Health insurance: Other agreements

This section provides information on the other international social-security agreements concluded by Switzerland.  

Bilateral social-security agreements

Switzerland has concluded agreements with many states regarding the social-security arrangements for persons transferring their domicile or employment from Switzerland to one of these states or vice-versa. Some of these agreements do not apply to health insurance but indirectly affect the health-insurance status of posted workers.

Agreements concluded with third countries (outside the EU/EFTA)

Switzerland has concluded bilateral social-security agreements with the following states : Australia, Canada (including Quebec), Chile, China, South Korea, the United States, Former Yugoslavia*, India, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Philippines, the Republic of San Marino, Serbia, Turkey and Uruguay (see attached table).

* Since the new agreement with Serbia and Montenegro came into effect, the social-security agreement with the former Yugoslavia is now only applicable to Bosnia and Herzegovina. This agreement has not been applicable to Kosovo since 01.04.2010.

New social-security agreements

The agreement with the People’s Republic of China came into effect on 19 June 2017 (SR 0.831.109.249.1). It applies to the areas of OASI and IV, with only an indirect effect on health insurance. The posting duration is 6 years.

The agreements with Serbia and Montenegro came into effect on 1 January 2019. Both agreements concern the areas of OASI and IV with only an indirect effect on health insurance. The posting duration is 2 years. The social-security agreement with the former Yugoslavia is now only applicable to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For workers and their non-employed accompanying family members from Switzerland posted in these contracting states, the continued duration of health insurance in Switzerland corresponds to the length of the posting in line with the relevant agreement. If these persons have compulsory health insurance in the country of the temporary posting, they may upon request be released from the obligation to pay insurance contributions in Switzerland, provided they have equivalent insurance cover for treatment in Switzerland.

Workers from these contracting states posted in Switzerland – and their non-employed accompanying family members – are subject to Swiss health insurance. They may be released from this obligation upon request, provided their employer ensures equivalent insurance cover.

Agreements concluded with European countries

Switzerland previously had bilateral social-security agreements with most European countries. After the AFMP came into effect and EFTA Agreement was revised accordingly, these two agreements have superseded the bilateral agreements concluded with EU and EFTA member states. The previous agreements do however remain applicable to persons not covered by the AFMP or the EFTA Agreement, such as third-country nationals on work postings to Switzerland.

Additional information

The Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO) also publishes an up-to-date list of all social-security agreements currently in force as well as information on the social-security agreements between Switzerland and a range of countries (notably Australia, Chile, Canada, the United States, Japan, Macedonia, the Philippines and Uruguay). See link below.

Further information

Workers posted abroad from Switzerland

In principle, workers posted abroad from Switzerland remain subject to compulsory health insurance in Switzerland.

Posted workers in Switzerland

Essentially, posted workers in Switzerland remain subject to the social security system of their home country.

Last modification 04.03.2019

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Health and Accident Insurance Directorate
Section Legal Supervision of Health Insurance
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Berne
Switzerland
Tel. +41 58 462 21 11
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https://www.bag.admin.ch/content/bag/en/home/gesetze-und-bewilligungen/gesetzgebung/gesetzgebung-versicherungen/gesetzgebung-krankenversicherung/internationale-sozialversicherungsabkommen/weitere-abkommen.html