Frequently asked questions about travelling abroad

FAQ Travel abroad

Before the trip

Which vaccinations you need depends on where you are travelling to. It’s best to obtain information before you travel from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) or on websites recommended by the FOPH. The Cover Check in the Sanitas Portal shows you which costs are covered by Sanitas.

We recommend that you always have your insurance card to hand both at home and abroad. If you need medical treatment in the EU, you can show the card (reverse side) and the benefits will be settled directly with Sanitas. Outside Europe, the card is helpful because it has the number of our 24-hour helpline. Always call this number in case of emergencies abroad.

Sanitas does not offer travel cancellation insurance.

Tip: check whether your private liability insurance or household contents insurance covers travel cancellation. Often, such insurance is also offered by your credit card provider.

For additional travel information, we recommend the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs website.

You can order confirmation of insurance quickly and easily in the Sanitas Portal under “Abroad”. Just choose the country and language you want.

Please get in touch so that we can advise you in person. Different rules apply depending on the country.

There isn’t a simple answer to this question, because some supplementary insurance plans cover benefits abroad while others don’t. It’s best to use the Cover Check in the Sanitas Portal to see which costs (if any) are covered abroad. If you have any questions, we’ll be glad to help.

In an emergency

"In case of a life-threatening emergency abroad, please consult a medical professional immediately. Afterwards, please contact the Sanitas Assistance helpline, which is open 24/7. For Sanitas to be able to cover the costs of treatment abroad, you must always contact Sanitas Assistance in an emergency. If you have private or semiprivate insurance with us, you will receive further support from Sanitas Assistance.

Please note that mandatory basic health insurance often provides insufficient coverage for medical services abroad, particularly with regards to repatriation. We recommend that you always take out travel insurance, such as the Easy plan from Sanitas, when you go abroad."

Transport back to Switzerland depends on the patient’s state of health. If medical repatriation is necessary and you have the appropriate supplementary insurance, the exact procedure and details will be coordinated and organised with the local doctor providing treatment and the emergency call centre in Switzerland.

If you have to go to hospital while abroad, please call the Sanitas Assistance medical helpline straight away so that your further treatment can be coordinated. Please note that mandatory basic health insurance often provides insufficient coverage for medical services abroad, particularly with regards to repatriation. We recommend that you always take out travel insurance when going abroad.

No, in the event of an emergency abroad, you can go directly to a hospital, an emergency practice or a medical professional near by. You do not have to comply with the rules of your basic insurance model. However, on your return it is a good idea to inform your family doctor.

It is considered an emergency when you fall ill or have an accident abroad and you require medical treatment or hospitalisation. If you need medical treatment in the EU, you can show the card (reverse side) and the benefits will be settled directly with Sanitas. Outside Europe, the card is helpful because it has the number of our 24-hour helpline. Always call this number in case of emergencies abroad.

Refund

If you wish to undergo planned treatment outside Switzerland, please contact Sanitas beforehand. Treatment costs abroad are only reimbursed under basic insurance in special cases. Certain supplementary insurance plans cover planned treatment abroad (e.g. Medical Private). The Cover Check in the Sanitas Portal shows you quickly and easily which costs are covered by Sanitas.

No. You have to pay the copayment yourself (in accordance with each country’s legal requirements).

Who covers the cost of return transport depends on your insurance. Basic insurance does not cover the cost of return transport.

That depends on whether you’re covered for accident through your employer or Sanitas. Generally speaking, if you work at least eight hours a week for the same company, you are covered by your employer’s accident insurance. If this isn’t the case, you have to take out accident insurance under your basic insurance. It is important to report an accident straight away to the correct office (your employer or Sanitas).

Other

In certain cases, prescribed physiotherapy may be continued, provided that an application has been made by your doctor and you are cleared for travel. In addition, the doctor providing your treatment in Switzerland must confirm that continuation of the treatment is medically indicated and absolutely necessary.

Medicines can only be obtained abroad in an emergency (with the exception of certain insurance plans). So, make sure you take enough supplies with you if you have to take certain medicines regularly.

No. The prescription has to be issued in Switzerland.

No, this is not possible. Please get in touch so that we can advise you in person.