Cross-border commuters

Do you work in Switzerland but live abroad? As a cross-border commuter, you can enjoy first-class, Swiss-quality insurance cover from Helsana at fair and competitive prices!

We've set up a separate, easy to understand info page with everything cross-border commuters need to know.

Questions frequently asked by cross-border commuters from France (FAQ)

Here you will find the answers to questions frequently asked by people who live in France and work as cross-boarders in Switzerland.

  1. Signing of the French-Swiss agreement concerning health insurance for frontier workers in Switzerland living in France
  2. Who is classified as a cross-border commuter?
  3. Do cross-border commuters who work in Switzerland and live in the EU/EFTA have to take out health insurance in Switzerland?
  4. Employed in several countries – where do I have to take out insurance?
  5. Must family members of cross-border commuters also take out insurance with Helsana?
  6. Is there a renewed right to choose the place of health insurance in the event of a change in family circumstances?
  7. Which cantonal office is responsible for you as a cross-border commuter?
  8. Can cross-border commuters also take out supplementary insurance with Helsana?
  9. Where can cross-border commuters obtain medical treatment?
  10. How does benefits processing work in the case of cross-border commuters?
  11. What notice periods apply to cross-border commuters?
  12. Cessation of employment in Switzerland
  13. Retirement
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Signing of the French-Swiss agreement concerning health insurance for frontier workers in Switzerland living in France

To the communication of the Federal Office for Social Insurance >

As you have presumably already found out via the media, there is new information relating to the topic of double insurance of French cross-border commuters. The situation of double insurance and not exercising the right to choose an insurer will be resolved with this agreement, which came into force with effect from 1 October 2016.

You will find the various customer groups and the respective courses of action below:

  1. Cross-border commuters with double insurance who have not applied for formal exemption from the Swiss insurance obligation – premiums are paid in full in Switzerland – form E106 has been rejected by the CPAM to date:

    You will automatically be sent a new form E106 in the next few weeks. You can then use it to cancel your French health insurance retroactively as per the date your insurance in Switzerland started. We ask you to be bear with us as we will send the forms out in batches due to the large number involved. You do not need to order this form by phone or in writing.

  2. Cross-border commuters with double insurance who have not applied for formal exemption from the Swiss insurance obligation – premiums are paid in full in Switzerland – form E106 has not been confirmed by the CPAM to date:

    Please submit the form E106 you have already received so that you are released from French health insurance retroactively as per the date your insurance in Switzerland started. If you no longer have this form, you can order it from us again by e-mail to international.fr@helsana.ch with the reference "Form E106" and your "insurance number".

  3. Cross-border commuters with double insurance who have not applied for formal exemption from the Swiss insurance obligation and are in arrears with their premium payments in Switzerland:

    As long as premiums are outstanding, no new form E106 can be issued.

  4. Cross-border commuters who only have French health insurance, have not submitted an exemption from the Swiss insurance obligation to date and would like to be insured in Switzerland:

    An insurance application can only be made if a written confirmation from the responsible cantonal office that the option has not yet been formally exercised to date is available (confirmation issued in 2015 is still valid). You will then be sent form E106, which you can use to cancel your insurance under French law.

  5. Cross-border commuters who only have French health insurance, have not applied for exemption from the Swiss insurance obligation and would like to remain insured in France:

    If you do not submit an application for exemption to the responsible cantonal office (using form Choix du système) by 30 September 2017, it will automatically assign you to a Swiss health insurer. Please contact this office if you have any further questions.

    As soon as we have more details, we will provide you with further information. In the meantime, we are making every effort to meet your expectations. Thank you for understanding that it may take a little longer for us to process enquiries owing to this exceptional situation.

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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.

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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).

Since 1st of February 2013, cross-border commuters from France have an irrevocable, one-off right to choose where to take out their health insurance within three months of starting work.

This option (exemption from Swiss insurance) allows you to claim exemption from the health insurance obligation in Switzerland if you would like to remain insured in your home country.

Once it has been exercised, the option cannot be revoked as long as you have cross-border commuter status. For this reason, cross-border commuters who are already insured in France can no longer change the country in which they are insured.

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Employed in several countries – where do I have to take out insurance?

In the case of multiple employment, your insurance obligations are more complicated.

Please contact our Customer Service International on +41 844 46 84 47 or send an e-mail to international.en@helsana.ch.

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Must 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 the home country.

If one of the parents is employed, unemployed or receiving a pension in the home country, all children who are not in employment must be/remain insured with this parent in the home country.

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: Your family members who are not in employment must be insured with you by the same health insurer in Switzerland, with premiums charged per person.

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Is there a renewed right to choose the place of health insurance in the event of a change in family circumstances?

No.

For French cross-border commuters, the renewed right of option in the event of a change in family composition (marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, birth of a child) was revoked as of 1 February 2013.

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Which cantonal office is responsible for you as a cross-border commuter?

The cantonal office in your employer's canton in Switzerland checks the insurance obligation in Switzerland and is also responsible for you if you want to be released from the insurance obligation.


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Can cross-border commuters also take out supplementary insurance with Helsana?

Helsana has developed the "Swiss Package santé" health insurance solution exclusively for cross-border commuters from France.

This is specifically tailored to the needs of French cross-border commuters and includes, in addition to the compulsory health insurance product BASIS, the two supplementary insurance products COMPLETA and HOSPITAL PLUS or HOSPITAL COMFORT.

A further option is to take out DENTAplus supplementary dental insurance.

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Where can cross-border commuters obtain medical treatment?

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 their home country 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.


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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 for mutual benefits assistance, please forward these to your local state health insurer "Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie" (CPAM) in your home department in France.

You will then receive a local insurance card (carte vitale), with which you can claim medical services listed in the statutory benefits catalogue in your home country. When you submit 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.

Information sheets on trips to Europe >

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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.

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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.

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Retirement

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 expert advice before you retire by calling a specialist at our Customer Service International on +41 844 46 84 47 or send an e-mail to international.en@helsana.ch.