Swiss health insurance is compulsory. If you live or work in Switzerland, you have to take out health insurance. Even if you work in Switzerland for under three months, basic health insurance is compulsory.
After moving to Switzerland, you have three months to take out insurance with an authorized health insurance company of your choice. The communal or cantonal authorities responsible ensure that everyone takes out insurance (you will be required to submit a copy of your policy or health insurance card) and authorize any exceptions.
There are some exceptions to this rule, even if an American is resident in Switzerland:
- Students who are temporarily resident in Switzerland and have comparable insurance.
- Staff of international organizations, embassies and consulates.
Find a list of authorized health insurance companies here.
All employees working in Switzerland are required by law to be insured against accidents, also including home workers, apprentices, trainees, volunteers, persons training or working in workshops for invalids, and cleaning staff employed in private households.
Accident insurance covers medical expenses for both occupational and non-occupational accidents, i.e. accidents during leisure time. Employees whose weekly working hours for an employer amount to less than eight hours are only insured against occupational accidents and occupational illness, but not against non-occupational accidents. Accidents that occur on your way to and from work are considered to be occupational accidents.
Self-employed persons and persons who are not gainfully employed such as housewives and househusbands, children, students, and pensioners are not covered. People in these groups should be obtain cover against accidents as part of their health insurance.
It is individual person's sole responsibility to be adequately insured with motor vehicle insurance, travel insurance, household contents insurance, personal liability insurance, retirement financing (e.g. 3rd pillar insurance), life insurance and others.