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Old 21.06.2011, 13:55
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Any Social welfare for an uninsured person living here in switzerland?

I honestly don't know any other options for this case, I'd like to seek help or information regarding this. I have a close friend, she is living here in switzerland for 7 years, at first she was doing good, problem free, until the time came and she completely lost everything, including health insurance. Now she's extremely ill, and must be taken for an operation immediately (fibromes problems). Is there any institution or program for this, she's incapable of paying 5000 francs just for the operation, plus other fess for checkups, meds etc.
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Old 21.06.2011, 14:19
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Re: Any Social welfare for an uninsured person living here in switzerland?

As far as I know, no-one needs to be uninsured (health insurance) in Switzerland. It's the big difference between the Swiss system and, for example, America. If your friend is unable to pay her insurance, then she should contact Social Services. Although I am slightly puzzled as to why she hasn't done this already if she has 'lost everything' - if she has been living here 7 years she would be entitled to benefits etc. If for some reason she's not entitled to unemployment benefits, she may be entitled to Revenu d'Insertion.

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Vos revenus ne suffisent pas à subvenir à vos besoins vitaux et indispensables ainsi qu’à ceux de votre famille.

Votre fortune n’excède pas :
Fr. 4'000.- pour une personne seule
Fr. 8'000.- pour un couple marié ou concubin
+ de Fr. 2'000.- par enfant, maximum Fr. 10'000.- par famille
Vous êtes majeur
Vous vivez dans le canton de Vaud
Vous êtes de nationalité suisse ou étrangère au bénéfice d’une autorisation de séjour
Rough translation: if you have savings of less than 4,000 chf (individual) or 8,000 (married) plus 2,000 (for each child), and are an adult living in Vaud who is Swiss or with a resident permit, you can apply for Revenu d'Insertion.

In my experience in Vaud (as someone on Revenu d'Insertion) the OCC (Organe cantonal de contôle de l'assurance-maladie et accidents) pays the premiums and the Aide Sociale pay the franchise and the 10%. There may also be the option of requesting a 'cession de créance' with her local pharmacy, where she only pays the 10% upfront, and the pharmacy bill the insurance company for the rest.
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Old 21.06.2011, 14:24
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Re: Any Social welfare for an uninsured person living here in switzerland?

Lost everything, starting with the job, and all the bills just got higher. That made her cancel everything including insurances. I am curious about the Social program regarding cantonal hospitals, specially here in geneva. It's just the matter of emergency
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Old 21.06.2011, 14:38
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Re: Any Social welfare for an uninsured person living here in switzerland?

Does your friend have a valid permit here ?
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Old 21.06.2011, 14:42
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Re: Any Social welfare for an uninsured person living here in switzerland?

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Lost everything, starting with the job, and all the bills just got higher. That made her cancel everything including insurances. I am curious about the Social program regarding cantonal hospitals, specially here in geneva. It's just the matter of emergency

you can't cancel your insurance without proving you have insurance somewhere else.

me thinks someones telling porkies / not telling the whole story here
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Old 21.06.2011, 14:47
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Re: Any Social welfare for an uninsured person living here in switzerland?

Thinking about it a little more, if you have a valid permit and no insurance then the government would have sorted you out a policy. So I guess that means your friend is an illegal
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Old 21.06.2011, 14:50
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Re: Any Social welfare for an uninsured person living here in switzerland?

In which case, the poor girl is in real trouble - all I can say if that I do feel really sorry for anybody who finds themselves in such a situation- and I hope you find a way to help her. Could she go back to her home country for help?
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Old 21.06.2011, 15:57
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Re: Any Social welfare for an uninsured person living here in switzerland?

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I honestly don't know any other options for this case, I'd like to seek help or information regarding this. I have a close friend, she is living here in switzerland for 7 years, at first she was doing good, problem free, until the time came and she completely lost everything, including health insurance. Now she's extremely ill, and must be taken for an operation immediately (fibromes problems). Is there any institution or program for this, she's incapable of paying 5000 francs just for the operation, plus other fess for checkups, meds etc.
I assume she lives without a permit in CH?

You can contact http://www.sans-papiers.ch/site/index.php?id=13&L=5, this is the organisation for people who live illegaly in CH and need social assistance.

Regarding medical care:

1. Even if she is illegal in CH, she can still apply for medical care, the insurance company is obliged to take her on, and to keep confidentiality not to report her.

2. If she doesn't have the money for an insurance, she can contact http://sante-sans-papiers.ch/. This is the organisation who organises medical help for illegal immigrants.

And please tell her to go, there have been many cases in the newspapers of illegals who didn't go to the doctor because they were too afraid they will get deported, until it was too late for them.
The council and the hospitals will pick up the bills, and the medical staff is bound to keep confidentiality and won't report her.
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Old 21.06.2011, 16:30
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Re: Any Social welfare for an uninsured person living here in switzerland?

I really wonder how she managed to drop out of the system, it's almost impossible without deliberatly avoiding any contact with relevant authorities. Not only can you not cancel your health insurance unless you have another one or leave the country, you can't get registered anywhere without one, can't have an appartment without registration at the municipality which in turn requires health insurance etc... you really have try very hard or do a lot of intentional illegal stuff to get where you claim she is. The only way I can see this to work is 1) leave the country while having a valid permit, but cancel your health insurance and deregister at local Gemeinde. 2) Enter country again, live at a friends place, don't ever register again and let your permit run out. But otherwise?
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Old 21.06.2011, 21:26
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Re: Any Social welfare for an uninsured person living here in switzerland?

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Lost everything, starting with the job, and all the bills just got higher. That made her cancel everything including insurances.
If she lost her job, why didn't she go to the ORP? She'd been here for 7 years so she would be entitled to support, right?

I'm not trying to criticise, just trying to understand why your friend has ended up in this mess... if you tell us the whole story maybe we can help you more.

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I am curious about the Social program regarding cantonal hospitals, specially here in geneva. It's just the matter of emergency
I don't really understand what you are asking here. I have health insurance under the 'social programme' as you call it, and I am treated exactly the same as any other patient. The only people who know my bills are paid for by social aid are my insurance company, my social worker and my psychiatrist (oh, and anyone I tell on here...). But as far as the doctors, hospitals etc. are concerned, they ask for my insurance, I give them my card. End of story.

The only time I had to explain this was when I had to go to the out-of-hours centre one night, and they gave me a form to fill out which asked me to check a box for 'employed' or 'unemployed' (and give relevant details). So I simply said that I was on a medical certificate and received RI. They asked me if that meant I had accident insurance of my own (as opposed to my employers), I said yes, and that was fine.

I appreciate this is a medical emergency, but your friend really needs to get her situation sorted. Other people have given advice if she's illegal; if she's legal I suggest she contacts her local social services (Centre Social Régional), and asks for an urgent appointment to speak to the Permanence Social (a social worker who sees people who have not been assigned a regular social worker and need urgent help).

If what you're asking is can your friend just get the treatment she needs without going through the process of getting health insurance... I'm not an expert, but I think not. Given that an ambulance team will ask to see your insurance proof before they take you anywhere (yes, this has happened to me)... if someone who needs an ambulance has to prove they are covered, my guess is your friend will need to too.
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