Healthcare in Switzerland

Healthcare in Switzerland is regulated by the Federal Health Insurance Act. Health insurance is compulsory for all persons resident in Switzerland (within three months of taking up residence or being born in the country). International civil servants, members of permanent missions and their family members are exempted from compulsory health insurance. They can, however, apply to join the Swiss health insurance system, within six months of taking up residence in the country.

Cover and costs

The compulsory health insurance covers a range of treatments which are set out in detail in the Federal Act. It is therefore the same throughout the country and avoids double standards in healthcare. It provides for treatment in case of illness or accident (unless another accident insurance provides the cover) and pregnancy.

Health insurance covers the costs of medical treatment and hospitalisation of the insured. However, the insured person pays part of the cost of treatment. This is done:
*by means of an annual excess (or deductible, called the "franchise"), which ranges from CHF 300 to a maximum of CHF 2,500 as chosen by the insured person (premiums are adjusted accordingly);
*and by a charge of 10% of the costs over and above the excess.

In case of pregnancy there is no charge. For hospitalisation, one pays a contribution to room and service costs.

Insurance premiums vary according to insurance company (Ger. "Krankenkassen", Fr. "caisses-maladie", It. "casse malati"), the excess level chosen ("franchise"), the place of residence of the insured person and the degree of supplementary benefit coverage chosen (dental care, private ward hospitalisation, etc.).

Private cover

The compulsory insurance can be supplemented by private "complementary" insurance policies which allow for coverage of some of the treatment categories not covered by the basic insurance or to improve the standard of room and service in case of hospitalisation. This can include dental treatment and private ward hospitalisation which are not covered by the compulsory insurance.

As far as the compulsory health insurance is concerned, the insurance companies cannot set any conditions relating to age, sex or state of health for coverage. Although the level of premium can vary from one company to another, they must be identical within the same company for all insured persons of the same age group, regardless of sex or state of health. This does not apply to complementary insurance, where premiums are risk-based.


The Swiss healthcare system is a combination of public, subsidised private and totally private systems:
* public: e. g. the University of Geneva Hospital (HUG) with 2,350 beds, 8,300 staff and 50,000 patients per year;
* subsidised private: the home care services to which one may have recourse in case of a difficult pregnancy, after childbirth, illness, accident, handicap or old age;
* totally private: doctors in private practice and in private clinics.

The insured person has full freedom of choice among the recognised healthcare providers competent to treat their condition (in his region) on the understanding that the costs are covered by the insurance up to the level of the official tariff. There is freedom of choice when selecting an insurance company (provided it is an officially registered "caisse-maladie" or a private insurance company authorised by the Federal Act) to which one pays a premium, usually on a monthly basis.

The list of officially-approved insurance companies can be obtained from the cantonal authority.

External links

* [ Federal Office of Public Health]
* [ Expat advice on Swiss healthcare]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Switzerland — Swiss redirects here. For other uses, see Swiss (disambiguation). Swiss Confederation redirects here. For Swiss Confederacy, see Old Swiss Confederacy. This article is about the country. For other uses, see Switzerland (disambiguation). Swiss… …   Wikipedia

  • Healthcare in Europe — is provided through a wide range of different systems run at the national level. Systems used include primarily Publicly funded health care (e.g. United Kingdom), mixed Public and Private Funded healthcare (e.g. Germany), and predominately… …   Wikipedia

  • Healthcare in the Netherlands — Total health spending as a percentage of GDP for the Netherlands compared amongst various other first world nations from 2005 to 2008 Healthcare in the Netherlands is financed by a dual system that came into effect in January 2006. Long term… …   Wikipedia

  • Private healthcare — or private medicine is healthcare and medicine provided by entities other than the government. The term is generally used more in Europe and other countries which have publicly funded health care, to differentiate the arrangement from the usual… …   Wikipedia

  • Piramal Healthcare — Type Public Traded as BSE: 500302 …   Wikipedia

  • Geography of Switzerland — Continent Europe Region Western/Central Europe Coordinates 47° N 8° E Area Ranked 134 …   Wikipedia

  • Demographics of Switzerland — This article is about the demographic features of the population of Switzerland, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.… …   Wikipedia

  • Culture of Switzerland — If there is reasonable doubt whether William Tell ever has lived at all, the legend itself had a great impact on the history and culture of Switzerland[1] (statue in Altdorf) Strong regionalism in Switzerland makes it difficult to speak of a… …   Wikipedia

  • Languages of Switzerland — Official language(s) …   Wikipedia

  • Cantons of Switzerland — The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the states of the federal state of Switzerland. Each canton was a fully sovereign state with its own borders, army and currency until the establishment of the Swiss federal state in 1848. The most recently… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.