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Old 01.09.2017, 10:55
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Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

Apologies if this has been discussed before. I have searched the forum and found some threads discussing Cigna insurance and the likes, but couldn't find what I am looking for. Could you please help me out?

I am trying to help a friend, so here is the situation:

- Mother with non-EU citizenship.
- Daughter (with EU citizenship) is under a C-permit and would like to bring her mother to Switzerland.
- The mother in question would split her residency time among three countries: Switzerland, USA, and Argentina.

Questions:

1) If the mother in question lives, for example, 4 months in Switzerland, 4 months in the USA, 4 months in Argentina, and assuming she got a residency permit in CH, would a Swiss health care plan cover her in the other two countries?

2) If instead she chooses not to take residency permit in CH and instead stay here as a tourist, thus limiting her stay to 90 days per year, which American health insurance company would cover her during her time in Switzerland?

3) Anyone has ever gone through a smiliar situation?

Thanks for your patience!
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Old 01.09.2017, 11:13
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

Capo, before your friend goes much further, has she looked into the likelihood of her mother gaining a permit to live in Switzerland?

We tried this some years ago. Even though we (C permits) had sufficient finances to put into a guarantee and had health care covered we were told it would not be granted. However from discussions here and with friends it seems there might be quite a bit of difference in how regs are interpreted and in practice. I know of at least one non-EU B permit holder who was able to bring non-EU parents here, so go figure. Much seems to depend on practice at the Gemeinde level.

There are several threads discussing the issues, by the way.

That caveat aside, when we were planning this with an eye to a trial phase the ILs insurer back home included international travel coverage, which would have been sufficient for splitting time between countries without taking up residency. We knew we would likely have had to pay a deposit in case of hospitalization or emergncy treatment in Switzerland, so figured on keeping that money aside, think a few tens of thousands, and then deal with reimbursement later. IIRC it was a Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan.
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Old 01.09.2017, 15:09
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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...If instead she chooses not to take residency permit in CH and instead stay here as a tourist, thus limiting her stay to 90 days per year...
Don't know about insurances but a quick correction to the above. It's 90 days out of 180. So she could come twice per year as a tourist, assuming there aren't any other hiccups such as grumpy landlords or insurance issues.
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Old 01.09.2017, 15:36
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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Capo, before your friend goes much further, has she looked into the likelihood of her mother gaining a permit to live in Switzerland?

We tried this some years ago. Even though we (C permits) had sufficient finances to put into a guarantee and had health care covered we were told it would not be granted. However from discussions here and with friends it seems there might be quite a bit of difference in how regs are interpreted and in practice. I know of at least one non-EU B permit holder who was able to bring non-EU parents here, so go figure. Much seems to depend on practice at the Gemeinde level.

There are several threads discussing the issues, by the way.

That caveat aside, when we were planning this with an eye to a trial phase the ILs insurer back home included international travel coverage, which would have been sufficient for splitting time between countries without taking up residency. We knew we would likely have had to pay a deposit in case of hospitalization or emergncy treatment in Switzerland, so figured on keeping that money aside, think a few tens of thousands, and then deal with reimbursement later. IIRC it was a Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan.
MC, the daughter is an EU national so providing she can support her mother it should be no problem.

https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification-eu-efta/

The main problems I see are:

a) for Switzerland you're also supposed to be resident here for the majority of your time so at least 183 days a year to get and keep a permit.

b) jumping around like this and being a resident in all 3 countries will leave her open to being taxed in all 3 as well.

c) Swiss health cover will not apply if she's also a resident in the other 2 countries, it only might apply if she's a tourist and only for emergency cover up to whatever the equivalent is in Switzerland.

Why does the mother want to move around so much? It makes no sense, even if she has relatives in the other countries.
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Old 01.09.2017, 16:34
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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MC, the daughter is an EU national so providing she can support her mother it should be no problem.

https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification-eu-efta/

The main problems I see are:

a) for Switzerland you're also supposed to be resident here for the majority of your time so at least 183 days a year to get and keep a permit.

b) jumping around like this and being a resident in all 3 countries will leave her open to being taxed in all 3 as well.

c) Swiss health cover will not apply if she's also a resident in the other 2 countries, it only might apply if she's a tourist and only for emergency cover up to whatever the equivalent is in Switzerland.

Why does the mother want to move around so much? It makes no sense, even if she has relatives in the other countries.
It's actually possible to be tax resident nowhere at all, it used to be fairly common or perpetual tourist/traveller. My grandmother was one for 20 years after her husband died in 1955, she spent her time between France, Italy, Switzerland, UK, held a British passport with Hong Kong Domicile. Most countries require residence of 6 months plus a day to be tax resident.

There is a boat called 'The World', which never stops very long anywhere, plenty of full time residents.
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Old 01.09.2017, 16:59
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

Might be okay for Argentina, but could be caught out in the US or Switzerland.

http://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-ex..._Residency.pdf

http://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-ex...-Residency.pdf

http://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-ex...-Residency.pdf
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Old 01.09.2017, 18:33
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

Plenty of people in Switzerland are resident in a town where they don't actually spend the majority of their time. For tax reasons.
Whilst plenty of people have B or C permits yet don't actually live in Switzerland. Some of the permits are bought. For tax reasons.

In this case, it is not a question of being resident in 3 countries. It is a question of living in 3 countries and splitting time between the 3. She could easily elect not to be resident in any of them, or opt to be resident in the one where she would have the most financial benefits and/or lowest tax burden!

In all of the above cases it is entirely impossible to prove how many nights have been spent in each country even if it is a non-EU passport. There are plenty of overland border crossings which are unmanned, or where the passport would not even be asked for, let alone stamped.
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Old 01.09.2017, 19:03
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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Plenty of people in Switzerland are resident in a town where they don't actually spend the majority of their time. For tax reasons.
Whilst plenty of people have B or C permits yet don't actually live in Switzerland. Some of the permits are bought. For tax reasons.

In this case, it is not a question of being resident in 3 countries. It is a question of living in 3 countries and splitting time between the 3. She could easily elect not to be resident in any of them, or opt to be resident in the one where she would have the most financial benefits and/or lowest tax burden!

In all of the above cases it is entirely impossible to prove how many nights have been spent in each country even if it is a non-EU passport. There are plenty of overland border crossings which are unmanned, or where the passport would not even be asked for, let alone stamped.
Ah, but the passport will be stamped when she enters Schengen and when she exits again.
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Old 01.09.2017, 19:17
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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Ah, but the passport will be stamped when she enters Schengen and when she exits again.
Plenty of tax jurisdictions in the Schengen region, so really not an issue at all.
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Old 02.09.2017, 15:40
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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Capo, before your friend goes much further, has she looked into the likelihood of her mother gaining a permit to live in Switzerland?

We tried this some years ago. Even though we (C permits) had sufficient finances to put into a guarantee and had health care covered we were told it would not be granted. However from discussions here and with friends it seems there might be quite a bit of difference in how regs are interpreted and in practice. I know of at least one non-EU B permit holder who was able to bring non-EU parents here, so go figure. Much seems to depend on practice at the Gemeinde level.

There are several threads discussing the issues, by the way.

That caveat aside, when we were planning this with an eye to a trial phase the ILs insurer back home included international travel coverage, which would have been sufficient for splitting time between countries without taking up residency. We knew we would likely have had to pay a deposit in case of hospitalization or emergncy treatment in Switzerland, so figured on keeping that money aside, think a few tens of thousands, and then deal with reimbursement later. IIRC it was a Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan.
Thank you very much for the tips!
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Old 02.09.2017, 16:23
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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MC, the daughter is an EU national so providing she can support her mother it should be no problem.

https://www.ch.ch/en/family-reunification-eu-efta/

The main problems I see are:

a) for Switzerland you're also supposed to be resident here for the majority of your time so at least 183 days a year to get and keep a permit.

b) jumping around like this and being a resident in all 3 countries will leave her open to being taxed in all 3 as well.

I think the tax issue will be solved easily.


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c) Swiss health cover will not apply if she's also a resident in the other 2 countries, it only might apply if she's a tourist and only for emergency cover up to whatever the equivalent is in Switzerland.
That's the main thing that she is researching: in which country (or countries) that she should be officially resident so the health care will cover her on the others. Argentina is definitely not a problem to be either a resident or a tourist. Then it come down how to be covered when she is either in the USA or CH.

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Why does the mother want to move around so much? It makes no sense, even if she has relatives in the other countries.
Since she is a relatively wealthy retired widow, she wants to enjoy life splitting her time with her daughters (one here, one in the USA).
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Old 10.09.2017, 17:57
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

Switzerland does not know the concept of dual domicile. In other words, everyone on the planet is either domiciled in Switzerland, or not.

A domicile in Switzerland is not counted merely in terms of number of days spent here, nor about only where one's papers are deposited/registered.

From the Swiss perspective, domicile is regarded as the place at which one's private, social and business lives most converge, such that it is evident to third parties that the bond to this place is greater than the bond to any other place.
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Old 10.09.2017, 18:17
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

Isn't it a more general question of where it is most advantageous to be resident, from a tax and visa viewpoint. Or conversely, where is it least easy to be a "temporary" visitor given their nationality etc.

Surely health insurance can be bought for any circumstances, that's just another factor.
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Old 10.09.2017, 18:26
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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where it is most advantageous to be resident, from a tax and visa viewpoint
If possible nowhere, that way no tax will be due anywhere.
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Old 10.09.2017, 19:52
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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If possible nowhere, that way no tax will be due anywhere.
However then most Banks computers etc explode & they won't give you an account, same with share trading etc.
I chose Malta where one could easily live completely tax free if your not working, as your only taxed on Income remitted to the island & zero capital gains tax on remitted foreign gains. My wife wants to get a another property in another country so that makes 4 countries with accommodation then holidays on top of that.
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Old 10.09.2017, 20:16
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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Apologies if this has been discussed before. I have searched the forum and found some threads discussing Cigna insurance and the likes, but couldn't find what I am looking for. Could you please help me out?

I am trying to help a friend, so here is the situation:

- Mother with non-EU citizenship.
- Daughter (with EU citizenship) is under a C-permit and would like to bring her mother to Switzerland.
- The mother in question would split her residency time among three countries: Switzerland, USA, and Argentina.

Questions:

1) If the mother in question lives, for example, 4 months in Switzerland, 4 months in the USA, 4 months in Argentina, and assuming she got a residency permit in CH, would a Swiss health care plan cover her in the other two countries?

2) If instead she chooses not to take residency permit in CH and instead stay here as a tourist, thus limiting her stay to 90 days per year, which American health insurance company would cover her during her time in Switzerland?

3) Anyone has ever gone through a smiliar situation?

Thanks for your patience!
I don't know if this is helpful, but our family moved from the US to CH for a two year stint and my husband's company purchased US healthcare that covers us in any country. Its United Global Healthcare. I don't know how expensive it is, but it may be worth looking into - then she would have the flexibility of being in any country for any amount of time. : )
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Old 10.09.2017, 20:31
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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However then most Banks computers etc explode & they won't give you an account
Well if account and income arrangements are made beforehand, it would be all set up and you would simply need to deregister (notify departure to authorities) wherever you were last resident. Usually you have to give a destination when you do this. No country is going to check that you physically arrive in the next country.
For bank correspondence, a postal address should suffice.
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Old 10.09.2017, 20:40
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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Well if account and income arrangements are made beforehand, it would be all set up and you would simply need to deregister (notify departure to authorities) wherever you were last resident. Usually you have to give a destination when you do this. No country is going to check that you physically arrive in the next country.
For bank correspondence, a postal address should suffice.
The banks are all now asking for tax references as part of the tax transparency rules, so you're going to struggle to hide for long and it's getting harder and harder.

And most countries have some sort of punitive approach to tax evasion, so is it worth the risk? Particularly if you're already skirting the edges of residency rules.
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Old 10.09.2017, 20:45
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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I don't know if this is helpful, but our family moved from the US to CH for a two year stint and my husband's company purchased US healthcare that covers us in any country. Its United Global Healthcare. I don't know how expensive it is, but it may be worth looking into - then she would have the flexibility of being in any country for any amount of time. : )
Thank you very much!
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Old 10.09.2017, 20:50
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Re: Health insurance if you live in 3 different countries during the year?

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Isn't it a more general question of where it is most advantageous to be resident, from a tax and visa viewpoint. Or conversely, where is it least easy to be a "temporary" visitor given their nationality etc.

Surely health insurance can be bought for any circumstances, that's just another factor.
Valid point but since health insurance in CH is compulsory, then to solve her problem it might be better to start by finding a solution that would cover CH. In the US there are many choices of "worldwide" health insurance plans but not many in CH.
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