Health insurance: Foreign students in Switzerland

Foreign students can apply for exemption from Swiss compulsory health insurance, provided that they have a policy offering equivalent cover. The exemption rules for students from EU/EFTA countries are different from those for other countries. 

Students from EU/EFTA countries

Under the Swiss-EU Agreement on the free movement of persons and the EFTA Convention, students from an EU/EFTA country undergoing education or training in Switzerland are not required to take out Swiss health insurance, provided that they are not working and thus remain insured under the social security system of their country of residence. They are entitled to receive medical treatment in Switzerland upon presentation of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). However, if they start working, they are required to take out Swiss health insurance (place-of-work principle).

Students and trainees from other countries

Students and trainees from non-EU/EFTA countries undergoing education or training in Switzerland can apply for exemption from Swiss compulsory health insurance, provided that they have private insurance offering cover equivalent to that of a Swiss health insurer. They can be exempted for a period of three years; this can be extended for another three years. Thereafter, they are required to take out health insurance in Switzerland.

Students taking out Swiss health insurance

Students who are subject to compulsory health insurance must obtain cover from an authorised Swiss health insurer. They are then subject to the same rules as persons resident in Switzerland (see below: compulsory health insurance, premiums, co-payment, premium subsidies).

Further information

Mandatory insurance requirement

Anyone settling in Switzerland must obtain insurance within three months after taking up residence.

Premium reductions

People on low incomes are entitled to health insurance premium subsidies.

Premiums and contributions to costs

Insurers set the premiums paid by policyholders.
Services are subject to co-payment by policyholders.

Last modification 20.04.2021

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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
E-mail

Print contact

https://www.bag.admin.ch/content/bag/en/home/versicherungen/krankenversicherung/krankenversicherung-versicherte-mit-wohnsitz-im-ausland/versicherungspflicht/auslaendische-studierende-ch.html