Temporary stay abroad
Outside Switzerland, benefits are only paid for emergency treatment. A situation is considered an emergency if the policyholder requires medical treatment during his/her temporary stay abroad and it is not possible for him/her to return or be returned to Switzerland. If policyholders deliberately seek treatment abroad, it is not considered an emergency. Basic health insurance will only pay up to twice the amount the same treatment would cost in Switzerland. This is sufficient for travel within Europe, but for certain overseas areas – notably in the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan – it is highly recommended to buy additional insurance.
Usually, basic health insurance will not cover transportation costs back to Switzerland (repatriation) and only 50 percent of emergency transportation costs to the next hospital abroad are paid (up to CHF 500 per year).
Some supplemental insurance policies include coverage abroad and will reimburse these costs not covered by basic insurance. If coverage is insufficient or unavailable, it is advisable to buy travel insurance. But even then, one should check carefully which benefits are covered by this insurance.Holders of Swiss insurance requiring emergency treatment in an EU/EFTA country
A local health insurance provider will cover costs according to the agreed tariffs and policyholders will pay the usual share of costs for that area. The foreign insurer concerned will then invoice these costs to your Swiss insurance company via a central office in Switzerland.
As of the beginning of 2006, all policyholders in Switzerland have a health insurance card, which makes the E111 form superfluous. The credit card-sized insurance card contains administrative details, such as name, gender, date of birth, insurance provider and insurance number.