriquet was courtesy of the small son of an American skiing family who yelled out "Hey, Dad, look at the double knee guy!" due to my two external knee braces whilst skiing in Colorado 20 years ago. As long as you keep up the physio and work them hard, knee replacements are absolutely brilliant. Good luck with your second one - but why wait until 2018?
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Old 30.08.2016, 14:08
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Re: Health insurance for UK retirees with S1/E121

You are welcome.

Where abouts in Colorado- I've skied with double support many times in Winterpark and also Steamboat- but normally we ski near you. Always went to Nendaz from the UK for past 40+ years- so perhaps meet on the slopes one day. Surgeon has told me I can try to ski- on very gentle blues at first- plenty around here in the NE and French Jura, and see how it goes. Been skiing for about 63 years and got good equipment, so sort of know what I am doing.

It was a very difficult op as the surgeon had to shave a lot of extra bone, and I had to work very hard on re-extending atrophied tendons and muscles (very old severe injury 46 years ago)- I am still young/ish (65) and want to fully recover before doing half-knee rep. - that one should be much easier as there is no extra bone, no atrophication and have full extension now. So Spring 2018 it will be- then still 30 years + to have fun (according to family history). Thanks.
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