If you want to work or study in Switzerland, you are obliged to have at least a basic health insurance, according to the Swiss law. Our health insurance tips will help you to find out about the hidden aspects of this matter and choose the most suitable insurance company and insurance plan.
First of all, you must keep in mind that the basic health insurance does not include many services, including a part of your treatment, 10% of the cost of the prescribed medicines, and any other medicines that are sold not upon prescription. You might need an additional insurance coverage if you work less than 8 hours per week for one employer – otherwise, the services of hospitalization and basic medical treatment are covered. In particular, the following services are covered by the basic health insurance plan:
- Sickness that you got while being outside of the country;
- Pregnancy and giving a birth;
- Medicines upon prescription (10% of the cost must be covered by yourself);
- Outpatient and inpatient treatments;
- Alternative therapies.
Usually, dental treatment is not covered by the basic health insurance. There is, however, additional health insurance coverage that you may purchase. By the way, more than 80% of the Swiss residents have an additional insurance coverage. The additional services include dental treatment, the use of a private room at hospitals, treatment by a particular surgeon or head physician, the cost of contact lenses and spectacles.
However, the Swiss health insurance companies, which are unable to refuse any applicant for providing a basic health insurance, can refuse any individual for additional coverage, judging by his/her medical condition and history. Unlike many European countries (such as Germany), Switzerland does not have any family plans – each family members must be insured separately, even kids.
Also, one of the important health insurance tips is the following: whereas the basic health insurance services do not vary between different insurers, the companies’ policies regarding the additional insurance coverage can vary significantly. Therefore, it is highly recommended to compare additional insurance plans of different companies.
The costs of dental treatment are not covered by the basic health insurance
Another distinction of the Swiss health care system is that the premium for the additional insurance coverage does not depend on the income of an individual, but calculated on the basis of the individual’s medical records. If you belong to a socially insecure strata with a low income, however, you are able to apply for a premium reduction that might be granted by the federal or regional authorities.
The Swiss insurers charge different premiums, which you should pay on a monthly basis. Apart from paying for, actually, your insurance, you also must pay contributions for medical treatments and consultations, which are called “franchise.” It is a deductible calculated by a percentage from the annual costs of the services received, though it must be at least equal to CHF 300 and not higher than CHF 2500.
Here are some health insurance tips for reducing the premiums you have to pay:
- You can rise the franchise and, thus, pay less for the insurance;
- The premiums’ costs can be lowered by opting a policy with a limited choice of physicians/doctors;
- Take the medicines you actually need from your home country – doing so much be a way cheaper;
- There is Telmed Policy, which allows you to consult a doctor via phone call before actually receiving medical services;
- Changing your insurance company.