Stay abroad | Sanitas health insurance

Let’s go!

Let’s go!

Looking to take an exchange semester or work abroad? Great! It’s especially important when you go abroad that you check beforehand whether you have the right health insurance. Find out what you need here.

Is basic insurance enough?

Your basic insurance in Switzerland covers the cost of emergency medical treatment abroad. An “emergency” is defined as a situation where the insured requires medical treatment during a temporary stay abroad and travel back to Switzerland is not appropriate for medical reasons. In individual cases, cover provided can be a matter of discretion, so it’s best to check with your health insurer if you’re not sure.

Costs covered within Europe

In countries that are part of the European Union or the European Free Trade Association, basic insurance covers the costs that are also covered in the respective countries. For example: France has a copayment of 20% on costs for medical treatment in emergencies. So if you go to a doctor there, we reimburse you 80% of the costs and you have to pay 20% of the costs yourself. You usually have to pay these costs directly while you’re there.

Costs covered outside Europe

If you’re staying in a country outside Europe, costs for medical treatment can vary greatly from those in Switzerland. Here, basic insurance reimburses up to twice the amount that would be covered for the same treatment in Switzerland. If you are staying in a country with high treatment costs, such as Australia, Japan, Canada or the USA, you are strongly advised to take out supplementary insurance.

Sanitas recommends these supplementary insurance plans

Supplementary insurance also covers higher treatment costs and additional benefits, such as the cost of medical transportation back to Switzerland or rescue transport abroad. Ideally, you should combine a supplementary outpatient insurance plan with a hospital plan:

Supplementary outpatient insurance plans:

Hospital insurance:

If you haven’t taken out any supplementary insurance cover so far, we recommend the Easy supplementary insurance plan. It’s low-cost and covers the most important benefits for stays abroad.

If you aren’t able to take out any of these supplementary insurance plans due to the results of your medical exam, we recommend the Travel plan. It can be taken out on a weekly basis for up to a year.

If you stay abroad so long that you deregister with the Swiss authorities, you can apply to suspend your health insurance. If you suspend your health insurance, you can reactivate it at a later date without undergoing another medical exam.  


  • The minimum suspension period is 6 months, the maximum 6 years.
  • Proof of equivalent health insurance cover abroad.
  • No outstanding benefit claims

Sanitas assesses each application individually. An application may be rejected, for example if the requirements are not met or if your insurance cover is no longer sufficient following suspension. 

Going abroad for longer?

Give us a call, we’ll be happy to advise you. If you’re planning on going abroad for longer, the best solution depends on your destination. In some cases, international health insurance is the best solution, while other countries demand mandatory health insurance.

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