Healthcare & Insurance

You can read information here about healthcare, such as doctors who speak your language, a hospital service set up for members of the diplomatic and consular corps in Bern, and an overview of the insurance system in Switzerland.

Prevention

Alcohol and Tobacco

In Switzerland, smoking is prohibited in enclosed, publicly accessible spaces and on all public transport. Smoking is still permitted in designated smoking areas, outdoors and in private households. With regard to smoking in rented properties, explicit permission must be given beforehand.
The age limit for buying wine and beer is 16 years, and it is 18 years for high-percentage alcohol.
There is no Switzerland-wide regulation for tobacco. In the canton of Bern, the minimum age for purchasing tobacco is 18 years.

 

Healthcare specialist

Insurance

  • Social Insurance System

    Old-Age and Survivors’ Insurance (OASI) – 1st Pillar

    • OASI is intended to cover the cost of living in old age or provide for dependents in the event of a death. As a national insurance scheme, OASI is compulsory for everyone in Switzerland. Contributions are deducted automatically by your employer.
    • Disability Insurance (DI). Similar to OASI, DI is also a compulsory insurance plan. Its aim is to secure the insured individual's livelihood with rehabilitation measures or financial support if they become disabled.
    • Additional information: 1st Pillar – OASI
    • Certain individuals with privileged status are exempt from contributing to the social insurance system. If you have questions in this regard, please contact the FDFA Protocol (bilateral) or the Protocol service of the Swiss Mission (multilateral) for further information.

    Occupational Benefit Plan (OP) – 2nd Pillar

    • Occupational Benefit Plan: Known as the 2nd pillar, the Occupational Benefit Plan is designed to enable insured individuals to maintain their previous standard of living in a reasonable manner. Together with the first pillar, it aims to provide a pension income of approximately 60 percent of the final salary payment received.
    • Additional information about the 2nd pillar – FSIO
    • If you generate an income in Switzerland, you must pay into the 1st and 2nd pillars. Contributions are deducted automatically from your salary.
    • Certain individuals with privileged status are exempt from contributing to the social insurance system. If you have questions in this regard, please contact the FDFA Protocol (bilateral) or the Protocol service of the Swiss Mission (multilateral) for further information.

    Accident Insurance

    • All employees who work more than eight hours a week in Switzerland are insured with a compulsory scheme against accidents. Self-employed individuals must take out their own accident insurance.
    • FOPH, Accident Insurance
    • Certain individuals with privileged status are exempt from the obligatory accident insurance. If you have questions in this regard, please contact the FDFA Protocol (bilateral) or the Protocol service of the Swiss Mission (multilateral) for further information.

    Maternity Pay 

    • Women who live or work in Switzerland are entitled to maternity leave and maternity benefits. Further information can be found at OASI/DI
    • Different rules may apply to women with privileged status. If you have questions in this regard, please contact the FDFA Protocol (bilateral) or the Protocol service of the Swiss Mission (multilateral) for further information.

    Unemployment Insurance

    • If you live and work in Switzerland, unemployment insurance contributions are deducted automatically from your salary. The conditions under which you are enti-tled to compensation in the event of unemployment and the amount of daily allowance you will receive depend on many factors.
    • Canton of Bern, Procedure in the Event of Unemployment
    • Additional Information OASI/DI
    • Individuals with privileged status are exempt from this insurance. If you have questions in this regard, please contact the FDFA Protocol (bilateral) or the Pro-tocol service of the Swiss Mission (multilateral) for further information.

    Additional Information

  • Health Insurance
    • With a few exceptions (students from certain countries, cross-border commuters, etc.), health insurance is compulsory for all employees or individuals residing in Switzerland.

    • Individuals with privileged status and their families are exempt if their embassy, consulate or international organization already has an insurance policy for them.

    • You may choose your providers yourself. Anyone who has not taken out insurance within three months after moving to Switzerland will be automatically assigned to a health insurance company.

    • Unlike the basic insurance, supplementary insurance is not compulsory. It can also be purchased from another provider.

    • You may choose between different annual deductibles. The higher the deductible, the lower the annual premium. A co-payment of 10% is also required by law. Premiums vary from canton to canton.

    • Dental work is normally not covered by the basic insurance.

    • Insurance providers may be changed once a year, on the 30th of November of the current year.

    • Overview of Premiums: ch.ch 
    • Premium Comparison: comparis.ch
    • Overview of Insurers: FOPH List
    • Additional information: integration-BE
  • Personal Liability Insurance
    • Anybody who causes damage to a third party or third-party property can be made liable to prosecution. For this reason, we strongly recommend taking out personal liability insurance for you and your family. Although not classified as compulsory by law, it will protect you from potential financial consequences.

    • Additional information
  • Home Contents Insurance
    • Home contents insurance covers damage to personal property (e.g. skis, e-bikes) within your house or apartment caused by fire, water, natural disasters, theft or glass breakage. Home contents insurance is often available in a package combined with your personal liability insurance.

    • Although not mandatory, most landlords usually require proof that you have home contents and liability insurance.

    • Additional information about housing 

    • Overview of Insurers 
  • Fact

    Did you know that certain insurance schemes come into force automatically, others are mandatory by law, and some are not mandatory (but strongly rec-ommended)?

Automatic Accident insurance (if employed at least eight hours per week)

Social insurance schemes (1st and 2nd pillars, unemployment insurance, maternity leave)
Mandatory Health insurance

Car liability insurance
Not mandatory
but recommended
Personal Liability Insurance

Home contents insurance

Private pension scheme (3rd pillar)
  • Private Pension Scheme (3rd Pillar)
    • The 3a pillar is a voluntary, individual and tax-privileged form of pension provision (your contributions are tax-deductible). Apart from a few exceptions, the capital you invest in the 3a pillar cannot be accessed at any time, as it is intended to finance your old age.

    • In principle, every gainfully employed person subject to making OASI contributions can also pay into the 3a pillar scheme. Cross-border commuters and weekly residents, however, must take certain things into consideration when it comes to tax deductibility. The exact legal regulations vary from country to country (depending on double taxation agreements). If you have any questions, please contact your local municipality or your home country.

    • Additional Information about the 3a Pillar Private Pension Scheme

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