What is an exemption and why do I need one?
The Swiss Health Insurance Act (KVG-LAMal) mandates all residents to have basic coverage from a Swiss health insurance provider. However, certain individuals, such as foreign students, interns, trainees, or au pairs, can ask to be "exempted" from selecting a Swiss health insurance provider. With an exemption granted by local authorities, they can choose private insurance providers as long as they meet the KVG-LAMal benefits requirements.
Swisscare's International student health insurance Switzerland plans provide the required benefits outlined in the Swiss Health Insurance Act. To enrol in one of our Swiss plans, you must obtain an exemption from the relevant local authorities.
How do I request an exemption?
After applying for an insurance plan, you will receive detailed instructions by email, as the procedures may vary based on your local authorities. In general, you will complete an exemption form, which you will send back to Swisscare along with the required documents in high-quality PDF format. Our team will manage the paperwork and submit it to the relevant authorities. If the local authorities only accept online submissions, Swisscare will assist you through the process.
The local authorities will then review your documents to determine if you qualify for an exemption. This review process can take a few weeks to several months. Once a decision is reached, you will be directly notified. It's important to note that Swisscare will not receive updates about this process.
Does this mean I don't have to pay for health insurance?
No. Regardless of the exemption outcome, you still need to pay premiums. The exemption process does not excuse you from the obligations of the Swiss Health Insurance Act, which mandates that every resident must have health insurance.
Do I have to pay for my health insurance during the exemption procedure?
Yes. Coverage is mandatory during the processing of your exemption request. Failing to pay will result in the suspension of coverage, requiring Swisscare to notify the authorities. This suspension interrupts the exemption process, and you may be registered with a national Swiss health insurance provider by the authorities. Swiss law also requires insurance coverage from the day of arrival, emphasising the importance of meeting payment deadlines to prevent coverage suspension and the subsequent notification to the authorities.
Can the exemption application be denied?
Yes. If the local authorities find you ineligible, they can reject your exemption application. They would provide reasons for refusal and a deadline for appeal. In case of denial, you must get coverage from a national Swiss health insurance provider and contact Swisscare to start the termination process.
Why do I need an exemption confirmation?
This document, typically sent by mail from the local authorities, confirms your exemption from the Swiss Health Insurance Scheme due to your coverage through Swisscare's International student health insurance Switzerland plan.
Keep it safe, as you will need to provide a scan or copy when submitting a reimbursement claim.