Cross-border or “Frontalier” Health Plans

An additional complication is added to the health system for cross-border residents or « frontalier » as they are locally called.

People who take residency in neighbouring France must make a choice between the French or Swiss system that is irrevocable unless their professional situation changes (period of unemployment or retirement) or if they return to live in Switzerland.

The droit d’option

The new “frontalier” must make their choice (droit d’option) within the first three (3) months of their move to France or the French health insurance will refuse them; they will therefore be obliged to opt for Swiss health insurance (which is obligatory if one cannot prove that one is covered by the French system).

The choice depends on the personal situation of each individual or family. Things to take into consideration include:

  • Planned length of stay
  • Family status
  • Whether one is a tenant or owner
  • Mixed revenue sources or 100 Swiss
  • The family RFR (Revenue Fiscal de Référence)* 1

A detailed and personal analysis is required to estimate the precise cost of the French national health insurance system; but as a very rough estimate for CHF 100’000.- of RFR revenue, at an exchange rate of .90EUR and the 2016 rate of 8 the yearly cost could be between CHF 6500-7500.- per year. A detailed analysis is recommended before making an irrevocable decision.

For detailed information on the French health insurance system consult

* 1 Revenue CHF brut less social charges (AVS/AI/AC/AANP), LPP, health insurance, prof. expenses, plus property income.