Insurance for newly arrived spouses

As is the case for all residents of Switzerland, basic insurance with a health insurance company is obligatory for newly arrived spouses. If the newly arrived spouse does not (yet) have a job, s/he is obliged to take out accident insurance, e.g. as an accident add-on to a policy with a health insurance company.

If the newly arrived spouse has a job, the employer is obliged to insure him/her against occupational accidents. If s/he works for more than eight hours a week, s/he will also be insured against non-occupational accidents.

As is the case for all residents of Switzerland, newly arrived spouses need to register with the AHV/IV and EO. If you are in gainful employment, the contributions will be automatically deducted from your wages and credited to the personal account. It is recommended that unemployed individuals make regular contributions. (Details under AHV/IV/EO)

Besides social insurance, it is important to remember to take out liability insurance or extend one’s own liability insurance to the spouse/partner. This also applies for household insurance.

Social insurance abroad

In the case of cross-border social insurance issues, various regulations apply depending on your citizenship: 

a) Citizens of an EU or EFTA country
b) Citizen of a country with which Switzerland has entered into a social insurance agreement

c) Citizen of a country with which Switzerland has not entered into an agreement

d) Special rules apply to refugees and stateless persons. 

Citizens of EU/EFTA countries

The Agreement on the Freedom of Movement of Persons entered into between Switzerland and EU and EFTA countries regulates the coordination of social insurance systems. This ensures that a person who works and/or lives in another country does not suffer any negative impact on insurance cover by changing country. Every country has to treat citizens of other countries like its own citizens. The agreement determines, for example:

  • in which country a person has to pay social insurance contributions
  • from which country or countries a person will receive a pension and how it is calculated
  • that services provided in another country in the case of illness and accident are the same as if the person were insured there.

Further information about the coordination of social insurance systems between Switzerland and EU and EFTA countries can be found on in the following brochures: "Soziale Sicherheit Schweiz" Information for Swiss citizens and EC citizens in Switzerland
"Soziale Sicherheit in der Schweiz und in der EG" Information for citizens of Switzerland or the EC in an EC country.

Citizens of countries with agreements on social insurance payments

Switzerland has entered into international agreements with various countries to regulate social insurance rights and duties. Currently those countries are Australia, Canada, Chile, Cypress, Croatia, India, Israel, Macedonia, the Philippines, Quebec, San Marino, Turkey, the USA, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Citizens of these countries will have their pensions paid abroad if they return there. Leaflets are available from the Swiss Federal Social Insurance Office on every country with which a contract exists.

Citizens of countries without agreements

If your country has not entered into an agreement with Switzerland and if you have paid the insurance premium for at lease one year, you are entitled to request the refund of the premiums, if you return to your country for good. If you do not ask for the refund, you are entitled to a pension, if you live in Switzerland again after reaching retirement age.
You can find further information on 10.03-D-F-I-A.pdf.
We recommend the following brochure for citizens of countries outside the EU/EFTA:
"Sozialversicherungen: Aufenthalt in der Schweiz und Ausreise - Informationen für ausländische Staatsangehörige" ("Swiss social insurance system: sojourn in Switzerland and departure - information for foreign nationals").
The brochure is also available in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Albanian, Arabic, Russian, Serbian, Tamil and Turkish (Swiss Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (BBL), Distribution of Publications, 3003 Berne).