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Old 02.10.2011, 12:05
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This is a complicated one... health/accident insurance between domiciles

so, at the beginning of February 2012, my partner and I (he's Swiss) will be leaving Switzerland to emigrate to Australia, but will be travelling in Vietnam and Singapore for two months before landing down under. We already have travel insurance, and when we contacted them, we managed to understand, through the extremely unhelpful answers we recieved, that the insurance would cover us until we reach Australia. However, this is my problem. Should something horrible happen and we suffer grave injuiries, we will be flown back to Switzerland, which is the starting point of our insurance, and then will we be stuck there without Swiss insurance and therefore have to pay all the costs ourselves (would we even be treated without insurance?) We can't keep our local insurance because we will not have an address here (we already asked them) and we will have deregistered from everything.

Does anyone have an idea whether there is a solution to this? I could somehow just arrange to be sent to Malta (my home country), pay for that myself and then take advantage of the free health care there, but my partner is Swiss.

We have a permanent visa for Australia, so we'd be eligible for free medical care there, but I'm guessing this would be after our arrival and registration. I doubt we can just show up injured and be given free care.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02.10.2011, 12:12
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Re: This is a complicated one...

I suppose if you bought an accident insurance in Australia you would be repatriated there.
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Old 02.10.2011, 12:22
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Re: This is a complicated one...

If you do have grave injuries perhaps it would be best to just get saved and then worry about the costs later. It is a complicated situation, and you are likely to make the trip to Australia safely. I think Switzerland is your best bet for keeping the two of you together and providing health care.

If one of you is uninjured, could that person arrange health insurance once you are repatriated? I may have got this wrong but it is mandatory and pre-existing conditions can't exclude you. So if either of you arrived back in Switzerland injured, you would still be obliged to get health cover within 3 months.
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Old 02.10.2011, 12:26
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Re: This is a complicated one...

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I suppose if you bought an accident insurance in Australia you would be repatriated there.
The only problem to that is that our permanent visa hasn't been validated yet. It will be when we make our first entrance after the trip. I'm not quite sure we can arrange for accident insurance before validating the visa.
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Old 02.10.2011, 12:31
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Re: This is a complicated one...

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If you do have grave injuries perhaps it would be best to just get saved and then worry about the costs later. It is a complicated situation, and you are likely to make the trip to Australia safely. I think Switzerland is your best bet for keeping the two of you together and providing health care.

If one of you is uninjured, could that person arrange health insurance once you are repatriated? I may have got this wrong but it is mandatory and pre-existing conditions can't exclude you. So if either of you arrived back in Switzerland injured, you would still be obliged to get health cover within 3 months.
You did get it right, and probably because he is Swiss then yes, he'd be able to get insurance immediately. However, in my case by deregistering I'd be giving up my residence permit, so basically I'd be sent back here but I'm not Swiss and I won't even have a residence permit...I'm not sure if I'd be allowed to take out an insurance policy.
As you said, it is highly likely that nothing will happen, but frankly, two months in Vietnam is not something I take lightly considering all the news I hear about road accidents there. I'm just trying to be careful as i don't want to end up with a mortgage-like amount of debt for medical expenses.
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Old 02.10.2011, 13:48
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Re: This is a complicated one...

On the back of your permit it states if you can extend it. On some permits you can apply in writing for a 6 year absence.
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Old 02.10.2011, 13:51
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Re: This is a complicated one...

It's not about extending. My permit is valid for two more years, but by deregistering I'm automatically giving it up because I no longer have an address (at least this is what my partner said)
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Old 02.10.2011, 13:53
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Re: This is a complicated one...

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On the back of your permit it states if you can extend it. On some permits you can apply in writing for a 6 year absence.
Oh sorry, didn't read the last bit clearly. I'll check that. I have a B permit
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Old 02.10.2011, 21:03
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Re: This is a complicated one...

I think you are very wise to check this out carefully. The daughter of a Swiss friend was caught between insurances somewhere after an assignment with some help organisation abroad. She had an accident in a foreign country after the 'official' job finished and before she took up residence again in Switzerland. I don't know the ins and outs of it but the family landed up with bills big time!
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Old 02.10.2011, 21:58
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Re: This is a complicated one... health/accident insurance between domiciles

You should do your research about the health system in Australia, too....it's very different to Switzerland...

If you are not an Australian citizen then you may need private health insurance or a special health cover. I'm not sure exactly the situation, but I am familiar with people from Asia who emigrate to Australia and they are not covered by medicare for the first two years....and can easily run up enormous bills in case of an accident...someone I know cut his thumb off in a work accident, but was self-employed and the church ended up providing him with a doctor who was known within the church to do follow up care for free, and a pharmacist who offered medication at a reduced price. He only spent 2 days in hospital because he could not afford it - even the cost of painkillers was exorbitant for him...

Either way, your chance of something happening is slim, but you are very wise to cover your gap...
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Old 02.10.2011, 21:59
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Re: This is a complicated one... health/accident insurance between domiciles

I had another thought - do you nominate the date when you de-register from the Gemeinde ? Can you tell them you are travelling for a holiday and want to do the paperwork early, but not officially de-register until you are safely relocated to Australia ?
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Old 02.10.2011, 22:17
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Re: This is a complicated one... health/accident insurance between domiciles

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You should do your research about the health system in Australia, too....it's very different to Switzerland...

If you are not an Australian citizen then you may need private health insurance or a special health cover. I'm not sure exactly the situation, but I am familiar with people from Asia who emigrate to Australia and they are not covered by medicare for the first two years....and can easily run up enormous bills in case of an accident...someone I know cut his thumb off in a work accident, but was self-employed and the church ended up providing him with a doctor who was known within the church to do follow up care for free, and a pharmacist who offered medication at a reduced price. He only spent 2 days in hospital because he could not afford it - even the cost of painkillers was exorbitant for him...

Either way, your chance of something happening is slim, but you are very wise to cover your gap...
Thanks for the advice. I'm quite sure I'm covered under medicare as soon as I get to Australia, so no problem there
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Old 02.10.2011, 22:18
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Re: This is a complicated one...

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I think you are very wise to check this out carefully. The daughter of a Swiss friend was caught between insurances somewhere after an assignment with some help organisation abroad. She had an accident in a foreign country after the 'official' job finished and before she took up residence again in Switzerland. I don't know the ins and outs of it but the family landed up with bills big time!
exactly, but I have no idea how I can fix this and cover the gap!
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Old 02.10.2011, 22:19
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Re: This is a complicated one... health/accident insurance between domiciles

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I had another thought - do you nominate the date when you de-register from the Gemeinde ? Can you tell them you are travelling for a holiday and want to do the paperwork early, but not officially de-register until you are safely relocated to Australia ?
Not sure but I can ask. I've been told this is probably not possible though. Someone suggested that you can sort of 'suspend' your permit. I'll check that out.
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Old 03.10.2011, 13:14
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Re: This is a complicated one... health/accident insurance between domiciles

Why not do this:

For the duration that you live in Switzerland, and are travelling, make CH your registered place of residence.

Once you have arrived in AU, and made AU your place of residence, then you cancel the CH residence.

That way you have no overlapping residences, and no time where you have no residence.

You respective insurance then covers you for your place of residence.
ie: the CH insurance until you take up residence in AU, and your AU insurance from when you start in AU.

You'll need to discuss with the Geminde as to how to cancel residence once overseas, or to cancel in early with an effective date in the future. This way you keep the safety net of CH in place to handle that worst case scenario.

As to repatriation in case of health issues, well, you need to decide what country you wish to be repatriated to, and arrange cover and residence accordingly. In conjunction with your choice of residence.

Most administrations and insurances around the world work on the basis that a person only has one place of residence. And you need to set this accordingly.

Welcome to the global village, where changing country of residencehas many things to think about... (I've done it 4 times, including NZ to AU, and AU to CH, and CH to NZ).
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