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Missed registration deadline with a Swiss health insurance company - How is the penalty premium calculated?

Updated on November 16, 2023

You are new in Switzerland and would like to know what to consider when registering with a health insurance company? In the following article, we explain which deadlines apply and what is important when registering.

Who must take out basic health insurance?

The compulsory basic insurance protects you in case of illness and maternity, among other things, and is obligatory for everyone. This means that every person who has a residence in Switzerland is obliged to take out this insurance within the first 3 months after arrival in Switzerland. This also applies to persons who are still insured abroad. The compulsory basic insurance includes the same benefits with every health insurance company. Only the deductible rate and the insurance model can be chosen by the insured. In addition, no rejections can take place in the basic insurance - while in the case of supplementary insurance, health declarations must often be filled out in advance, on the basis of which the health insurance company decides on acceptance.

Who determines the premium amount?
In the case of basic insurance, the premium amount is not determined on the basis of the health status of the insured. Even if the insured person has a chronic illness, for example, his or her premiums may not be higher than those of others. However, different premiums apply depending on the canton and age, so it all depends on where you live. Therefore, before you take out a basic insurance or think about changing your health insurance, it is worthwhile to make a premium comparison.

What has to be considered regarding the deadline?
The registration period of 3 months already starts from the date of issue of your certificate of residence. This is the day on which you register at the Residents' Registration Office. All members of a family, both adults and children, are insured individually. If you register in time, you will be insured from the date you take up residence. Thus, you must also pay the insurance premium retroactively from the date of entry. 

What happens if I miss the deadline?
If you disregard this obligation or do not register until after the deadline, insurance coverage is only guaranteed from this point in time and any health costs incurred prior to this point in time will not be covered by the insurance. Penalty premiums will also be charged for any inexcusable delay. Thus, you would not benefit from the comprehensive insurance coverage from the moment you take up residence. 

How is the penalty premium calculated in the basic insurance?
If the 3-month period from the date of entry has been missed, and you still do not have basic insurance, you will pay a penalty. You calculate the number of days from the date of entry to the date of submission of the application to the insurance company, calculate the premium from this (it varies depending on the insurance company), exactly the day, multiply it times two and usually pay 30 % of it. However, penalties of up to 50 % may be charged. This amount is now added to subsequent premiums from the date of filing the application, but you do not pay anything retroactively and were not insured retroactively.

Example: You entered the country on June 1 and had to register with a health insurance company by August 31. You missed this deadline. On September 10, you submitted an application to the health insurance company with a premium of CHF 300 in the basic insurance. So it is 3 months and 10 days after the entry date, so this would be a total premium amount of CHF 1000. This is now multiplied by 2, so CHF 2000 and of this you pay 30 %, so CHF 600. This will now be distributed to the subsequent premiums, which are to be paid from September 10.

You have missed the registration deadline and need help with the further procedure? We will be happy to assist you. Contact us now and receive competent and personal advice from long-standing insurance experts. 

Evgeniy Timoshenko

Do you have any questions? Get in touch with me.

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