French can opt out of Swiss health insurance

Over half of Swiss cross-border workers come from France Keystone

Switzerland and France have signed an accord that allows French residents to opt out of mandatory Swiss health insurance. and agencies

The deal addresses the tricky problem of French cross-border workers who commute into Switzerland to work in the Lake Geneva and Jura regions but return home in the evening. According to the accord signed by Swiss Interior Minister Alain Berset and French Minister for Health Marisol Touraine this week, French residents that have not been exempted from paying the mandatory Swiss health insurance can apply to do so. 

But they will have to be quick, as they only have a one-year window of opportunity that lasts from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017. Those that fail to apply for an exemption within the deadline will be subject exclusively to Swiss health insurance obligations. 

Those that have already made their minds up about staying with the Swiss system can submit a demand to their French health insurance provider through an E106 form or an S1 attestation from their Swiss insurer. 

On the rise 

The number of cross-border workers earning a living in the Lake Geneva region bordering increased by over 6% in the first quarter of 2016 and almost 100,000 hold a cross-border G permit for canton Geneva. In total, over half of all Swiss cross-border workers come from France. 

In 2014, the France’s decision to force its citizens to abandon private health insurance plans for the state one created consternation among its cross-border workers. Around 90% of the French cross-border workers who work in Switzerland opt for private health insurance as it is less complicated and includes the possibility of receiving health care in both countries.

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