Temporary stay in Switzerland

EU/EFTA nationals, family members of EU/EFTA-nationals, stateless persons and refugees, who are insured with an official health insurer of the EU/EFTA, have a claim to unanticipated medical treatment in case of illness, recreational accident or maternity during a temporary stay in Switzerland. The Gemeinsame Einrichtung KVG is responsible for the whole of Switzerland for the examination of a claim and then coordinates the billing of the treatment costs as well as the subsequent invoicing to the relevant health insurance abroad.

A temporary stay is considered such if the person intends to stay in Switzerland for a limited period of time and for a certain purpose and plans to return to his/her home country afterwards.Thus, the length of stay in Switzerland is known in advance. An exact date for the return journey is not compulsory, it is sufficient if the person states an approximate time period (e.g. “I intend to stay in Switzerland for studies for one and a half years). The precondition is that the centre of his/her life (main place of residence) remains in the home country during this time. 

Possible reasons for a stay in Switzerland can be: 

  • Holidays
  • Studies
  • Posting
  • Business travels
  • Visiting family or friends
  • Employment, if it concerns border crossers from France, Italy or Austria who have chosen the legal health insurance system of their country of residence (option right)
  • etcetera

If a visitor to Switzerland requires medical treatment during his/her temporary stay, he/she has to present his/her valid claim certificate as well as a proof of identity (e.g. identity card, passport) to the medical service provider.

Claim certificates are:

  • European Health Insurance Card
  • Provisional Replacement Certificate for the European Health Insurance Card

In order to request a reimbursement of the costs paid by the visitor, the relevant claim form (e.g. copy of the European Health Insurance Card) has to be submitted to the Gemeinsame Einrichtung KVG.

Important: The European Health Insurance Card does not cover costs, if the visitor has entered Switzerland for the purpose of medical treatment.

Travel with the purpose of receiving medical treatment

Should someone intend to travel to Switzerland for the purpose of receiving medical treatment, it is compulsory to apply for the acceptance of the costs with a competent health insurance before entering Switzerland. This applies for in-patient as well as out-patient treatment. If the coverage of costs is granted, your health insurance issues the certificate S2 (entitlement to scheduled treatment)

Warning: The treatment costs can only be processed by the Gemeinsame Einrichtung KVG if the claim certificate S2 is valid.

Detailed information on the Swiss benefits catalogue can be found here: Claim to benefits

Informations from the European Commission

Further information from the European Commission in respect of the European Health Insurance Card and planned treatment can be found here: European Health Insurance Card; planned medical treatment. Further, an App for a Smartphone can be downloaded.