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Discover how the system works in Switzerland

The healthcare insurance system in Switzerland is known as LAMal. It is mandatory for all Swiss residents and for those holding a work permit (permits B, L and C).

A three-month period is granted to prove enrollment in a health insurance fund; however enrollment must be effective on the day of arrival. LAMal is not mandatory for students as long as they are covered by a health insurance plan in their home country that provides the same level of benefits.

LAMal covers, among other things, all examinations and treatments provided by doctors (prescription drugs included) and by chiropractors, hospitalization fees in a shared ward, maternity-related expenses and certain medically-prescribed preventive care (vaccines, check-up, etc.).

Many medical expenses are not covered by LAMal (single room, alternative medicine, dental care, vision care, physiotherapy, etc.), which is why it is strongly recommended to take out complementary health insurance coverage as the cost of medical expenses in Switzerland is high.

Furthermore, all insured members are requested to pay a contribution to medical expenses, known as “annual deductible”. It ranges from CHF 500 to CHF 2,500 for adults and from CHF 0 to CHF 700 for people under 18. As long as your medical expenses do not exceed the deductible amount, you will not be reimbursed.

Furthermore, once the deductible is exceeded, you will have to pay co-insurance of around 10% for any reimbursement of your medical expenses by the LAMal system (up to a maximum of CHF 700 per year for adults and CHF 350 for children).

Visiting a doctor in Switzerland

Treating doctors in Switzerland
Each insured member is free to choose his/her own treating doctor, unless you turn to an alternative insurance system which may limit in certain cases your access to medical care but will allow for lower premiums in return.

General Practitioners in Switzerland
Each canton has its preferred language so it will not be always easy to find a doctor who speaks your language. It will be much easier for you to find doctors via this official web portal since it lists all the doctors in Switzerland depending on the canton chosen and provides you with an impressive amount of information (year of birth, professional experience, etc.).

In general, medical offices are open every day from 8.00 am to 12.00 pm and from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm (usually from Monday to Friday, and doctors are also on duty on Saturday).
Consultation fees in Switzerland cost €74 on average.

Specialist doctors in Switzerland
Unless you have opted for a “first aid doctor” insurance type, you can make an appointment directly with a specialist. Medical expenses will be covered.

Being admitted to hospital in Switzerland

In case of emergency, you are free to choose the hospital in which you want to be admitted for emergency services.
Practical information: you will find a list of hospitals in Switzerland, sorted by town on the official website.

Buying medication in Switzerland

Medically-prescribed drugs which are eligible for reimbursement will be entirely covered by the mandatory health insurance system as soon as the annual deductible is reached.

Get your health insurance for Switzerland

MSH can help you design the best international health insurance plan to suit your needs.

Going for less than a year?  
We have the right health insurance plan to cover you for 1 to 12 months, whether it's for a personal project, an apprenticeship, a working holiday or any other reason.

Going for a year or more?
Explore our comprehensive and highly flexible health insurance solutions to protect you and your family while you're abroad.



Swiss Confederation


Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Lausanne




Federal republic, with directorial system and direct democracy


German, French, Italian


Client story: I woke up to MSH

Rachel lives in Togo and has been with MSH since 2002. After routine surgery, she fell into a coma that lasted 2 months. Her hospitalization cost more than 200,000 euros - but it was all covered by MSH, without her having to get involved. Thanks to the reactivity of the team and their smooth handling of the situation, Rachel's family were able to avoid any extra stress - as was Rachel when she woke up.  
Client story: my second opinion

Petra was very worried about the surgery she'd been prescribed following an accident at home. Before making her decision, she wanted a second opinion. Thanks to her private health insurance, which included the Second Medical Opinion guarantee, she quickly saw another doctor and got all the answers to her questions. The second doctor agreed that surgery was necessary and Petra went to hospital feeling reassured and confident.
Client story: No worries mate!

Tanguy subscribed to Start’Expat to cover his gap year in Australia. He was out roller-skating one day when he slipped and blacked out for a few minutes. A passerby directed him to the nearest hospital for a scan. Fortunately, there was nothing serious and he was delighted to learn that all the expenses from €400 would be paid by MSH in advance, saving him a total of €513 -that's a lot of money for a student!   

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