All family members – adults and children – are insured individually. The same deadline applies to parents to take out health insurance for their newborn children.
Health insurance is broken down into basic insurance and optional supplemental insurance. You are free to choose which insurance company provides your coverage. Premiums for basic health insurance vary from canton to canton. The insurer must accept the insurance applicant, regardless of age and state of health, without any reservations or waiting periods.
Basic health insurance
Basic health insurance covers outpatient and inpatient treatments, medications, emergencies (including internationally), pregnancy and birth, preventative care, rehabilitation and alternative medicine. The benefits of health insurance policies are the same with all health insurance companies; however the price vary. You can save money by comparing different offer and voluntarily affiliating your health insurance with a general practitioner model (Hausarztmodell) respectively health maintenance organization (HMO). Many insurers offer discounted premiums to young people between the ages of 19 and 25.
Supplementary insurance policies are voluntary and vary from insurer to insurer in terms of price and benefits. For example, they offer insurance coverage for orthodontics, glasses and contact lenses, free choice of doctors in hospitals and other special benefits. There is no obligation for an insurance to accept you > questions regarding your health condition are authorized and can result in a rejection. You are permitted to take out a basic health insurance policy and any supplementary insurance with different insurance companies.
The deductible (Franchise) (minimum CHF 300, maximum CHF 2500), i.e. the fixed amount paid annually by the insurer, plays an important role. Insurance only then takes effect once medical bills exceed the amount of the deductible. However, you are responsible for covering ten percent of the costs yourself. This percentage is referred to as co-insurance (Selbstbehalt) and is limited to a maximum of CHF 700 annually or CHF 350 for children. If any hospital costs are incurred, you must pay a hospital contribution of CHF 15 per hospital day. You are permitted to take out a basic health insurance policy and any supplementary insurance with different insurance companies.
The total price ultimately consists of the price of the insurance policy (basic health insurance and any supplementary insurance) depending on the canton of residence and amount of the individual deductible. For more information about the insurance policies just described, refer to the brochure Social social insurance system: Sojourn in Switzerland and departure information for foreign nationals. The university has group supplementary insurance policies with certain insurance companies. These policies may be appealing to staff due to the discounted terms they offer. For information about this, refer to the A-Z Information for Staff guide.
Very helpful and easy to understand explanations of the Swiss healthcare system can also be found at the health spots (short descriptions and audio bits) from Radio X. The information provided at the health spots is based on the Health Guide to Switzerland offered by the Swiss Red Cross and which is available in 18 languages.
Comparing health insurance companies
We highly recommend closely comparing the costs of the different health insurance companies, e.g. via Comparis, Priminfo or Swupp, before taking out an insurance policy. Even if you are already insured, it is still common to compare and perhaps switch providers.
The contributions make up a major part of your personal budget and usually increase annually, which is why it is important to go about this in a cost-conscious manner. Each October, Swiss health insurance companies must announce their premiums for the next year. This gives customers the opportunity to switch health insurers by November 28. The newly selected health insurance company is required to accept the application to join. To terminate your existing health insurance policy, a simple statement sent by registered mail is sufficient. Ideally, this letter should not be sent at the last minute (no later than roughly November 28) so that the termination can be processed in time. The person remains insured through the end of the year, and the new policy then goes into effect on January 1.