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Compulsory health insurance: Who is entitled?

Compulsory Health Insurance: Who can be exempted?

Compulsory Health Insurance

Depending on their residence status in Switzerland, people can be exempted from compulsory health insurance.

Who is entitled?

Briefly expained

According to the Health Insurance Act (KVG), anyone who lives or works in Switzerland must take out health insurance. People who live abroad but have a residence permit for at least three months are also obliged to take out insurance – as are cross-border commuters. In exceptional cases, exemption from compulsory insurance is possible.

Who can be exempted?

This overview shows the most common cases:

  • Persons staying in Switzerland for education or training (students, pupils, trainees, etc.) and their accompanying family members.
  • Workers posted to Switzerland and their accompanying family members
  • Cross-border commuters
  • Short-term residents with a permit for a maximum of three months
  • Flat-rate taxpayers with a residence permit without gainful employment


The prerequisite for an exemption is proof of foreign insurance cover that covers the costs of treatment in Switzer­land at least in accordance with the KVG. The decisive factor is that there are no gaps or restrictions in the scope of benefits.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

Anyone who is gainfully employed in Switzerland and has a foreign statutory health insurance (EHIC) cannot be exempted from compulsory insurance in Switzerland. In exceptional cases, an exemption is possible for persons who have their place of residence in a country with an option. The exception applies to Germany, France, Italy or Austria.

Exemption with the EHIC is only possible for non-employed persons in education and training. Gainful employment is considered to be any work for remuneration, even if it is small (e.g. part-time job, internship, au pair, doctorate).

Who can be exempted from compulsory insurance?

Exemption from compulsory health insurance is only possible for a few groups of people. The table shows who can submit an application and which documents must be enclosed. The prerequisite is that proof is provided that the health insurance taken out covers treatment in Switzerland in accordance with the KVG.

Weiterführende Informationen