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Guide: foreign student health insurance Switzerland, interns, au pairs

Students, interns and au pairs health insurance guide Switzerland


Health insurance in Switzerland

You might already know that, it is mandatory for each single person living in Switzerland (more than 3 months) to have a basic health insurance according to the Health Insurance Act, which is based on the principle of solidarity. The name of this insurance is KVG-LAMal.

A Swiss basic insurance could cost between CHF 250 up to CHF 400 per month, depending the annual deductible you choose.

Foreign students, interns and au pairs who living temporarily in Switzerland for a duration of 3 months up to 6 years, can be exempted (waiver) from the basic health insurance KVG-LAMal. The exemption is only accepted if they can proof that they have an equivalent health insurance.

Such valid insurance in Switzerland costs average CHF 100 per month.

The majority choose a private student insurance

The majority of foreign students, interns and au pairs choose the private insurance due to financial reasons. The cover is the same as the basic insurance however the price is much more affordable.

If you are from EU-EFTA countries

You can :

● Use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
● Choose the Swiss national health insurance scheme KVG-LAMal
● Choose a private insurance which approved by the responsible authority from your resident canton in Switzerland

If you are from from a third country

You can :

● Choose the Swiss national health insurance scheme KVG-LAMal
● Choose a private insurance which approved by the responsible authority from your resident canton in Switzerland

Before arrival

You can save time and money by applying online a private health insurance plan from Switzerland directly from your home country. You will receive the insurance certificate instantly by e-mail which you may use for obtaining the entry visa in Switzerland. An additional travel insurance is not necessary.

Already in Switzerland

If you are already in Switzerland and do not have health insurance yet, you can also apply for a private insurance plan directly online.


What is the cantonal exemption procedure?

As foreign student, intern or an au pairs, you have the right to request an exemption from the Swiss basic health insurance KVG-LAMal and benefits from a private insurance. However, an exemption is not granted automatically and will never propose a free solution for the applicants. An exemption application must be handed to the responsible authorities in the resident canton. The decision of the exemption falls under the responsibility of the canton - the regulations and procedures practice may vary from different cantons.

● An exemption is only granted if the private or international insurance company provides equivalent coverage according to the Swiss Health Insurance Act.

Preparation and duration of the exemption procedure

Upon your visa application, you might have to provide a copy of your health insurance proof. And after moving into Switzerland, you have three months to take out a health insurance with an authorized health insurance company of your choice. As due to it takes weeks/months for the exemption application and procedures, it is wise to inquire beforehand.

Important points when choosing an insurance

When choosing private insurance coverage in Switzerland, it is important to ensure that the company is registered and recognized by the Swiss authorities. Otherwise you may find yourself with an insurance that is not equivalent and will not cover your costs. So here we recommend you to check the following criteria :

● Is it a Swiss insurance company?
● Does it provide information concerning the address of the insurance company?
● Does it have a company registration number?
● Does the product have any limitations or exclusions?
● Does it cover all the insurance benefits according to the Health Insurance Act?
● Is the insurance that provides the guarantees registered under the FINMA?
● Are the claims being handled in Switzerland?
● Does a hospital bill the insurance directly - or do you have to pay a deposit?
● Do your canton authorities recognize the insurance?

Avoid insurance companies who request medical questionnaire

You could face following problems :

● Your claims will be partially refunded
● Your claims will be rejected
● Your contract can be terminated due to claims issues
● You could face important financial problems

Most important links :

Online private insurance for students, interns, au pairs : Swisscare online private insurance
Government insurance : Premium comparison
Government F.A.Q. : F.A.Q. Swiss law KVG-LAMal

Last edited by Editor Bob; 08.05.2015 at 10:09.
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