Health insurance

If you live or work in Switzerland, you have to take out basic health insurance approved in accordance with the Health Insurance Law. We highly recommend that you take out insurance as soon as possible as medical and hospital costs in Switzerland are very high !!!

Proof of registration

The cantonal authority will require a copy of your insurance policy or your European Health Insurance Card. They will automatically register anyone required to take out insurance who fails to comply with this obligation in good time and they will choose the health insurance fund on your behalf.

Registration deadline

It is mandatory to take out health insurance from the moment you take up residence (or give birth to a child) in Switzerland. (See chapter 3 of “Loi fédérale sur l’assurance-maladie”). In case of delay, the insurance and the payment of premiums will be backdated to the first day in Switzerland and penalties will be given according to the insurer conditions. (See chapter 5 of “Loi fédérale sur l’assurance-maladie”)

It is mandatory to take out health insurance within three months of the date you take up residence. The insurance will not be backdated to the first day in Switzerland but it is necessary to have a foreign insurance which covers the costs in Switzerland during those 3 months (this insurance must cover over 300’000.- Euros)

There is no need to take out a swiss insurance, please read the chapter “Health insurance exemption”.


Additional information

European students

Students from EU countries are entitled to an exemption from the obligation to use Swiss insurers provided that they observe the following procedure :

  • They must obtain the European Health Insurance Card from their insurer in their home country.
  • The copy of the European Health Insurance Card should then be sent for registration to the OVAM. This office will issue the exemption from taking out Swiss insurance.

Warning: ask your insurance if all the costs will be covered during your stay in Switzerland.

Students from outside Europe

In certain cases students may ask to remain affiliated to a foreign insurance company. To do this, they must send a request to the OVAM.

To benefit from this exemption, the medical and accident insurance provided by the foreign company must cover over 300’000.- Euros for treatments in Switzerland.

EPFL disclaims all liability for any medical bills incurred by students in breach of insurance terms.

Swiss students from abroad

Swiss students from abroad who never lived in Switzerland can obtain an exemption from the obligation LAMal insurance. The procedure is the same as for European students (see above).

How to reduce insurance premiums

  • by trying to keep your foreign insurance by applying for an exemption.
  • by selecting an insurance company with a lower premium on the insurance company comparison site . N.B.: do not forget to compare supplementary insurance to work out the exact amount of your total premium.
  • by increasing the deductible.
  • by accepting a limited choice of doctors.
  • by applying for a subsidy: Swiss students and foreign students with a B or C permit may apply to the social insurance office of their commune of residence for a reduction in premiums. N.B.: the criteria to obtain such subsidies vary from one Canton to another.

This information may vary from one insurance to another. We invite you to ask your insurer for the exact procedure.

Swiss or B and C permit

When going to the public hospital, medical bills will be sent directly to your insurance.

When going to a medical center of to a private doctor, the medical bill will be sent directly at you place of residence. You will have to pay it within 30 days and can ask for the reimbursement by sending the following documents to your swiss insurance:

  • proof of refunding (care details)

Foreigners

For holders of the health european insurance card

When going to the public hospital, medical bills will be sent directly to the Institution Commune LAMAL in Soleure.

When going to a medical center or a private doctor, medical bills will be sent to your place of residence. You must pay the medical bill within 30 days and can ask for the reimbursement by sending to the Institution Commune LAMAL in Soleure the following documents:

  • proof of refunding (care details)
  • copy of the European Health Insurance Card

For each claim, 92.- CHF will be charged by the Institution Commune LAMAL in Soleure for administrative purposes. This amount is at your charge and will not be reimbursed by your insurance.

For students out of the european community

When going to the public hospital, medical bills will be sent directly to your swiss insurance.

When going to a medical center or a private doctor, medical bills will be sent to your place of residence. You must pay the medical bill within 30 days and can ask for the reimbursement by sending the following documents to your swiss insurance:

  • proof of refunding (care details)

Abroad for study purposes

If you go abroad for

  • an internship
  • an exchange period
  • a study trip
  • etc…

we recommend you to check your insurance’s coverage (check the coverage dealine abroad) and take out, in addition to your basic coverage, an additional insurance if necessary.

EPFL declines any responsibility.

Other information regarding travels on this page.

All persons with:

  • an insurance coverage for foreign students (including Swiss students living abroad)
  • the European Insurance Card

must, before leaving, ask the canton of destination (cantonal insurance office) whether their respective coverage is valid or not.