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Health insurance for foreign nationals

Insurance is compulsory

If you live or work in Switzerland, you have to take out health insurance, no matter what your nationality is. Even if you work in Switzerland for under three months, basic health insurance is compulsory. It is also compulsory if you are from an EU or EFTA state and work in Switzerland but are not resident here. However, cross-border commuters – people who live in a neighbouring country and come to Switzerland to work – can choose whether to take out health insurance in Switzerland or in their own country.

Three months to take out insurance

After moving to Switzerland, you have three months to take out insurance with an authorised health insurance company of your choice. The communal or cantonal authorities responsible ensure that everyone takes out insurance (you will be required to submit a copy of your policy or health insurance card) and authorise any exceptions.

List of authorised health insurance companies


There are some exceptions to this rule, even if a person is resident in Switzerland:

  • Pensioners who draw a pension exclusively in an EU or EFTA state.
  • People who work in an EU or EFTA state.
  • Students who are temporarily resident in Switzerland and have comparable insurance.
  • Staff of international organisations, embassies and consulates and, under certain conditions, their family members.

Compulsory insurance and exemptions – finding and contacting the correct office