Insurance requirements for studying in Switzerland
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.
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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's thriving economy and high living standards reflect its advanced free-market system. The country's renowned universities excel in various fields such as Business, Tourism, Culinary Arts, and Engineering. Compared to Western counterparts, Swiss universities offer affordable tuition fees and world-class education, particularly in PhD programs. Embracing a multilingual environment, you can explore languages like German, French, or Italian. Settling in Switzerland offers low unemployment rates and above-average salaries, making it an attractive destination.
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Frequently asked questions
Please note that EHIC is according to EU recommendations not an alternative for Travel Insurance
(European Health Insurance Card - Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion - European Commission (europa.eu))
An EHIC gives the student the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.
When you are in possession of a valid EHIC during your study period in Switzerland, it only provides coverage for emergency medical expenses. Please note that this does not include any costs for medical evacuation, physical therapy, acupuncture or emergency dental expenses. You are also not covered for your personal possessions, liability, legal aid, emergency assistance and extra travel expenses.
The validity of the EHIC depends on your home country and your insurer in your home country. It may not cover the full period of studies. Please verify the validity of your EHIC with your insurer in your home country for your study period abroad in Switzerland.
However, the coverage of the European Health Insurance Card or private insurance may not be sufficient, especially in case of repatriation and specific medical intervention. In that case, a complementary private insurance might be useful.
Taking out an additional insurance during your study abroad in Switzerland is specially needed for the risks that are not covered for with your EHIC. This to be certain that you are properly insured during your study period.As each country’s healthcare system is different services that cost nothing at home might not be free in another country like Switzerland.