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  #61  
Old 09.07.2013, 15:06
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Re: Exemption from compulsory health insurance

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No, I am not registered to AIRE, since if I did it I would lose the health insurance in Italy as well (apart from emergency situations or stuff like that).
So basically, you are getting a free ride on your perceivedly 'free' national health system while you are contributing nothing to that system and you know very well you should not if you are a permanent resident in another country? Does not seem very fair to your home country tax payers to me.
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  #62  
Old 09.07.2013, 15:11
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Re: Exemption from compulsory health insurance

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Now, I don't claim to be any sort of authority on Swiss health insurance or the view each Canton / Gemeinde takes of the "compulsory" angle but here's what happened to me:

Moved to Switzerland and took out Swiss insurance 2.5 years later, when my European Health Insurance card expired. The health insurance company asked for a copy of my B permit so they knew when I arrived here and a copy of the EHIC and back dated the cost to the EHIC expiry date without any prompting from me. Actually, I thought there was a good chance I'd receive a whopping invoice for the 2.5 years.

I was possibly just super lucky in my choice of Canton, Gemeinde and insurance Co.
You were much more lucky not to have a serious accident or illness during that time - as EHIC would not have covered you, only the emergency part.
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  #63  
Old 09.07.2013, 16:06
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Re: Exemption from compulsory health insurance

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So basically, you are getting a free ride on your perceivedly 'free' national health system while you are contributing nothing to that system and you know very well you should not if you are a permanent resident in another country? Does not seem very fair to your home country tax payers to me.
The gaming of national health schemes is notorious. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_systems_by_country

And, if you look at the hysterical arguments in the USA over Obamacare and its (un-)fairness to those who choose not to pay (and who tell the Government to "get its hands off their Medicare" [sic]) there is little chance of resolving the hysteria or enforcing fairness.

The Rules in any country are often to enforce ease of administration rather than logic. My daughter had an emergency pregnancy visit in London a couple of years ago. The hospital pestered me for documentation, or in lieu of that, payment. They were unsatisfied with a copy of her British passport and her P60 because she is not registered with any practice in London. What they wanted was her (French) EHIC based on her husband's employment in France.

Britain has yet to figure out a way to make health tourists actually pay. Or to define what a 'health tourist' is. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-diseases.html

American bankruptcy lawyers know that most personal bankruptcies have their origins in medical bills, divorce, unemployment or credit card bills (with a subset in underwater mortgages and, after the dot.com bubble burst taxes on worthless incentive stock options). (The absence of any concept of personal bankruptcy discharge in Continental Europe except, since the 1990s, Scandinavia and Germany is a reflection of the absence of such debts ... until the Europeans invented credit cards.)

You don't know, of course, that the commenter does not pay Italian taxes. Of course taxation (and with it "health cover") has little or no relationship to "fairness": taxation is designed to raise money and to respond to political expediency. It is journalists who play on the concept of "fairness" to sell papers.
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  #64  
Old 09.07.2013, 18:00
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Re: Exemption from compulsory health insurance

I really don't know why the UK can't get their act together. Presumably anyone in the UK on a longer than 6 month visa is there to work and should be having NHS deductions taken out of their wage packet. And there should be nothing wrong with hospitals and doctors asking to see a foreigner's EHIC card or travel insurance document before giving treatment.

Mind you, the UK doesn't seem to be that geared up on the EHIC card really. It took them 10 days before they even got around to seeing the OH about the paperwork required to kick off their reimbursement from our Swiss insurers when he had his emergency treatment. He kept trying to give them the card when he first went to A&E, but they just didn't want to know. So different from here where the first thing they check on is your insurance cover.
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  #65  
Old 09.07.2013, 18:11
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Re: Exemption from compulsory health insurance

You are right, I assumed that like most PhD students, the OP will be an employee of a Swiss university on a generous (compared to PhD students in the rest of the world even after correcting for living standards) salary for the duration of his 4-5 year PhD programme, thus paying taxes here. He might be an exception but I doubt it. If he is not, then I don't understand why medical bills of a person in his position should be fully paid from Italian taxes.
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  #66  
Old 09.07.2013, 18:23
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Re: Exemption from compulsory health insurance

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I really don't know why the UK can't get their act together. Presumably anyone in the UK on a longer than 6 month visa is there to work and should be having NHS deductions taken out of their wage packet. And there should be nothing wrong with hospitals and doctors asking to see a foreigner's EHIC card or travel insurance document before giving treatment.

Mind you, the UK doesn't seem to be that geared up on the EHIC card really. It took them 10 days before they even got around to seeing the OH about the paperwork required to kick off their reimbursement from our Swiss insurers when he had his emergency treatment. He kept trying to give them the card when he first went to A&E, but they just didn't want to know. So different from here where the first thing they check on is your insurance cover.
NHS Deductions from wages, there is no such deduction, the NHS is Free Of course the UK does not have an identity card, so the concept of asking someone to prove who they are does not really exist.
I have had a bank account in the UK for 39 years, never have they asked for any proof of who I was, I even when I had a mortgage with them.
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  #67  
Old 09.07.2013, 20:51
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Re: Exemption from compulsory health insurance

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I really don't know why the UK can't get their act together. Presumably anyone in the UK on a longer than 6 month visa is there to work and should be having NHS deductions taken out of their wage packet.
I'm afraid you are misinformed. The NHS is not sickness "insurance" at all but a health "service" and there is no such thing as NHS deductions.

Employees and the self-employed pay National Insurance contributions for pension and disability (like Social Security/FICA/SET in the USA or AVS in Switzerland).

The NHS is paid for out of general tax revenue: income tax, VAT, and more and more these days SDLT (stamp duty land tax) on the transfer of real property.

Expatriate workers sent from the UK to Switzerland may continue to be covered by National Insurance on the basis of the social security totalisation agreement and not the tax treaty. They pay taxes (and hence towards the NHS) to HMRC depending on how long their secondment is for. And they would be covered for health care by EHIC and commercial medical insurance until and unless they were deemed tax-resident in Switzerland.

Child benefit and certain other allowances follow similarly.

My experience is that for serious illness the insurer will prefer to repatriate rather than pay Swiss medical costs. But your mileage may vary.
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  #68  
Old 09.07.2013, 21:16
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Re: Exemption from compulsory health insurance

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I'm afraid you are misinformed. The NHS is not sickness "insurance" at all but a health "service" and there is no such thing as NHS deductions.

Employees and the self-employed pay National Insurance contributions for pension and disability (like Social Security/FICA/SET in the USA or AVS in Switzerland).

The NHS is paid for out of general tax revenue: income tax, VAT, and more and more these days SDLT (stamp duty land tax) on the transfer of real property.

Expatriate workers sent from the UK to Switzerland may continue to be covered by National Insurance on the basis of the social security totalisation agreement and not the tax treaty. They pay taxes (and hence towards the NHS) to HMRC depending on how long their secondment is for. And they would be covered for health care by EHIC and commercial medical insurance until and unless they were deemed tax-resident in Switzerland.

Child benefit and certain other allowances follow similarly.

My experience is that for serious illness the insurer will prefer to repatriate rather than pay Swiss medical costs. But your mileage may vary.
Okay, I confused the NI payments for NHS ones. I knew it was something beginning with "N" though.
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  #69  
Old 12.07.2013, 13:40
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Re: Exemption from compulsory health insurance

For Basel-Stadt, here is a document in english with the list of conditions for being exempted:
http://www.asb.bs.ch/ok_zuzueger_e_gekvg.pdf
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  #70  
Old 16.07.2013, 13:09
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Re: Exemption from compulsory health insurance

The UK's NHS also has some relevant info regarding how one could use the EHIC, and what is covered in different countries. Here is the info regarding EHIC use in Switzerland:

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthc...itzerland.aspx

They recommend using a taxi or other transport unless the patient is not able to be transported in that way, precisely because ambulances are not fully covered by the EHIC.
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