In principle, all persons living in Switzerland are required to have health insurance and must take out basic insurance with a Swiss health insurance company within three months of entering the country. However, special provisions apply to persons staying in Switzerland for the purpose of basic/continuing education and training. They may be exempt from compulsory insurance in Switzerland under certain circumstances.
Prerequisites for this are:
- You are not gainfully employed in Switzerland.
- Your education/training determines the duration of your stay in Switzerland.
- You want to leave Switzerland again after completing your education/further training.
- You are insured with a statutory health insurance in your home country and are entitled to benefits assistance (e.g. if you have a European Health Insurance Card EHIC).
If you are insured with a private foreign health insurance company or have an international student health insurance, you may be able to be exempted from compulsory insurance in Switzerland.
As soon as you become gainfully employed in Switzerland or you are no longer in Switzerland solely for education/training, you will be subject to compulsory insurance in Switzerland. International students have the option of taking out international student insurance that is recognized in Switzerland (e.g. Swisscare).
In the canton of Berne, the Social Insurance Office (ASV) is responsible for monitoring compliance with the health insurance obligation. Within three months after entering Switzerland, you have to fill out an online form of the Social Insurance Office (www.be.ch/onlinetool) to check your health insurance obligation. You will need your Swiss social security number (756.xxxx.xxxx.xx) (AHV-Nummer). If you do not know this, please contact the Migration Office in your municipality of residence (Einwohnerdienste).
The online tool is expected to be available in English by spring 2023. If you have any questions, please contact the Social Insurance Office directly.
Comparis and Priminfo provide comparisons and ratings of various health insurance plans in Switzerland. International students have the option of taking out international student insurance that is recognized in Switzerland (e.g. Swisscare) which is less expensive.
Important: If you are not resident in the canton of Bern, the regulations of your canton of residence apply and you must check your health insurance obligation there.