Basic health insurance is mandatory in Switzerland for every resident. As an expat, you are generally obligated to take out a Swiss insurance policy within three months after arriving. How much should you expect to be paying for your health insurance in the most expensive country in the world?
The cost of health insurance in Switzerland ranges between 4,248 CHF and 7,102 CHF per year for an adult with a minimum deductible of 300 CHF. Monthly, Swiss residents contribute between 354 CHF and 591 CHF to health insurance premiums.
The Swiss healthcare system is one of the most expensive in the world as the country itself. However, it’s worth your money – the quality of Swiss medical services is outstanding. Furthermore, the amount Swiss pay for healthcare is nowhere close you will spend in the US. Read this article to learn about Swiss health insurance, its costs, and how it works in this article.
How much do people pay for health insurance in Switzerland?
In Switzerland, a single individual pays between 4,248 CHF and 7,102 CHF per year or 354 CHF and 591 CHF per month for standard health insurance with a minimum deductible of 300 CHF.
Basic health insurance is mandatory in Switzerland. An average household spends about 25 CHF per day, 750 CHF per month, or 9,000 CHF per year on health insurance. However, it includes the costs of additional health insurance and services.
Swiss residents have to pay a monthly fee for health insurance, which varies between health insurance providers. The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) announced that the average health insurance premium for 2022 will cost 315 CHF per month, which is the lowest insurance premium price in the last 14 years.
In Switzerland, you not only pay for health insurance on itself but also for a deductible when using medical services.
People can choose between non-profit insurance companies and private insurers. They also can decide how much deductible per year they pay. As a rule, the deductible can amount to 300 CHF and a maximum of 2,500 CHF per calendar year. The health insurance company pays all other medical expenses.
Yet, even after the deductible is used, the insured person pays at least 10% and up to 700 CHF for medical expenses.
Prices of health insurance range significantly. You can expect to pay between 350 CHF and 500 CHF per month.
The minimal monthly amount you will pay for health insurance in Switzerland is 300 CHF. However, you will need to set a high deductible to pay such a low premium. There are 6 deductible levels you can choose from. Nevertheless, the amount will be smaller than 2,500 CHF per year.
In 2016, about 54% of all insured persons in Switzerland opted for insurance with a minimum deductible of 300 CHF (248 USD), and about 46% selected a higher deductible and a lower monthly premium.
In 2018, Switzerland’s average annual health insurance cost was 5,584 CHF (4,615 USD). There can be significant variations in premiums among insurers and insurance plans.
Compared to Germany, health insurance premiums aren’t calculated according to the individual’s income but are fixed instead.
In 2018, the average annual cost for an insurance policy ranged from 4,248 CHF(3,511 USD) to 7,102 CHF (5,869 USD) for adults, with a minimum deductible of 300 CHF (248 USD).
Cost of Swiss health insurance
Health insurance is mandatory in Switzerland and is mainly offered by non-profit insurance companies throughout all cantons. Generally, health insurance cost in Switzerland is very high compared to other European countries.
Furthermore, your insurance costs aren’t shared with the employer, as in Germany. Instead, you pay the full price every month.
There is no fixed cost for health insurance in Switzerland. The premium price depends on several factors, such as:
- The chosen coverage and benefits
- Canton of residence
- The deductible
Nonetheless, your previous illness or chronic diseases don’t affect the cost of health insurance in Switzerland like in some other states. The main difference in premium price is due to the regulations in each canton.
Therefore, an insured person in different cantons pays different amounts. Each canton sets the rate for the health insurance premium, hence, your place of residence will play an important role.
Before taking out basic health insurance, it’s recommended to compare the prices and benefits of various health insurance companies. Insured persons in Switzerland have the right to change their health insurance providers every year.
As far as age is concerned, a young person pays less because they are less likely will get sick.
Besides health insurance premiums, every Swiss resident pays the deductible. Health insurance is useless till the moment you spend the deductible. After this sum is gone, healthcare coverage will pay your bills. The deductible starts at 300 CHF per year for an adult. There is no need for deductible for children.
The deductible can be selected and adjusted individually. If your usual healthcare costs don’t exceed 2,000 CHF, it makes sense to keep a low deductible. Basic health insurance is available at a deductible of 300 CHF.
Basic health insurance in Switzerland
Basic health insurance is mandatory in Switzerland and must be taken out within 3 months of moving to the country. This insurance isn’t customizable and provides the same scope of benefits as whichever insurance company you use.
Therefore, you can’t use any additional services. In that case, supplementary insurance is needed.
What is covered by mandatory health insurance in Switzerland?
With basic insurance, patients can claim essential benefits when ill or having an accident or pregnancy.
Mandatory health insurance covers the following:
- hospital inpatient services
- most general practitioners (GP) and specialist services
- an extensive list of pharmaceuticals and medical devices
- home care services (called Spitex)
- physiotherapy (if prescribed)
- some preventive measures, including selected vaccinations, selected general health examinations, and screenings for high-risk patients
- maternity care, including prenatal checkups, birth, postpartum care, and breastfeeding advice
- outpatient care for mental illness, if provided or delegated by physicians
- medically necessary long-term care
- hospice care if there is an underlying disease
- medicines prescribed by a doctor
Dental care isn’t available for adults or in a small scope. Hence, you will need additional private coverage for dental insurance. Glasses and contact lenses for adults (unless medically necessary) are also not covered.
However, children up to the age of 18 can receive these services. Generally, dental care can be costly in Switzerland if you don’t have appropriate insurance.
Cost of Swiss health insurance premium
The health insurance premium is the insurance contribution you have to pay to your health insurance company every month.
The premium amount depends on which health insurance company and which coverage you pick. Also, the amount of deductible affects the final rate. Young adults up to 25 years and children pay lower insurance premiums.
As mentioned above, insured persons pay an additional 10% and up to 700 CHF (adult) and 350 CHF (children) per year for used medical services, except for maternity care and some preventive services.
You need to set a deductible when choosing health insurance in Switzerland. For adults, the lowest deductible is 300 CHF, and the highest is 2,500 CHF. It’s possible to set the highest deductible and pay less in monthly health insurance costs.
Parents can also choose to pay a deductible for children (up to 600 CHF) to pay a smaller premium. But generally, the deductible isn’t required for children.
Lastly, Swiss residents must pay for their stay in the hospital if they need such. It’s mostly charged to cover your daily food and drinks. Currently, it’s 15 CHF per day.
Children, young adults, and pregnant women don’t have to pay for the hospital.
Save money on health insurance in Switzerland
People with low income or many children may be eligible for health insurance subsidization from their canton.
Furthermore, there are several ways you can save money on insurance premiums in Switzerland:
- Choose a low rate for the premium and a higher deductible.
- If you are employed for more than eight hours per week, you are covered by compulsory accident insurance. So, you don’t need to include accident coverage in your health insurance.
- As a cross-border worker, you can get cheaper insurance in the neighboring countries.
- Choose private insurance companies for expats in Switzerland, like Cigna Global.
Not everyone has to pay for Swiss compulsory insurance
Foreigners are required by law to take out basic compulsory insurance in Switzerland during the first 3 months after they arrive. However, there are some exceptions, and you might keep your old insurance or sign for another type of coverage.
Cross border workers
If you work in Switzerland but live in a neighboring country (as many Germans do), you can choose between Swiss health insurance or equivalent coverage in your country of residence.
International students don’t necessarily have to pay for expensive Swiss insurance. You can keep coverage from your home country. If you currently don’t have any health insurance, you can take out foreign student insurance from a private Swiss insurer.
This solution will be cheaper than regular Swiss compulsory health insurance, plus it provides the same coverage.
Living in Switzerland but living abroad
If you live in Switzerland but work in one of the EU or EFTA countries, you need to get health insurance in this state.
Is Swiss health insurance expensive?
Swiss health insurance is one of the most expensive in Europe. On average, an adult pays between 4,248 CHF and 7,102 CHF per year for healthcare. It includes an insurance premium and a minimum deductible of 300 CHF. Besides that, a patient pays 10% of all medical expenses out of pocket, despite health insurance.
In comparison, in Germany, an adult pays 14,6% of the gross salary for health insurance. With an average salary of 56,985 EUR annually or 4,748 EUR monthly (2021), a working person paid around 8,315 EUR in 2021.
However, in Germany, an employer pays half of the insurance for an employee. Hence, it leaves us with 4,157 EUR annually.
Furthermore, the German healthcare system doesn’t have deductibles, so you will never pay more than that amount.
As you can see, health insurance in Switzerland isn’t much more expensive than in Germany but still on the pricey side.
Affordable health insurance in Switzerland
If you are an expat in Switzerland and want to save money but get the same when not better coverage, signing up for expat insurance makes sense. Cigna Global is an international insurance coverage providing great premiums for employees in Switzerland.
With 74,000 employees, 200 years of experience, and more than 100 million customers globally, Cigna is one of the largest international insurance providers out there.
With that insurance, you can enjoy instant and easy access to healthcare facilities and professionals around the globe.
Visit their website to learn more and choose the optimal coverage for your situation. Find here the sign-in form in German for German speakers.