Detailed guide: Healthcare for UK nationals living in Switzerland

Department Of Health

February 2
18:01 2021

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This information is about living in Switzerland. Theres different guidance if youre visiting Switzerland.

If you started living in Switzerland before 1 January 2021, your rights to access healthcare in Switzerland will stay the same for as long as you remain resident.

This guidance explains what you need to do in Switzerland depending on your circumstances.

You must have health insurance cover to live in Switzerland. You may still have to pay to use some parts of the healthcare system.

UK nationals usually access the Swiss health system in one of these ways:

  • buying mandatory health insurance
  • registering a UK-issued S1 form with Switzerlands central health insurance institution (Gemeinsame Einrichtung KVG)

Healthcare if you live and work in Switzerland

Everyone who lives in Switzerland must:

You choose your insurance provider from a list of government-approved providers. The Federal Office of Public Health has more detailed information, including the list of insurers.

Youll receive a health insurance card once you register.

Once youre a resident you may also be entitled to a Swiss European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for travel.

If you were living in Switzerland before 1 January 2021

If you started living in Switzerland before 1 January 2021, your rights to access healthcare in Switzerland will stay the same for as long as you remain resident.

This means you may also be entitled to:

  • a Swiss EHIC for travel, including visits to the UK
  • a UK S1 if you start drawing a UK State Pension

How much youll pay

Even with insurance, youll probably still have to pay some costs. For example, most people will have to pay:

  • the first 300 Swiss francs towards your treatment per year ? this is the deductible or franchise and can be higher or lower depending on your insurance premium
  • 10% of your treatment costs over the deductible, up to a maximum of 700 Swiss francs (or 350 Swiss francs if youre under 18 years old)
  • a daily fee if you stay in hospital ? this is around 15 Swiss francs

You do not have to pay a deductible or daily hospital fees if youre:

  • under 18 years old
  • under 25 years old and in education or training
  • a woman receiving maternity services

If your UK employer has sent you to Switzerland temporarily (posted workers)

A posted worker, also known as a detached worker, is someone employed or self-employed in the UK, but temporarily sent to a European Economic Area (EEA) country.

Healthcare for posted workers who started before 1 January 2021

You can access healthcare in Switzerland using an EHIC or registered S1 form.

Healthcare for posted workers moving to Switzerland

You may need to:

  • join a local healthcare scheme
  • cover the cost of your healthcare with private health insurance

HMRC has a helpline for National Insurance enquiries from non-UK residents. They can answer questions about posted worker status and explain which documents you will need to get healthcare while posted.

UK-funded healthcare: getting and using an S1 form in Switzerland

Theres different guidance if you have an S1 as a posted worker.

If you started living in Switzerland before 1 January 2021, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if youre a Swiss resident and receive either:

  • a UK State Pension
  • some other exportable benefits

Not all UK benefits that can be claimed while abroad entitle you to UK-funded healthcare. Read more about claiming benefits if you move abroad or contact Jobcentre Plus to ask about a benefit.

You may also be entitled to an S1 form if youre a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another). You must contact HMRC National Insurance enquiries to find out if youre eligible.

Once you have an S1 form, you must register it on the Swiss system.

This will mean you and your dependants will be entitled to healthcare in Switzerland on the same basis as a Swiss citizen.

Youll also get:

Dependants and family members may be classified differently in Switzerland than the UK.

Check with the local authorities when you register your S1 form.

How to get an S1 form

You must request an application form by phone from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services.

NHS Overseas Healthcare Services
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 3pm

How to use an S1 form in Switzerland

You must register your S1 form with Switzerlands central health insurance institution (Gemeinsame Einrichtung KVG). Find out more about registering your S1 form.

Once youve registered, youll receive an insurance card. This will mean youre entitled to healthcare on the same basis as a Swiss citizen.

Show this card when you visit a doctor to prove you are entitled to healthcare. Check that the doctor you visit treats S1 holders.

Studying in Switzerland

If you were already in Switzerland before 1 January 2021 because you study there, you need to apply for a new UK-issued EHIC.

Your EHIC entitles you to medically necessary healthcare until the end of your study period in Switzerland.

Students moving to Switzerland

You cannot use a UK-issued EHIC or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to get healthcare in Switzerland.

You should either:

  • take out private travel insurance with healthcare coverage
  • register as a resident to get state health insurance and pay a student rate

Speak to your university for further advice.

Getting treatment in the UK

Some former UK residents do not have to pay for NHS treatment when visiting England. This includes UK nationals who started living in Switzerland before 1 January 2021.

Read more about healthcare when you no longer live in the UK.

If you return to live in the UK youll be able to use the NHS like any other UK resident.

Read more about using the NHS when you return to live

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