Geneva health insurance subsidy : The complete guide


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In Switzerland, basic health insurance is compulsory. All residents are therefore required to pay premiums. However, for a number of people, these sums can prove onerous.
To alleviate this problem, the insurance subsidy in Geneva is a scheme that helps residents pay their insurance premiums. It is aimed at people with modest incomes and/or a dependent family. The program is managed by the City of Geneva and funded by the Swiss Confederation. Find out how the health insurance subsidy works in Geneva.

How health insurance works in Geneva

In Geneva and the rest of Switzerland, the health insurance system is divided into two parts:
  • Basic health insurance (governed by the LAMal law), which is compulsory for all Swiss residents and their families;
  • Supplementary health insurance, which is optional and can add a wide range of additional cover.
The health insurance system in Switzerland is reputed to be one of the best in the world, as its basic form already covers essential care. However, this insurance still comes at a cost, and this can be hard to bear for households on modest incomes. This is why health insurance subsidies exist.

What are health insurance subsidies?

Health insurance subsidies are subsidies set up by several Swiss cantons. Their aim is clear: to help people on modest incomes pay their health insurance premiums. Thus, subsidies reduce the amount of residents' premiums in proportion to their income and therefore their needs.
Health insurance subsidies are only intended to pay for basic health insurance, since this is compulsory. They are therefore not used for complementary health insurance, which is optional. Even so, it's perfectly possible to find supplementary insurance for an attractive price.

How can you find the best offers for your basic and supplementary insurance?

Whether it's basic insurance (LAMal) or supplementary health insurance, health insurance is managed by private bodies: the health insurance funds. Each insurer offers its own range of services and prices. One difference applies, however, depending on the type of health insurance involved:
  • For basic health insurance, the LAMal law imposes the benefits that must be included. Only the additional services vary from one insurer to another;
  • For supplementary health insurance, numerous benefits exist and can be chosen as options.
Comparea is a totally independent service that allows you to compare different insurance offers in complete transparency. This will enable you to benefit from optimum value for money, whatever type of contract you're looking for.

What are the particularities of the health insurance subsidy in Geneva?

Geneva is one of the Swiss cantons that offers health insurance subsidies to its residents. However, it is one of the only regions to offer an online calculator to easily determine your subsidy entitlement.
Subsidies are normally awarded automatically for people who meet the means test. It also takes place directly for people receiving federal, cantonal, family or AVS/AI supplementary benefits. A notification of entitlement is then sent to the beneficiaries of the subsidy.

How is the amount of the health insurance subsidy determined in Geneva?

The amount of the health insurance subsidy is defined according to your family situation and your determining income: these depend on taxation and are indicated on your tax form.
Would you like to know if you are entitled to this subsidy and, if so, the amount of the health insurance subsidy in Geneva? To simplify the task, you can use the calculette de subside provided on the Canton of Geneva website. You will then discover an estimate of the subsidy you can claim.

How to obtain the health insurance subsidy in Geneva?

In many cases, the health insurance subsidy in Geneva is granted automatically. Based on your determining income, your family situation and the grant scale defined by the canton, Geneva is responsible for calculating the amount of subsidy to which you may be entitled. Once your entitlement has been established, the subsidies are paid directly to your health insurance company, which deducts the amount of the subsidy from your premiums. This makes it possible to pay lower insurance premiums.
However, there are several situations in which it is necessary to make a special request for a subsidy from the Geneva health insurance company:
  • If you are new to the canton
  • If you have very modest income
  • If you are taxed at source
  • If you have high wealth or income
  • If you are not yet taxed

What are the conditions for applying for a subsidy in Geneva?

You haven't received notification of entitlement, you're in one of the situations previously listed and you think you're eligible for subsidies? If so, you can apply for a subsidy from the canton of Geneva.
In order to qualify for the Geneva subsidy, 3 conditions must be met:
  • Reside in the canton of Geneva
  • Have a determining income that falls within the scale set up by the canton
  • Make the subsidy application before November 30 of the same year
Of course, if you're not sure whether your income qualifies you for the subsidy, you can always try an application.

How do I apply for a health insurance subsidy in Geneva?

To apply for a health insurance subsidy, the first step is to fill in the dedicated form. You'll find it on the État de Genève website (Service de l'assurance maladie) or at the agency in charge of health insurance in Geneva.
Other documents must be attached with the form: proof of income, proof of alimony received or paid, or proof of movable and immovable assets.

Disagreement over the non-award or amount of the subsidy: can an objection be made?

Does the amount of your health insurance subsidy in Geneva seem too low? Has your application been refused even though you were certain you were entitled to the subsidy? There's a suitable solution.
If you feel that the decision on entitlement to the subsidy is unfair, you are free to object. To do so, you must send a registered letter to the canton's SAM, stating the reasons for your objection. Do not hesitate to attach any supporting documents that may substantiate your request.

How to renew your health insurance subsidy in Geneva?

Health insurance subsidy renewal in Geneva is automatic for eligible individuals. As long as you still live in the canton of Geneva and your family situation has not changed, you don't need to do anything special.
If you have any important changes to report, please notify the SAM of the canton of Geneva. You can contact him:
  • By post at Service de l'assurance maladie - Route de Frontenex 52, 1207 Genève
  • By telephone at
  • By e-mail at
Alexis Milon
Updated on: 01.02.2024Written by Alexis MilonHead of health insurance department at Comparea.
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