Here you will find the answers to questions frequently asked by people who live in Germany and work as cross-boarders in Switzerland.
- Who is classified as a cross-border commuter?
- Do cross-border commuters who work in Switzerland and live in the EU/EFTA have to take out health insurance in Switzerland?
- Can family members of cross-border commuters also take out insurance with Helsana?
- Renewed right to choose the place of health insurance in the event of a change in family circumstances
- Can cross-border commuters also take out supplementary insurance with Helsana?
- Where can cross-border commuters obtain medical treatment?
- How does benefits processing work in the case of cross-border commuters?
- What notice periods apply to cross-border commuters?
- Cessation of employment in Switzerland
Who is classified as a cross-border commuter?
Cross-border commuters are people who live in an EU/EFTA country but work in Switzerland and have a cross-border commuter permit (G permit). Swiss citizens do not require a cross-border commuter permit.
Do cross-border commuters who work in Switzerland and live in the EU/EFTA have to take out health insurance in Switzerland?
Under the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU/EFTA states, individuals who obtain cross-border commuter status in Switzerland must as a rule be insured in Switzerland (place of employment principle).
However, cross-border commuters from Germany, France, Italy and Austria are free to choose where to take out their health insurance. This gives cross-border commuters the option of claiming exemption from the health insurance obligation in Switzerland within three months of starting work if they would like to remain insured in their home country.
Exception Principality of Liechtenstein: compulsory Health Insurance in the country of residence
Can family members of cross-border commuters also take out insurance with Helsana?
Yes, provided that neither of the parents is employed, unemployed or receiving a pension in Germany.
If one of the parents is employed, unemployed or receiving a pension in Germany, all children who are not in employment must be/remain insured with this parent in Germany.
Family members are defined as spouses, children under the age of majority and dependent children who have reached the age of majority but are not older than 25.
Please note: If you would like to have your family members who are not in employment insured in Switzerland, they must be insured with you by the same health insurer in Switzerland, with premiums charged per person.
Renewed right to choose the place of health insurance in the event of a change in family circumstances
In the event of marriage, divorce, the death of a spouse or the birth of a child, cross-border commuters from Germany, Italy and Austria are granted a further option to choose where they are insured. This means that cross-border commuters from these countries who are insured in Switzerland again have the option to apply for exemption from the health insurance obligation in Switzerland and take out insurance in their home country or with a private insurer.
Can cross-border commuters also take out supplementary insurance with Helsana?
Helsana has developed the “Swiss Package (PDF, 1MB) ” health insurance solution exclusively for cross-border commuters from Germany. This is specifically tailored to the needs of German cross-border commuters and includes, in addition to the compulsory health insurance product BASIS, the two supplementary insurance products COMPLETA and HOSPITAL ECO.
A further option is to take out DENTAplus dental insurance.
If you are a cross-border commuter and all of your doctors are in Germany, Swiss supplementary health insurance is not recommended. However, if you would also like to receive treatment in Switzerland, you can take out nearly all types of Swiss supplementary insurance.
Where can cross-border commuters obtain medical treatment?
German Cross-border commuters and their insured family members who are not in employment can choose to obtain medical treatment in accordance with the applicable statutory benefits either in Germany or in Switzerland.
If you obtain treatment in Switzerland, Swiss law applies, i.e. the benefits catalogue and the co-payment rules in accordance with compulsory basic insurance pursuant to the Health Insurance Act (KVG). If the treatment is provided in your home country, the local statutory benefits and co-payment rules apply.
How does benefits processing work in the case of cross-border commuters?
If all the requirements for cross-border commuter insurance in Switzerland have been met, Helsana will send you two E-106 forms for applying for mutual benefits assistance in your home country. To register, these must be sent to a statutory health insurer of your choice in your home country. This insurer will then send you a local insurance card, with which you can claim medical services listed in the statutory benefits catalogue in your home country. When you send off the E-106 forms, you will receive specific instructions on what to do next.
Helsana will also send you a Swiss health insurance card. You can use this card in Swiss pharmacies to make cash-free purchases of medicines prescribed for you by Swiss doctors or when you go to a doctor or hospital in Switzerland. Frequently, the patient is invoiced directly for the cost of the medical or hospital treatment. In this case you have to pay the invoice directly and then send it to Helsana in order to obtain a refund.
As the Helsana insurance card is also a European Health Insurance Card, it gives you cover in the event of acute illness or medical emergencies during a temporary stay in an EU/EFTA country in accordance with the applicable local provisions.Up
What notice periods apply to cross-border commuters?
If you are already insured in Switzerland and would like to switch to another Swiss health insurer, you must comply with the statutory termination dates (31 March and 30 November). The actual change can then take place at the end of the half-year period (either 30 June or 31 December). Please note that your termination must be submitted in writing and must be received by your current insurer by the last working day before the notice period expires.
If you are a commuter from Germany, Italy or Austria who is already insured in Switzerland and continues to be employed only in Switzerland and would now like to take out insurance in your home country again, the first thing you need to do is to apply for exemption from the Swiss insurance obligation via the responsible authority in the Swiss canton where you work.
Exemptions from the insurance obligation are usually approved only in the event of a change in family circumstances, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child or the death of a spouse. Otherwise, the health insurance cover in Switzerland cannot be terminated.
Cessation of employment in Switzerland
If you cease to have cross-border commuter status in Switzerland and/or become unemployed, you are no longer subject to compulsory health insurance in Switzerland. In this case it is compulsory to terminate your insurance as of the end of your employment in Switzerland without any notice period. To do this, Helsana requires written notice of termination detailing your reasons for doing so and a confirmation from your new health insurer in your home country or your unemployment insurance.
If you retire and cease to work in Switzerland, you may terminate your insurance subject to certain conditions. However, since pensioners may still be subject to compulsory health insurance, we recommend that you obtain advice before you retire by calling a specialist at our Customer Service International.