Frontalier Health Insurance – Changes in 2014

Frontalier HealthInsurance: University Hospital Lausanne: Photo Credit Wikipedia (Gzzz)

University Hospital Lausanne: Photo Credit Wikipedia (Gzzz)

Frontalier Health Insurance has been debated for about 50 or so years. Frontaliers are those people that cross over the border each day for work. So far the only worth while answer has been private medical insurance. About 90-95% of all frontaliers have chosen this option. This has enabled the frontaliers to obtain medical advice and treatment close to where they work. A case in point being my wife who needed an MRI. She only had to travel 10 minutes by car from work. Through the French system the journey would have taken something over an hour. Many frontalier are allowed to declare their participation in private health insurance as part of their tax returns. Those of us who have foreign private insurance cannot.

For quite some time now change has been on the cards against which the Transfrontalier Organisation has fought.  They managed to delay any changes until June the 1st of this year.  That of course is fast approaching!

What are the changesi Frontalier Health Insurance?

A bi-lateral agreement was reached between France and Switzerland that the private insurance option would disappear in favour of ‘une assurance obligatoire collective’. Basically an obligatory insurance run by the state.

It will be the CMU in France or L’Amal in Switzerland.

All frontaliers will have to decide which one they choose before May 31st. This means that opting for the French system means at the very least a large amount of inconvenience.  It could mean problems in getting treatment. Foreigners living in France and working in Switzerland would be part of the ‘Securité Sociale’ and would have to pay the necessary revenue.  8% of this goes to the government.

The Groupement Transfrontlaiers Européans has tried to keep discussions going with the government. They have organised rallies in Paris, Annemasse, Pontalier and Morteau.  They have recently held extra-ordinary general meetings in Annemase, Pontalier, Morteau and Saint-Genis-Pouilly. In fact there is another due for Februaury 10th in Les Rousses (Salle d’Omnibus 18:30). Another is to be organised in Hegenheim in Haute-Rhin (Date still to be announced).

So far somewhere in the region of 36,000 people have participated in the recent meetings!

What has come out of these meetings thus far are:

  • a will to continue the ‘fight’ right until the end
  • to continue to find a sensible solution that will encompass frontaliers as a special case
  • to push for the creation of a special hospital card for frontaliers.

Full details in French can be found here.

Do the frontaliers really have a case for a separate agreement?

The areas that border Switzerland are definitely thriving. There’s certainly a lot of development within local communities. Something I heard recently is that for each frontalier the Swiss authorities pay a sum to the commune where that frontalier lives. Definitely something I should investigate. Do any of you know if that’s true?

Please let me know via a comment below. Please comment if you have anything to add to the discussion.



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