Healthcare in Switzerland

If you start doing research on the best healthcare systems in the world – Switzerland would rank quite highly.

The reason is that the Swiss healthcare system stands true to its global reputation of being outstanding. Not tax-based or employer-financed much like most of the other European countries, the Swiss healthcare system requires the individual to pay for their healthcare expenses but not without huge contribution from the many Swiss health insurance schemes, as well as the government’s efforts to keep it relatively cheap as compared to other countries.

The country boasts of a massive healthcare network that includes many public, subsidized private, as well as totally private institutions that house some of the best doctors, staff, medical facilities, and services!

First things first, everyone must have health insurance. Both native residents and expats need to have a basic insurance coverage which would cover almost 80-90% of all their healthcare costs making it much easier and feasible to maintain good health.

You can choose from about 60 registered health insurance companies in the country, each offering the same benefits in their basic health insurance policies. Some of the largest names include Helsana and CSS.

A basic health insurance policy in Switzerland would cover the medical costs for:

  • Out-patient treatments
  • Emergency treatments
  • Transport/rescue expenses
  • Prescribed Medicines
  • Maternity check-ups and childbirth
  • Abortions and Gynaecological check-ups
  • Vaccinations
  • Rehabilitation after operations or severe illness
  • Pre-travel medical treatments
  • Some prescribed therapies such as homeopathy, psychotherapy etc.

In fact, covering the costs of healthcare, Switzerland as a country spends an average of €8,000 per inhabitant, which is the highest in all of Europe.

For individuals, adults pay around CHF 300 each year for medical treatments, above which the costs are mostly taken care of by insurers. However, this is also capped at CHF 700 per year for adults and CHF 350 per year for children. Low-paid residents are also given a reduction on their insurance premiums by individual cantons.

As an expat, you can register for health insurance with your local cantonal authority by providing a valid ID, your swiss residence permit, and a valid proof of address. Once granted, you’ll receive a health insurance card with which you can get the benefits.

And for more information on healthcare in Switzerland, please contact us.