Insurance requirements for studying in Switzerland as an international student or PHD Candidate
Insurance information for Switzerland
If you are going to study and live in Switzerland, you want to be fully prepared before starting your adventure. Among other things, you want to make sure your insurance covers everything you need, without paying too much.
Health insurance coverage is mandatory for any person residing in Switzerland for more than three months. The compulsory basic insurance covers medical treatment in the event of illness and accident.
Students from EU/EEA countries, who are in possession of valid health insurance in their home country, may use the European Health Insurance Card (see FAQ EHIC). This is a free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 27 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country. Please note that EHIC is according to EU recommendations not an alternative for Travel Insurance. EHIC does not guarantee free services. As each country’s healthcare system is different services that cost nothing at home might not be free in another country.
Students without a European Health Insurance Card, should be covered by private health insurance for their stay in Switzerland.
Health insurance coverage is mandatory for any person residing in Switzerland for more than three months. The compulsory basic insurance covers medical treatment in the event of illness and accident. Students without a European Health Insurance Card, should be covered by private health insurance for their stay in Switzerland.
However, as an international student, special provisions might apply to you, and depending on your situation, an exemption is possible.
You could be exempted from the compulsory insurance in Switzerland if you have an equivalent insurance, according to the Health Insurance Act (KVG). An exemption is possible for three years at the most. On request, you can extend it for a further three years. Afterwards, you will automatically fall under the compulsory health insurance in Switzerland.
Together with your request for exemption, you have to supply some documents to THE OFFICE IN YOUR CANTON (some cantons charge a fee for the request):
- copy of the residence permit in Switzerland
- copy of the insurance policy: (legal insurance: EHIC (European Health Insurance Card); private insurance: confirmation of the insurer)
- copy of the confirmation of enrolment or confirmation of education
- copy of the internship contract/employment contract
Is this enough?
It is important to understand that the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is not always enough, Please note that EHIC is according to EU recommendations not an alternative for Travel Insurance, and that the local offered health insurance will probably not cover:
- (Additional) medical costs
- Home contents and baggage
- Legal aid
- Worldwide cover
You will need an insurance policy also covering, but also arranging for you, for example:
- You returning home if a close relative is seriously ill or dies;
- Up to two close relatives visiting you in if you fall seriously ill;
- Your medical repatriation to your home country for hospitalization or rehabilitation treatment;
- or in the worst possible situation, returning a body home for burial.
Via our partner Aon, you can easily discover details that apply to your specific situation. To get advice and insight in the costs of insurance, you can freely request an instant quote.
About SwitzerlandSwitzerland has one of the most advanced free-market economies, which is reflected in the high living standards and the satisfaction of people living here. In terms of higher education, Swiss universities are constantly ranked among the best in Europe, and they shine in areas like Business, Tourism, Culinary Arts, and Engineering.
When compared to Western universities, tuition fees in Switzerland are affordable, and all studies — especially PhD programmes — are world-class. You’ll have the opportunity to develop in a multilingual environment and try learning international languages like German, French, or Italian. If you settle down here, the unemployment rates are low, and salaries are well above the European average.
Get custom advice for your situation from our partner, Aon. Click the button below and enter the wizard Aon created. It provides information on prices based on your country of origin, destination, and current insurance status. All this without any obligations on your part!