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Old 08.03.2011, 21:35
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Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

You are fully covered by an international insurance?

When we first arrived, the company we were with did not give international cover so we obviously covered ourselves and our kids with local, as you are required by law to be insured.

The company has since introduced a global health insurance and since then I have never claimed on our Swiss insurance as there is no excess and bills are paid in full.

So the question is, are you just required to be fully covered or do they insist on you still having insurance from a Swiss insurer?

No body I ask seems to be sure on this issue, and we could be saving ourselves a fortune every month if we could ditch the local cover, which we really don't need!

Any advice would be very welcome! Thanks
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Old 08.03.2011, 21:58
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

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You are fully covered by an international insurance?

When we first arrived, the company we were with did not give international cover so we obviously covered ourselves and our kids with local, as you are required by law to be insured.

The company has since introduced a global health insurance and since then I have never claimed on our Swiss insurance as there is no excess and bills are paid in full.

So the question is, are you just required to be fully covered or do they insist on you still having insurance from a Swiss insurer?

No body I ask seems to be sure on this issue, and we could be saving ourselves a fortune every month if we could ditch the local cover, which we really don't need!

Any advice would be very welcome! Thanks
Usually you have to have a pretty compelling reason not to purchase
insurance IN Switzerland. The community( Gemeinde ) will have to
have the yea or nee on this one. Is your German good enough to communicate effectively with them? Sometimes you will get someone
that speaks pretty good English.
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Old 08.03.2011, 22:07
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

Hello,

I'm in exactly the same situation, I thought I could save a fortune by having Bupa Global or Axa international etc... From UK but for global worldwide cover.

If you ring them in UK and ask them they will tell you that for Switzerland it will depend on the Kanton, I was advised by my local gemeinde that I have more chance of becoming pregnant than getting foreign healthcare accepted.

So I opted for the Swiss one.

I think it's something about having to get an insurer who contributes to the system?

Let me know how you get on.

Stewart
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Old 08.03.2011, 22:09
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

Sadly, no my German is defintely not good enough, although the Gemiende speak pretty good English.

Surely a compelling argument would be that we are fully covered with no requirement for a local insurance?
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Old 08.03.2011, 22:13
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

Depends what you define as 'fully covered' - does the 'global' health insurance cover you if your husband loses his job, and has a pre-existing health condition ? What about if someone forgets to pay the premiums ? What if you separate or divorce ?

There are lots of ways that people can 'fall through the cracks' and there are systems in place in Switzerland to try to prevent this from happening...
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Old 08.03.2011, 22:14
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

We thought an international policy would be accepted (in fact, that's why the company chose it, as they assured them it would be) - but just found out it's not accepted in our commune and we now have till June to sort out a Swiss policy. We only found out when we sent details of our insurance to the commune within the 3 months of arrival like you're meant to. They wrote back to say Sorry, but...
Seems it depends on the commune though (at least here in Vaud) as others from my husband's company have had no problems getting it accepted, and they live in different communes to us.
Good luck!
Pusscat
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Old 08.03.2011, 22:14
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

Maybe you will find an answer here:

http://www.bag.admin.ch/themen/krank...x.html?lang=en
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Old 08.03.2011, 22:16
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

Hi Stewart, I would like to wish you a healthy and happy pregnancy!

The reason I am asking is that the international cover is provided by the company at not cost to us and I only use this, so why should we be paying for the local that we never claim on. I hope the Gemiende doesn't give me the same answer as I just couldn't go through it again!!!!
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Old 08.03.2011, 22:51
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

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Hi Stewart, I would like to wish you a healthy and happy pregnancy!

The reason I am asking is that the international cover is provided by the company at not cost to us and I only use this, so why should we be paying for the local that we never claim on. I hope the Gemiende doesn't give me the same answer as I just couldn't go through it again!!!!

You need to ask your company, the insurance plan has to be approved by the local authorities in your canton as providing similar coverage to the Swiss basic plan and you must meet the qualification conditions to opt out. Only your company can tell you this. Your company should apply for an exemption for you. Without this exemption, it is not possible to not have local insurance (that is the meaning of mandatory) - it does not matter if you will use it or not.
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Old 08.03.2011, 23:07
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

Well in order to not have to have Swiss insurance you have several possibilites,

1. if you are a student or researcher, intern or the like you can be exempted.
2. This is also the case if you are a diplomat or you are temporarily in Switzerland and otherwise pay social security abroad, and also receive your salary from abroad.

IF this should be the case, you can apply for exemption (ask the canton or commune for the forms, they need to be signed and stamped by your foreign insurance), confirming that they cover equivalent benefits as defined in the Swiss health insurance law (no exclusions for pre existing conditions, coverage for pregnancy and birth, etc. etc.)

However, in the canton Bern, Basel Land, and Zurich, once you have Swiss insurance your stuck with it and there is no longer the possibility of exemption.

The cantons Aargau, Neuchatel and Ticino accept nothing except the european card (and sometimes not even that).

Hope was able to help!

Have a nice evening
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Old 09.03.2011, 00:42
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

[QUOTE=international;1128914]Well in order to not have to have Swiss insurance you have several possibilites,

1. if you are a student or researcher, intern or the like you can be exempted.
2. This is also the case if you are a diplomat or you are temporarily in Switzerland and otherwise pay social security abroad, and also receive your salary from abroad.

IF this should be the case, you can apply for exemption (ask the canton or commune for the forms, they need to be signed and stamped by your foreign insurance), confirming that they cover equivalent benefits as defined in the Swiss health insurance

Well, this is our story:
My husband is a heart surgeon, researcher and professor in Singapore and we came to Zurich for a sabbatical (one year).
He is being paid from both countries.
We were/are covered from Axa international and we upgrated to be fully covered here.
We sent all documents to our canton (contracts, Axa's policy) explaining why we should be excempted.
They replied after three months that we could be excempted If he is a researcher, moved here for short term, payed from another country!!!
We wrote back but still no answer.
Meanwile the local insurance company send us pay slips every month.

It's been 5 months now...
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Old 09.03.2011, 02:08
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

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Sadly, no my German is defintely not good enough, although the Gemiende speak pretty good English.

Surely a compelling argument would be that we are fully covered with no requirement for a local insurance?
You have to remember that the Swiss insurance companies must accept all comers regardless of their medical conditions for standard insurance. To allow a foreign company to effectively pick and choose it's clients when operating in the same market would give them an unfair advantage - of course it is more complex that this, but this is the starting point. You will also find the same logic in other European countries by the way.

Jim.
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Old 10.03.2011, 12:06
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

Oh dear,

If the five months are up it is going to be near impossible to change. And in Zurich there is no going back once you have chosen a Swiss insurance.

However in case there might be a miracle exception I would go to the Gesundheitsdirektion Zurich, explain your situation and see if they could help to get it sorted.
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Old 10.03.2011, 14:30
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

If you have an income in Switzerland then you have to have Swiss Health Insurance, in addition some doctors/hospitals apparently will not take anything other than Swiss Health Insurance..

Be Wise...it’s not worth the hassle over Health...Swiss Health Insurance it is....
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Old 10.03.2011, 15:52
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

Have your husband's HR folks deal with this.

When we first moved here (also Kt. ZH) my husband was on a short term inter-company transfer - i.e., an expat contract, paid out of the home country office. As such, we were exempted from the requirement to have Swiss health insurance. (The company provided BUPA to it's international assignees.)

When we registered with the Gemeinde the good folks there questioned our lack of Swiss coverage, claimed that BUPA was not good enough - OH simply let the folks at HR take it up with the Gemeinde and sort out the mess. Which they did, no further problems.

(However once OH switched to a local contract we were required to pick up Swiss insurance.)

Hope this gets sorted soon.
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Old 11.03.2011, 10:18
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

I thought OP was talking about VD, but some seem to be speaking about ZH. Anyhow, there often are differences by Canton. For those in VD, the following list (in French) from Canton website gives the possiblities for exemption from swiss health insurance:

Dérogation à l'obligation d'assurance
-les agents de la Confédération, en exercice ou retraités, qui sont soumis à l'assurance militaire ;
-les personnes qui séjournent en Suisse dans le seul but de suivre un traitement médical ou une cure ;
-les fonctionnaires internationaux ou membres d'une mission diplomatique ou consulaire, ainsi que les membres de leur famille.

De plus, d'autres personnes sont exemptées sur requête si elles bénéficient d'une couverture d'assurance équivalente et font parties des catégories suivantes;
-les personnes qui sont obligatoirement assurées contre la maladie en vertu d'un droit étranger ;
-les personnes qui séjournent en Suisse dans le cadre d'une formation ou d'un perfectionnement, telles les étudiants, écoliers et stagiaires ;
-Les enseignants et les chercheurs qui séjournent en Suisse dans le cadre d'un enseignement ou d'une recherche ;
-les travailleurs détachés en Suisse ainsi que les membres de leur famille qui sont exemptés de l'obligation de payer des cotisations de l'AVS/AI en vertu d'une convention internationale de sécurité sociale ;
-les anciens fonctionnaires internationaux et les membres de leur famille s'ils bénéficient auprès du système d'assurance-maladie de leur ancienne organisation d'une couverture d'assurance analogue pour les traitements en Suisse:
-les personnes dont l'adhésion à l'assurance suisse engendrerait une nette dégradation de la protection d'assurance ou de la couverture des frais et qui, en raison de leur âge et/ou de leur état de santé, ne pourraient pas conclure une assurance complémentaire ayant la même étendue ou ne pourraient le faire qu'à des conditions difficilement acceptables.
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Old 15.03.2011, 12:53
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

Yes, you will have to (in ZH at least). I've been in the same situation and have done everything I could to get it accepted here (sent in all required forms). But after a few months of sending letters back and forth, I just received an answer saying it got refused because I'm not a teacher, student, or whatever, with no option to fight the decision.
The Swiss don't care and just want to protect their own market, so now I'm paying CHF 260 a month for a basic mandatory insurance I don't even make use of (since my foreign insurance covers a lot more for a lot less).

Last edited by Harrie Nak; 15.03.2011 at 14:25.
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Old 15.03.2011, 13:59
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

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I thought OP was talking about VD, but some seem to be speaking about ZH. Anyhow, there often are differences by Canton. For those in VD, the following list (in French) from Canton website gives the possiblities for exemption from swiss health insurance:

Dérogation à l'obligation d'assurance
-les agents de la Confédération, en exercice ou retraités, qui sont soumis à l'assurance militaire ;
-les personnes qui séjournent en Suisse dans le seul but de suivre un traitement médical ou une cure ;
-les fonctionnaires internationaux ou membres d'une mission diplomatique ou consulaire, ainsi que les membres de leur famille.

De plus, d'autres personnes sont exemptées sur requête si elles bénéficient d'une couverture d'assurance équivalente et font parties des catégories suivantes;
-les personnes qui sont obligatoirement assurées contre la maladie en vertu d'un droit étranger ;
-les personnes qui séjournent en Suisse dans le cadre d'une formation ou d'un perfectionnement, telles les étudiants, écoliers et stagiaires ;
-Les enseignants et les chercheurs qui séjournent en Suisse dans le cadre d'un enseignement ou d'une recherche ;
-les travailleurs détachés en Suisse ainsi que les membres de leur famille qui sont exemptés de l'obligation de payer des cotisations de l'AVS/AI en vertu d'une convention internationale de sécurité sociale ;
-les anciens fonctionnaires internationaux et les membres de leur famille s'ils bénéficient auprès du système d'assurance-maladie de leur ancienne organisation d'une couverture d'assurance analogue pour les traitements en Suisse:
-les personnes dont l'adhésion à l'assurance suisse engendrerait une nette dégradation de la protection d'assurance ou de la couverture des frais et qui, en raison de leur âge et/ou de leur état de santé, ne pourraient pas conclure une assurance complémentaire ayant la même étendue ou ne pourraient le faire qu'à des conditions difficilement acceptables.
Not true, health insurance is a federal issue. The premiums and administration are cantonal
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Old 24.03.2011, 17:46
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

When I was on assignment in Zurich a couple years ago, I had BUPA international coverage (I recall it being "gold" coverage, but cannot confirm which exact plan I had, sorry!) for slightly over half a year. I got a letter from the authority saying that I did not have the required Swiss health insurance, and I sent the letter to the HR department of my company. The HR department told me that there is nothing to worry about that the the BUPA coverage I had (as a benefit from the employer) satisfied the requirement for health insurance in Switzerland. HR dealt with the authority (not sure exactly what they did), and then I was all set. So, to answer your OP's question, at least some international coverage will satisfy the requirement in Switzerland. You should ask
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Old 24.03.2011, 18:02
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Re: Do you need Swiss health insurance if.......

I had to go through the exemption process, so I've seen the recent papers that list the exemption possibilities, and I'm afraid you might be out of luck if you're here for longer than 3 months and not a student/researcher/professor. Doesn't matter if you have outside health insurance (even if it's better than what the basic Swiss insurance would require.. included dental, anyone?).

I had to do a lot of back and forth with the Gesundheitsdirektion, and they wanted stamped documents from my insurance company. Since US insurance companies don't typically have 'seals' or official 'stamps', I needed the same person who signed my exemption forms to write a cover letter, also stating that I was covered. Gotta love bureacracy and inter-continental paper communications. I'm covered as a student/researcher, but I wish you luck anyways.
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