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Back in Switzerland – and well insured

25.05.2020 – OSA legal service

Can I take out Swiss health insurance if I move back to Switzerland for good, and, if so, are pre-existing medical conditions covered?

Answer: Yes, you can take out basic insurance as soon as your place of domicile is situated in Switzerland again. Health insurance is mandatory for everyone living in Switzerland. Health insurers are therefore also obliged to provide basic insurance to anyone who resides in Switzerland, regardless of age or state of health. Furthermore, you are free to choose your health insurer (from the list of authorised insurers). The law governs which services are covered by basic insurance.

Health insurers cannot, therefore, refuse basic insurance to Swiss who have returned to Switzerland after living abroad, nor are they permitted to impose any restrictions (e.g. due to pre-existing medical conditions). You must take out health insurance within three months of taking up residence in Switzerland. Cover will then apply retroactively from the date you arrived in the country.

Certain people are exempt from the obligation to take out insurance in Switzerland. These include retired persons who draw a pension from an EU country and do not receive a Swiss pension, as well as anyone who is in Switzerland for education or training purposes and has insurance cover equivalent to basic Swiss cover.

Health insurance is taken out individually for each family member (adults and children). All insured persons pay a premium which can vary depending on the health insurance scheme, but the basic insurance services are the same for everyone. It is therefore worth comparing premiums. The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) provides a comparison of premiums online:

The OSA’s Legal Service provides general legal information on Swiss law, particularly in areas which concern the Swiss abroad. It does not provide information on foreign law or intervene in disputes between private parties.