Health insurance Basic health insurance is obligatory for all persons residing in Switzerland and covers all basic healthcare services. This insurance is not provided by the employer. The Swiss healthcare system consists of: Basic insurance Optional additional insurance Every person settling in Switzerland for the first time must obtain insurance within 3 months. This is not the responsibility of the employer. Contact with an insurance company is individual and must be done by the person to be covered. Obligatory basic insurance Basic health insurance is obligatory for all persons residing in Switzerland and covers all basic healthcare services. The basic insurance is provided by a great number of public or private insurers. All insurers provide the same services, but the contributions (premiums) are dependent on the insurer, the place of residence and the form of insurance chosen. In- and outpatient medical treatments and prescription medications are covered. Dental treatment is not normally included. The insured person may choose his or her medical practitioner and pays a maximum annual amount (deductible) toward treatment costs. The basic insurance only covers services provided in the insured person’s canton of residence, unless there are compelling medical reasons or in the case of an emergency. Optional supplementary insurance The services covered by supplementary insurance vary among health-insurance providers. They can be divided into supplementary outpatient services and additional insurance for hospital services. SWICA health insurance fund A collective agreement has existed for several years between the finance department of the canton of St.Gallen and the SWICA health insurance fund that provides supplementary insurance under fa-vourable conditions for canton employees as well as their family members and life partners.