The Society is based at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). It was set up in 1949 under the United Nations Staff Rules. The Society is administered by an Executive Committee comprising members appointed by the Director-General of UNOG and the Staff Coordinating Council.
The Society reimburses serving and retired staff members of UNOG and international organizations with which UNOG has concluded an agreement (ITC, HCR, UNICEF, WMO in Geneva, UNV,UNFCCC, UNCCD in Bonn and UNSSC in Turin), subject to the Statutes and Internal rules in force, for the costs of medical care in the event of sickness, accident or childbirth.
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Palais des Nations
8-14, avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Membership is open to staff members of the United Nations posted or serving at Geneva and staff members of international organizations in the United Nations family with which the United Nations Office at Geneva has concluded an agreement concerning the admission of their staff members into the Society.
Membership of the Society is not mandatory. The staff member must apply for admission within 31 days of his/her entry on duty. A member of the Society (with the exception of staff members holding temporary contracts) may obtain coverage by the Society for a dependant spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years. Unmarried children over the age of 21 years may be covered until they reach the age of 30 years provided they are in full-time attendance at a school or university and are dependant on a staff member.
Applications for membership and for coverage of family members entail acceptance of the Society's Statutes and Rules.
After-service coverage is available, subject to a combination of at least five years' prior membership of either the Society or an insurance scheme of the United Nations and of receipt of a periodic retirement benefit in accordance with the Regulations of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. The spouse and dependant children of a former official who were affiliated to the Society at the time of cessation of service of a staff member may remain covered.
The date of separation from the Society, which determines the end of the period of membership, is taken to be the date of separation from service with the organization or the date on which the conditions laid down in the rules and regulations cease to be met (for instance, the date of the thirtieth birthday of a child or the day on which a child marries).
Extent of protection
The Society guarantees coverage at all times and in all countries. However, if an insured person decides to obtain medical care away from the duty station or place of residence of the Society member, the maximum sum reimbursable is the lowest cost of equivalent treatment provided in the canton of Geneva.
Prior authorization by the Medical Adviser
Prior authorization in writing by the Medical Adviser of the Society must be requested for certain medical benefits. The member should do this before incurring any expenses, by submitting the prescription for authorization to the Society, which will transmit it to the Medical Adviser. When an estimate is requested, it must be submitted to the Society together with the prescription, so that the Executive Committee can determine to what extent the Society will reimburse the amount of the estimate. Without prior authorization, the Society will refuse to reimburse the invoices.
Agreements with selected service providers
The Society allows you a free choice of doctor, pharmacist or medical establishment. However, in the interests of its members in general, the Society has concluded preferential agreements with a number of service providers. The list is provided by the Society upon request.
In the event of hospitalization in the United States, the member should, if possible, notify the Society before the date of your admission to hospital in order to facilitate the financial arrangements.
Accident and Third-party liability
When a third party may be liable for an illness or accident , the insured person must inform the United Nations Staff Mutual Insurance Society as soon as possible. He/she will then be invited to take all necessary steps to obtain full compensation for the injury from the third party. If someone is entitled to reimbursement from other sources for sickness or accident, the Society will reimburse only the portion that is not reimbursed by the other source, up to the amount normally covered.
Restrictions, forfeiture and suspension of benefits
Expenses in respect of the consequences of accidents occurring before the date of affiliation are not covered by the Society, nor are the cases of injury deliberately inflicted by the insured person on himself. Other limitations are specified in the Rules of the Society.
A member may forfeit his/her rights if it is established that the person concerned has attempted to obtain by fraud benefits to which he or she was not entitled or if the person refuse to undergo a medical examination prescribed by the Medical Adviser of the Society.
In the event of sickness, accident or maternity, the Society refunds medical expenses at the rates specified in its Internal rules. Members of the Society are personally liable for payment of the medical expenses for which they may claim reimbursement. The Society does not settle bills directly with members' creditors.
Expenses incurred in respect of any of the acts listed in the Internal rules, unless otherwise stated, shall be reimbursed at a rate of 80 per cent. For certain medical benefits the prior authorization of the Society must be requested in writing to the Medical Advisor. Such authorizations are only valid for a period of six months running from the date on which they are granted.
In the event of hospitalization, the Society will, upon request, issue insurance certificates or guarantees. Reimbursement is normally limited to 30 days' hospitalization per case. Prolongation of hospitalization beyond this time-limit is subject to the approval of the Society's Medical Adviser.
All claims must be made within twelve months of the date on which the relevant bill or account is established. Only staff members may make claims. Reimbursement is effected by the Financial Resources Management Service of the United Nations Office at Geneva. Expenditure incurred in currencies other than Swiss francs will be reimbursed in Swiss francs at the official United Nations exchange-rate applicable on the date of processing the invoice.
- Doctors' fees
- Medical Imagery, laboratory analysis and tests
- Out-patient medical fees in a medical establishment
- Surgical operations (with the exception of aesthetic surgery)
- Hospitalization in public ward or semi-private room in an establishment approved by the competent health authorities of the country concerned. The supplement for a private room is not reimbursable. Prior authorization is required over 30 days
- Post-hospital and/or post-operation convalescence
- Long-term hospitalization is limited to 365 days
- Medical or paramedical benefits related to a long-stay in a medical establishment or medicalized nursing-home are limited to a maximum daily allowance
- Benefits for care in the home are limited to a maximum daily allowance. Prior-authorization is required
- Functional rehabilitation for prescribed treatments with a maximum allowance per session and a limited number of sessions per calendar year
- Pharmaceuticals products reimbursable according to the criteria of the competent health authorities of the country concerned
- Preventive medecine
- Odonto-stomatological treatment (dental treatment) limited to a maximum annual allowance