Practicalities for the USI community


General information about the healthcare system in Switzerland

Everyone residing in Switzerland is obliged to take out a basic health and accident insurance policy or to request the exemption from it within 3 months of entry into Switzerland. This insurance covers the cost of a range of benefits. In addition to paying the premiums, policyholders must pay a portion of the costs of medical services. These out-of-pocket expenses include:

  • the deductible (also called ”franchise”), which for adults ranges from CHF 300 up to a maximum of CHF 2500 per calendar year;
  • the co-participation, which is an additional charge of 10% for the medical costs over the annual deductible up to a maximum of CHF 700 per calendar year.

The remaining amount is paid by the insurance company - provided, of course, that the medical services received are covered by the insurance plan chosen.


Purpose of the Swisscare insurance

In order to offer its foreign students a more affordable compulsory insurance coverage, Università della Svizzera italiana has agreed with Europäische Reiseversicherungs AG (ERV) and Swisscare Switzerland AG an extremely convenient collective insurance policy named Swisscare.



Swisscare provides basic coverage in the event of illness, accident and maternity equivalent to the mandatory insurance under the Swiss Federal Law on Compulsory Health Care (KVG/LAMal), but at a much lower cost:

  • premium per insured – CHF 99 per month;
  • discount of 10% for the group contract with USI – CHF 9.90;
  • final premium per insured – CHF 89.10 per month;
  • franchise (deductible) per insured – CHF 300 per calendar year;
  • co-participation of 10% – up to CHF 700 per calendar year.


General insurance conditions and Table of benefits

Please click here.

Please note that the Swisscare insurance plan available for USI students is “Standard”.



The Swisscare insurance offer is valid for foreign students (primarily those coming from the extra-EU/EFTA countries), who are enrolled in one of USI's Bachelor, Master or PhD programmes, who are not older than 45 years, who hold a residence permit for the Canton of Ticino for study purposes (i.e., the one with the notation “soggiorno per formazione” - no other type of permit is accepted) and who do not work.

Please note that applications from students coming from EU/EFTA countries are accepted only if they don’t have the right to obtain the European Health Insurance Card. They are supposed to submit a certificate issued by the competent authority in their country of residence in which the reason for the denial of the EHIC is specified.


How to apply

It is possible to take out the Swisscare insurance within three months from the date of entry into Switzerland. After this deadline, basic insurance according to KVG/LAMal becomes necessary.

The application has to be done online through the following web site:

Please note that, since the Swiss insurance obligation begins on the day of entry into Switzerland, the Swisscare insurance contract has to be backdated and start on the date on which the student entered the country.

The Swisscare registration process comprises several steps. Therefore, in order to allow sufficient time for it to be completed within the 3 months legal deadline, please apply for it at the latest after (approximately) two months and a half from your entry into Switzerland. Swisscare Switzerland AG cannot guarantee the acceptance of late applications.

As soon as the online application has been completed, the student will receive from Swisscare Switzerland AG an e-mail for the activation of his personal customer account. Another e-mail will follow containing the list of the mandatory documents to be submitted in order to complete the registration procedure.


Payment terms

The billing, both of the premiums and of the participation to the medical costs, will be done by Swisscare Switzerland AG. The premiums are generally invoiced on 6 months basis, covering the period from January to June and from July to December. The bills must be paid within 30 days from the date of their issue.

Please note that USI will not release neither the certificate of attendance nor the diploma at the end of the studies to students who haven't paid off all their debts.

For information regarding the payment and reimbursement of the medical fees (doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.), please read the guidelines.


Start and end of the insurance coverage

Coverage begins, at the earliest, on the day of the insured’s entry into Switzerland and ends, at the latest, on the day on which the policyholder:

  • ends the studies (graduation, withdrawal, “ex-officio” de-registration or exclusion from the studies), or
  • leaves definitely the Canton of Ticino (the departure must be notified to the competent authorities), or
  • no longer satisfies the conditions for exemption from the Swiss compulsory medical insurance according to the Ordinance on Health Insurance (KVV/OAMal) and becomes subject to compulsory health insurance in Switzerland in accordance with KVG-LAMal (usually, because of family reunification or gainful employment).

Please note that the event which determines the termination of this insurance policy is the one which occurs first.

For more information on how to cancel the insurance, please read the guidelines.

Coverage expires in any event automatically at the end of the year (i.e. on the 31st December) coinciding with the insured’s 45th birthday.

It is possible to benefit from the Swisscare insurance coverage for a maximum of 6 years, which is the maximum duration allowed for the exemption from the KVG-LAMal insurance.


Insured person’s duties

The insured student must inform both Swisscare Switzerland AG and USI about any important changes, such as:

  • mailing address;
  • issuance, renewal, modification or revocation of the residence permit;
  • end of studies;
  • final departure from the Canton of Ticino.



Policy Management

SWISSCARE Servizi Assicurativi (Svizzera) AG
Unità Assistenza Clienti
Morgenstrasse 129
CH-3018 Berna
tel +41 58 523 00 40
fax +41 58 523 00 41


Claims Management

Europäische Reiseversicherung (ERV)
Zweigniederlassung der Helvetia
Versicherungsgesellschaft AG
Swisscare Gestione dei sinistri
St. Alban-Anlage 56
4002 Basilea
tel +41 58 275 27 27
fax +41 58 275 27 30


Emergency Assistance 24/7

Out of office hours and only in cases of emergency, the Insured or his Representative can contact the following number:

tel +41 44 655 12 59



Vlasta Re
Università della Svizzera italiana
Pro-Rectorate for Education and Students' Experience
Main Building
Office 350
Via Giuseppe Buffi 13
6900 Lugano
tel +41 58 666 45 10








Updated on: 05/05/2021