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Old 14.03.2020, 18:06
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sign-off from work when being abroad?

Hello, I've been searching through this forum on many occasions, always getting a good pointers about the matter of interest. However now I can't find the answer. The forum search doesn't work well, I cannot scroll through the results

I am insured with Assura, GP model, though I've never designated any GP as I didn't go to the doctor yet (in 3 years).

I'm abroad now. In case of any health problem, not only coronavirus, how could I get a work sign-off certificate? Can a local doctor issue one for me which I would forward to my employer or do I have to take something from a local doctor and forward it first to some Swiss doctor?
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Old 14.03.2020, 18:15
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Re: sign-off from work when being abroad?

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Hello, I've been searching through this forum on many occasions, always getting a good pointers about the matter of interest. However now I can't find the answer. The forum search doesn't work well, I cannot scroll through the results

I am insured with Assura, GP model, though I've never designated any GP as I didn't go to the doctor yet (in 3 years).

I'm abroad now. In case of any health problem, not only coronavirus, how could I get a work sign-off certificate? Can a local doctor issue one for me which I would forward to my employer or do I have to take something from a local doctor and forward it first to some Swiss doctor?
A certificate from a doctor abroad is valid, but if your employer has doubts/suspicion of abuse he can ask the company's doctor to examine you.
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Old 14.03.2020, 18:17
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Re: sign-off from work when being abroad?

You really have to contact Assura - and check with them. This even more so if you do not have a dossier with a local GP.

Last edited by Odile; 14.03.2020 at 18:44.
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Old 14.03.2020, 18:51
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Re: sign-off from work when being abroad?

There are two parts to this:
  • How to get medical treatment while you are outside of Switzerland, and who pays for it.
  • How to report to your employer.

For the first: your regular Swiss general insurance covers the costs of sensible treatment in case of illness or accident while abroad. It does not cover the costs if one deliberately left Switzerland to travel to another country with the purpose of having medical procedures done there.
  • If it is small matter, such as generally ill, then you find your own doctor abroad, see the doctor, get treatment, get a doctor's certificate, get a full bill, pay the doctor yourself, get a proper receipt, and when you get back to Switzerland submit those to your medical insurance for reimbursement.
  • If it is likely to be a large matter, needing lots of expensive tests and treatments, then call the 24-hour number on your medical insurance card, tell them the symptoms, decide with them what to do and check with them that they will cover the costs. This is essential if you are likely to be admitted to hospital as you will need to get pre-approval, in writing, from your insurance company (other than, of course, in a life-and-death situation which makes it impossible to follow those procedures).

For the second: Once you have a found a doctor where you are, outside of Switzerland, inform your employer that you are abroad, and have a doctor's appointment, and will let them know about whether or not you will be written off sick and whether are too ill to travel. Once you have a certificate, mail it to your employer, but keep the original to give to them upon your return, as they might require that.

In general, a doctor's certificate need specify only "illness" or "accident" and until which date your are unfit to work. When abroad, however, it is recommended that you ask the doctor to specify, in addition, if you are unfit to travel and until when. After all, you might be ill, but still be able to return home and rest at home.

EDIT: Odile is right! I just re-read your post and see that you have a GP model. Sorry, I had overlooked this. In that case, definitely either contact your medical insurance before you see a doctor. Or else risk covering the bills abroad, yourself.
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Old 14.03.2020, 19:02
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Re: sign-off from work when being abroad?

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There are two parts to this:
  • How to get medical treatment while you are outside of Switzerland, and who pays for it.
  • How to report to your employer.

For the first: your regular Swiss general insurance covers the costs of sensible treatment in case of illness or accident while abroad. It does not cover the costs if one deliberately left Switzerland to travel to another country with the purpose of having medical procedures done there.
  • If it is small matter, such as generally ill, then you find your own doctor abroad, see the doctor, get treatment, get a doctor's certificate, get a full bill, pay the doctor yourself, get a proper receipt, and when you get back to Switzerland submit those to your medical insurance for reimbursement.
  • If it is likely to be a large matter, needing lots of expensive tests and treatments, then call the 24-hour number on your medical insurance card, tell them the symptoms, decide with them what to do and check with them that they will cover the costs. This is essential if you are likely to be admitted to hospital as you will need to get pre-approval, in writing, from your insurance company (other than, of course, in a life-and-death situation which makes it impossible to follow those procedures).

For the second: Once you have a found a doctor where you are, outside of Switzerland, inform your employer that you are abroad, and have a doctor's appointment, and will let them know about whether or not you will be written off sick and whether are too ill to travel. Once you have a certificate, mail it to your employer, but keep the original to give to them upon your return, as they might require that.

In general, a doctor's certificate need specify only "illness" or "accident" and until which date your are unfit to work. When abroad, however, it is recommended that you ask the doctor to specify, in addition, if you are unfit to travel and until when. After all, you might be ill, but still be able to return home and rest at home.

EDIT: Odile is right! I just re-read your post and see that you have a GP model. Sorry, I had overlooked this. In that case, definitely either contact your medical insurance before you see a doctor. Or else risk covering the bills abroad, yourself.
It has nothing to do with the insurance model. All emergencies abroad are covered by basic health insurance. Even Assura's GP model. You will have to pay up front (u already do that with Assura GP model anyway) and they are going to ask you to formally translate all paperwork in a swiss national language or english. I have done it a few times, so I know the procedure quite well. I repeat, that is in case of need of urgent care only.They will not cover planned consultations abroad (unless u have complementary coverage)
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Old 14.03.2020, 19:18
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Re: sign-off from work when being abroad?

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There are two parts to this:

With all due respect there's one part to the original post.
"I'm abroad now. In case of any health problem... how could I get a work sign-off certificate?"
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Old 14.03.2020, 22:28
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Re: sign-off from work when being abroad?

Part 1 - heatlh treatment cost reimbursed by Insurance.

Part 2 - certification to not return to work for a duration of ....?
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Old 14.03.2020, 23:30
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Re: sign-off from work when being abroad?

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With all due respect there's one part to the original post.
"I'm abroad now. In case of any health problem... how could I get a work sign-off certificate?"
Fair enough. To me, this is one of those questions (of which fora have many) in which OP asked for some of the information, perhaps without realised that the other aspects would be connected, and where it would have seem churlish to give merely half an answer.
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Old 14.03.2020, 18:52
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Re: sign-off from work when being abroad?

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You really have to contact Assura - and check with them. This even more so if you do not have a dossier with a local GP.

What does a doctor's note have to do with Assura?
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Old 14.03.2020, 18:54
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Re: sign-off from work when being abroad?

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What does a doctor's note have to do with Assura?
I think the edited version of my post, just above yours, answered this.
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