Health insurance for students


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I'm a student: Do I have to take out health insurance?

Every Swiss citizen, whether a student or not, is obliged to take out compulsory health insurance (LAMal). In the Swiss health insurance system, there are two distinct groups, compulsory insurance (LAMal) and supplementary, optional insurance.
To better understand the system, below is a short summary:

Basic health insurance (LAMal):

Compulsory health insurance is governed by law. It covers examinations and treatment in the event of illness, and preventive measures (vaccinations, check-ups).
Conversely, dental and optical expenses are not covered by basic health insurance.
In Switzerland, all health insurance companies offer the same basic health insurance benefits. However, prices can vary widely. So it's important to compare prices and opt for the cheapest basic health insurance.

Accident coverage for students:

Every student must insure against accidents via the accident coverage of their basic health insurance.
When students start work more than eight hours a week, they are exempt from accident cover, with their employer taking over.

Supplementary health insurance:

Supplementary health insurance aims to alleviate your various health concerns without having to break the bank in reimbursing your healthcare costs.
The main areas covered by complementary health insurance are:
  • Dental care / orthodontics
  • Eyeglasses / contact lenses
  • Alternative or alternative medicine
  • Medication
  • Hospitalization
  • Rescue and ambulance costs
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Health insurance for foreign students

A foreign student coming to study in Switzerland is obliged to take out health insurance, unless they have health insurance in their country of origin. In this case, the student must request an exemption from the Health Insurance Department, which will provide him/her with a form to be completed by his/her insurer.
The student also has the option of taking out health insurance in Switzerland, not governed by law, which is often cheaper than conventional basic insurance, but with different benefits.

Applying for student subsidies - Reductions on health insurance

In the event of financial difficulties, a student can apply for subsidies to reduce the amount of his or her health insurance premiums. The procedure is carried out with the relevant department in your canton of residence, which will provide the student with the relevant form. Please note that students with a temporary residence permit are not eligible for subsidies.
The state calculates subsidies on the basis of the parents' financial situation. If their income exceeds a set ceiling, the student will not be eligible for subsidies.
For more information, contact the health insurance office in your canton of residence.
Indeed, the income limit set by the state in order to qualify for subsidies varies from canton to canton, ranging from CHF 15,000 to CHF 40,000.
In order to complete the subsidy application, the student will need to attach the following documents:
  • Student's or parents' tax return
  • Student attestation or certificate
  • Insurance policy provided by the health insurance company
If the subsidy application is accepted, subsidies may vary and cover health insurance premiums in full or in part.
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Alexis Milon
Updated on: 01.02.2024Written by Alexis MilonHead of health insurance department at Comparea.
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