In Switzerland, clients of local public healthcare are charged a fixed deductible fee. If the accrued costs are lower than the fixed deductible fee, the amount of payment will be determined on the basis of the actual costs. The fee will be paid to Switzerland’s common health insurance institute, Gemeine Einrichtung Krankenversicherung or GE KVG. The GE KVG website contains comprehensive information also in English.
Doctor and medicines
Make an appointment with a general practitioner who has an agreement with the Swiss health insurance system (most doctors do). At the reception, show your valid European Health Insurance Card and your identity card. Different cantons (Switzerland has 26 cantons) have their own practices concerning the payment of doctor’s fees. In some regions, you must first pay for the treatment yourself and then apply for partial reimbursement from GE KVG on the basis of the receipts. In other regions, your treatment costs will be directly charged from the health insurance institute and you will only be liable for the deductible. Treatment charges vary according to the legislation in the canton.
You can see a specialist after receiving a referral from a general practitioner.
Show your European Health Insurance Card and identity card in addition to the prescription when collecting your prescribed medicines at a pharmacy in Switzerland. This will entitle you to partial reimbursement for your medicines.
As a rule, you must bear any dentist costs yourself. GE KVG will only reimburse you for dentist costs when the need for treatment is due to an accident or a severe disease in the organs of occlusion. The payment procedure is similar to the other doctors.
Hospital treatment is available with a referral from a general practitioner or specialist.
In case of urgent attacks of illness, you can go straight to the first aid of a hospital. Show your European Health Insurance Card and your identity card and request treatment paid by GE KVG on the public side of the hospital. In addition to the deductible, all patients over the age of 26 will be charged a fixed daily fee for hospital treatment. Hospitals will typically place several patients in the same room. If you want a double or single room, you will need to pay for the costs of the room yourself.
In Switzerland, hospitals will typically have both public and private patients. When seeking treatment as a private patient, you will be liable for the cost difference. GE KVG will only offer reimbursement for the costs of similar treatment on the public side.
Ambulance transport is reimbursed by 50 %, but the maximum reimbursement per year is CHF 500. Rescue services (helicopters) are reimbursed by 50 %, but the maximum reimbursement per year is CHF 5,000. Apply for reimbursement from GE KVG.
If your state of health requires you to use special transport when returning to Finland, you will be liable for the travel costs in their entirety.
If you are required to pay full price
If you are required to pay full price for public healthcare treatment that should have been covered by the European Health Insurance Card, you can apply for reimbursement retrospectively. You can apply for reimbursement either from the health insurance institution of the destination country or from Kela on form SV 128.