Health insurance: Workers posted abroad from Switzerland

Posted workers remain subject to the social-security legislation of their country of origin. As far as health insurance is concerned, the specific requirements vary depending on the country to which the worker is posted.

Posting to an EU/EFTA country

Nationals of Switzerland or an EU/EFTA member state employed by a company whose headquarters are in Switzerland who are posted to work in an EU/EFTA country for up to 24 months remain subject to Swiss social-security legislation, including that relating to health insurance. They will receive a posting certificate (attestation A1, previously form E101) from their AOSI compensation office. The duration of the posting can be extended to a maximum of six years (through special agreement between the Federal Social Insurance Office and the relevant authority abroad).
The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons with the EU and the EFTA Convention do not apply to third-country nationals. In most cases, postings can be arranged for them on the basis of existing bilateral agreements.

Posting to a contracting state

During a posting from Switzerland to a contracting state (other than EU/EFTA states, India and Japan), the posted worker remains subject to Swiss health-insurance requirements throughout his posting (see list of international social-security conventions between Switzerland and other countries below).

The fact that the posted worker remains insured in Switzerland has no bearing on his or her status vis-à-vis the insurance requirements of the country in which he or she is working. Double cover can therefore happen in some cases. If a worker posted from Switzerland is required to take out health insurance in the country in which he or she is temporarily employed, he or she can request exemption from compulsory health insurance in Switzerland, provided that continued cover in Switzerland would result in additional expense and that the policy in the other country provides comparable cover to that offered in Switzerland.

Postings to India and Japan

The social-security conventions concluded with India and Japan require that workers posted there from Switzerland remain covered by compulsory Swiss health insurance for the duration of their posting. This obviates the need for any double cover.

Postings to non-contracting states

For posted workers not covered by the AFMP, the EFTA Convention or any other bilateral social-security convention, as well as for workers posted to a state with which Switzerland has no social-security convention (a non-contracting state), Swiss compulsory health-insurance cover will be prolonged for two years. On request, this prolongation can be extended to six years.

Persons required to take out health insurance under the law of the country to which they have been posted can request the relevant cantonal institutions to grant them exemption from compulsory health insurance in Switzerland, provided that continued cover in Switzerland would result in additional expense and that the policy in the other country provides comparable cover to that offered in Switzerland.

Additional information

The document “ Overview of international social-security conventions between Switzerland and other countries and their effects on the health-insurance requirements placed on posted workers” provides an overview of all social-security conventions between Switzerland and other countries. Further information is also available on the Federal Social Insurance Office website (see memorandum on social security for posted workers).

Further information

EU/EFTA premiums and premium reductions

Persons insured in Switzerland pay the EU/EFTA premiums applicable to their country of domicile. Those of limited means are entitled to a premium reduction.

Leistungen im Ausland für Versicherte mit Wohnsitz im Ausland

In der Schweiz versicherte Personen, die im Ausland leben, haben das Recht, sich in ihrem Aufenthalts- oder Wohnsitzland sowie in der Schweiz behandeln zu lassen.

International social-security agreements

Switzerland has concluded multilateral agreements and international social-security conventions which impact on health insurance.

Last modification 27.08.2018

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Contact

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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