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Old 19.08.2019, 10:54
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Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month break

Hello there,

I hope you are all doing fine! I have a question related to a health insurance but first let me describe my issue: I have been working in Bern as an intern since July 2017 and from this date till 31.7.2019 I have had an exemption from an obligatory health insurance since I am an intern. Now I am starting a new job in Geneva starting on 1.9.2019 and in August I was back in my country pretty much - anyways, I did not have a permit valid so technically I was a tourist in Switzerland (originally I come from Czech Republic).

Today I received a letter from Amt für Sozialversichungen that I shold declare my health insurance policy to them from 1.8.2019 since I had an exemption only till 31.7.2019. Well, the problem is that I will have my permit starting from 1.9. so I should have an insurance since 1.9. as well. Unfortunately, the Bern migration office did not let me unregister and I was told that it is just one month so they will just change the address to Geneva from 1.9., otherwise I keep my legal domicile in Bern - even though I don't have a valid permit for August.

My question is if somebody else had a similar issue or what would you suggest me to do in such a case.

Thank you for your inputs and have a good day!

David
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Old 19.08.2019, 11:00
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

You are a registered resident in August so you must have insurance for this month.

Also it is very normal to spend some time without a valid permit while awaiting a newly requested permit to be issued, this does not make you a tourist.
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Old 19.08.2019, 11:02
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

It is not just the validity of the permit that counts. You can be deemed resident in Switzerland by the authorities for health insurance purposes, even if you do not have a valid permit.
I actually asked to be deemed resident for a specific period of time, solely for this purpose, for three reasons. In the time period in question I was in Switzerland (with no valid permit), I was benefiting from a health insurance subsidy and I was using the insurance.

In your case it seems you are trying to get out of paying the month of August. I can understand this, but it will be the authorities who will decide. You can argue of course that you weren't here, weren't resident etc.
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Old 19.08.2019, 11:48
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

Thanks so much for your replies, I very appreciate! I don't have a big problem to pay for August, it's just that I thought I shouldn't be obliged so I didn't take out an insurance. I have two following questions:
1. Is it fine for an insurance company to sign a contract with a past date (1.8.)?
2. I also have to take out insurance against accidents for August but is it really possible for just one month? Or is it possible to cancel it starting from September? Usually, it's part of the health insurance package.

Thank you!
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Old 19.08.2019, 12:04
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

Why don't you just contact the insurance you want to go with and indicate a start date of 1.9.19? Then once you have your policy, give a copy of it to whoever is asking for it.

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I also have to take out insurance against accidents for August but is it really possible for just one month?
Accident insurance is definitely possible for just one month, it can be activated or deactivated to match your status.
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Old 19.08.2019, 12:20
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

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Why don't you just contact the insurance you want to go with and indicate a start date of 1.9.19? Then once you have your policy, give a copy of it to whoever is asking for it.
But then the office would ask where I have the insurance for August? So if I sign it since 1.9. and that would be an ideal scenario, I wouldn't have any insurance for August and I guess I'd be troubled.
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Old 19.08.2019, 12:28
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

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But then the office would ask where I have the insurance for August? So if I sign it since 1.9. and that would be an ideal scenario, I wouldn't have any insurance for August and I guess I'd be troubled.
Not necessarily. It depends where you are resident or deemed to be resident in August.
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Old 19.08.2019, 12:45
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

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1. Is it fine for an insurance company to sign a contract with a past date (1.8.)?
It is very normal for a health insurance to be backdated to a certain date and this happens a lot.
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2. I also have to take out insurance against accidents for August but is it really possible for just one month? Or is it possible to cancel it starting from September? Usually, it's part of the health insurance package.
Legally possible yeah sure, but finding a company that will insure you for only 12 days might become troublesome and/or expensive. We are already at 2/3rd of August, personally I'd just skip the accident insurance for the month.
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Old 19.08.2019, 12:49
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

All that hassle for 200 CHF?
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Old 19.08.2019, 12:52
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

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All that hassle for 200 CHF?
Maybe their premiums are a lot higher. Could easily be 400!
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Old 19.08.2019, 13:00
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It is very normal for a health insurance to be backdated to a certain date and this happens a lot.
Legally possible yeah sure, but finding a company that will insure you for only 12 days might become troublesome and/or expensive. We are already at 2/3rd of August, personally I'd just skip the accident insurance for the month.
Ok, thank you! I am going to approach the company tomorrow so let's see how it goes. And yes, I will skip the accident insurance then, hopefully it's not gonna be a big trouble for the social security office.

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All that hassle for 200 CHF?
I just want to make sure I do everything correctly as I don't want to mess up with the offices here.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 19.08.2019 at 18:11. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 19.08.2019, 13:02
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

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It is very normal for a health insurance to be backdated to a certain date and this happens a lot.
Not only very normal. But backdating is what the law actually mandates.

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Legally possible yeah sure, but finding a company that will insure you for only 12 days might become troublesome and/or expensive. We are already at 2/3rd of August, personally I'd just skip the accident insurance for the month.
Accident insurance would also be backdated So it is a full month of 31 days. Getting it is also very easy and not very costly (~CHF 20 per month) as it is part of the regular mandatory basic health insurance. Accident coverage can be excluded from health insurance in case you are covered otherwise through employer.

My advice: Sign up for mandatory basic health insurance with your favorite provider. Focus on a company which will be most suitable in your future place of residence, Geneva. Select the accident option. On or a bit before September 1st, inform insurance company about address change and exclusion of accident coverage.
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Old 19.08.2019, 13:09
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

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Not only very normal. But backdating is what the law actually mandates.


Accident insurance would also be backdated So it is a full month of 31 days. Getting it is also very easy and not very costly (~CHF 20 per month) as it is part of the regular mandatory basic health insurance. Accident coverage can be excluded from health insurance in case you are covered otherwise through employer.

My advice: Sign up for mandatory basic health insurance with your favorite provider. Focus on a company which will be most suitable in your future place of residence, Geneva. Select the accident option. On or a bit before September 1st, inform insurance company about address change and exclusion of accident coverage.
Thank you very much for your advice, I will do that. Have a good day, everyone!
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Old 19.08.2019, 14:19
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

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Not only very normal. But backdating is what the law actually mandates.


Accident insurance would also be backdated So it is a full month of 31 days. Getting it is also very easy and not very costly (~CHF 20 per month) as it is part of the regular mandatory basic health insurance. Accident coverage can be excluded from health insurance in case you are covered otherwise through employer.
Is accident insurance mandatory?

(if so, I never realised such)
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Old 19.08.2019, 14:31
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

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Is accident insurance mandatory?

(if so, I never realised such)
If not working yes, if working 8 hours a week or more then through work.
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My advice: Sign up for mandatory basic health insurance with your favorite provider. Focus on a company which will be most suitable in your future place of residence, Geneva. Select the accident option. On or a bit before September 1st, inform insurance company about address change and exclusion of accident coverage.
I was unable to cancel accident insurance when I changed insurer, I had to keep on with the original accident policy for 24 months. Interestingly they were cheaper for accident cover than the new company.
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Old 19.08.2019, 14:44
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

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If not working yes, if working 8 hours a week or more then through work.
Though whether you actually have it and are not working isn't checked.

If you lose your job and the cover finishes with your employer, it is your responsibility to take it out by adding it to your health insurance policy. It is possible that there is a period of time between when you lose your cover and take up new cover with your own insurance supplier, but this period without cover is entirely at your own risk.
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Old 19.08.2019, 14:51
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

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Though whether you actually have it and are not working isn't checked.

If you lose your job and the cover finishes with your employer, it is your responsibility to take it out by adding it to your health insurance policy. It is possible that there is a period of time between when you lose your cover and take up new cover with your own insurance supplier, but this period without cover is entirely at your own risk.
In my experience, accident coverage with your former company remains for 30 days after you leave your job. Also (not sure if it's still the case but was up to about 5 years ago), if you register with the RAV you are covered for accident insurance under them. If not, you have to source your own insurance which, as mentioned earlier, costs relative buttons.

If you don't have it, fine. If you have an accident, that's when it gets checked.
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Old 19.08.2019, 14:53
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

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In my experience, accident coverage with your former company remains for 30 days after you leave your job.
I believe this 30 day rule is correct and was my situation. Not sure about RAV as I did not go onto unemployment benefit following loss of job/cover.
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Old 19.08.2019, 15:01
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

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It is not just the validity of the permit that counts. You can be deemed resident in Switzerland by the authorities for health insurance purposes, even if you do not have a valid permit.
I actually asked to be deemed resident for a specific period of time, solely for this purpose, for three reasons. In the time period in question I was in Switzerland (with no valid permit), I was benefiting from a health insurance subsidy and I was using the insurance.

In your case it seems you are trying to get out of paying the month of August. I can understand this, but it will be the authorities who will decide. You can argue of course that you weren't here, weren't resident etc.
How can you get the health insurance subsidy without a permit? I have been told it is not possible but they are demanding I get insurance which I can not afford and normally would have the subsidy but was told I am not "resident" to apply wthout a permit.
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Old 19.08.2019, 15:07
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Re: Health insurance - from an exemption to an obligatory insurance with 1 month brea

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How can you get the health insurance subsidy without a permit? I have been told it is not possible but they are demanding I get insurance which I can not afford and normally would have the subsidy but was told I am not "resident" to apply without a permit.
I got the subsidy from the canton where I was resident before leaving. In some cantons it is arranged the year before the year of cover. Luckily this was my case. I checked with the canton upon departure and they said that the departure had no influence on the subsidy granted, since I would be retaining de facto residence as well as cover.

As far as I know you can also apply for a subsidy even without a permit. We looked into this for the following year, but when our situation changed we no longer needed to do it, so I did not take it any further. I certainly would have been prepared to so though, had I have needed to.

Yes, the Swiss demand a lot of things, health insurance cover for non-residents who live here is one of these things. Nevertheless, getting the non-residents to pay for this supposedly obligatory cover is another matter.
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