Welfare ensures that every person in Switzerland receives a minimal subsistence level, provided that he or she is living in Switzerland legally. The aim of welfare is to provide people who are unable to support themselves with a humane existence.
Welfare only covers running expenses, such as basic requirements, adequate lodging, compulsory insurances, medical treatment and care (basic insurance), home care and other necessary expenditures. Welfare does not support ownership, maintenance and use of cars, unless they are necessary for working or due to health reasons (e.g. walking disability). Neither does welfare pay off debts.
Welfare laws vary between cantons. However, most regulations are very similar, since the welfare guidelines of the Swiss Conference for Social Welfare (SKOS) are enforced in most cantonal regulations.
For more detailed information concerning premium reductions or premium exemptions due to welfare, please consult the official offices of the individual cantons.