Treatment abroad for policyholders resident abroad

Persons insured in Switzerland and resident abroad are entitled to be treated in their country of residence. The conditions for reimbursement of the costs vary, depending on the country (EU/EFTA, UK or elsewhere) and the persons’ status (stay/residence).

Residence (stay) in an EU/EFTA country or UK

Persons who are insured in Switzerland and resident in an EU/EFTA country or the United Kingdom (UK) will receive an S1 certificate (previously forms E106, E109, E121) from their health insurer. This must be submitted to the health insurance organisation of the country of residence. They will then be registered as eligible for treatment and will subsequently be treated as if they were insured in their country of residence.

Policyholders who maintain their legal residence in Switzerland (e.g. workers posted to an EU/EFTA country or UK) can be treated in the country where they are staying if they present their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). They are then entitled to receive treatment considered medically necessary given the type of treatment and expected length of their stay.

Temporary stay in another EU/EFTA country or UK

A European Health Insurance Card is also issued by Swiss health insurers to policyholders who are resident in an EU/EFTA country or the United Kingdom (UK). This enables them to receive treatment during a temporary stay in EU/EFTA /UK. In the event of illness, accident or maternity, they are entitled to receive all benefits in kind considered medically necessary given the type of treatment and expected length of their stay.
For more information, see “Temporary stay in an EU/EFTA country or in UK” on the website of the Common Institution under the KVG (Swiss liaison body).

Temporary stay in a non-EU/EFTA country or UK

During a temporary stay in a country outside the EU/EFTA or the United Kingdom (UK), the costs of emergency treatment for illness or accident (in cases where a return to Switzerland is not possible for medical reasons) will be reimbursed by the health insurer up to a maximum of twice the amount that it would pay if the treatment were provided in Switzerland. In the case of inpatient treatment, this means that the insurer will reimburse no more than 90% of the costs that would have arisen for hospitalisation in Switzerland. This is because, in the case of hospital treatment in Switzerland, at least 55% of the costs are borne by the cantons, which is not the case for hospital stays abroad.

Other medical treatments abroad are not generally covered by compulsory health insurance.

In the case of posted workers and Swiss public servants, the reimbursement of costs for medically necessary treatments is based on the tariffs and prices applicable at their last place of residence in Switzerland.

Further information

EU/EFTA/UK premiums and premium subsidies

Persons insured in Switzerland pay the EU/EFTA/UK premiums applicable for their country of residence. Those on low incomes are entitled to premium subsidies.

Health insurance: Co-payment for persons insured in Switzerland

For persons insured in Switzerland, the co-payment for treatment abroad varies, depending on the country where treatment is received.

Last modification 05.07.2023

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Health and Accident Insurance Directorate
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3003 Bern
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