Switzerland’s healthcare system is unique because it is funded almost entirely by private, public, and private subsidized insurance. The onus is on you, the individual to do a health insurance comparison, avail the right policy, and maintain the payments to be eligible for all medical procedures. Without insurance, it is quite unaffordable to undergo even basic medical examinations and consultations.
Every person who moves to Switzerland has three months to avail of mandatory health insurance according to their convenience. In case you fail to do so, one will be assigned to you which will usually be more than your requirement, and costlier than if you had done a health insurance comparison and chosen one for yourself. Moreover, the insurance cover applies retroactively for your medical care, so you could have been reimbursed for all medical costs.
You must remember during health insurance comparison that you can choose any health insurance provider for basic insurance, and they are obliged legally to accept your application. You can only change the provider once in a year, though all the providers will offer identical benefits. Make sure that you are aware of all the premium influencing factors viz. age, place of residence, insurance model, and deductible while performing a health insurance comparison.
Basic or Compulsory health Insurance
The benefits of basic health insurance are identical to all providers and are usually enough to cover all necessary medical services. Mainly, it covers treatment for illnesses, maternity and childbirth, and also accidents. Most doctor visits, outpatient visits, inpatient visits, psychiatric care, nursing home care, etc., are covered by your basic insurance.
But you must still do a health insurance comparison for basic insurance because premiums vary widely from one health insurance provider to the next based on the level of service that they provide. Premiums are also determined by your age, place of residence, insurance model, and other costs.
Most people overlook this important part in health insurance comparison[German]. In Switzerland, if you are employed with a single employer for more than eight hours a week, you are automatically insured for any accidents and the consequent medical care. The Accident Insurance Act makes your employer responsible for providing you work and non-work accident insurance cover, so you can actually exclude accident cover from your health insurance comparison and save on premiums. Only if your policy is inactive, children and self-employed individuals have to have accident cover.
Additional Costs of Medical care
Even with insurance, you are required to bear a part of your medical bills yourself when you visit a doctor, stay in a hospital, or buy medication. Basic insurance does not cover the full cost, so you must perform a health insurance comparison accordingly.
Franchise, or option deductibles, are the liability amounts you are responsible for during medical care. You can choose a higher deductible to reduce your premiums as much as possible. For example, for adults the minimum deductible is 300 francs which means that you are liable for this amount in your annual healthcare costs.
Beyond your deductibles, you must still bear the costs of coinsurance which is usually around 10% of the amount beyond the deductibles.
Supplemental insurance is mainly to ensure additional coverage over basic insurance, and the benefits vary from provider to provider. They can decide the premium based on the individual’s risk profiles depending on their age and gender, can also reject applications according to their evaluation.
When undertaking a health insurance comparison, you must remember that you can choose different providers for basic and supplemental insurance to obtain maximum coverage. Usually, insurance providers offer discounts if you choose to get basic and supplemental insurance from the same provider. However, you can choose to change your basic insurance to a different provider if you get better rates elsewhere after a thorough health insurance comparison.
There are so many aspects to consider when choosing health insurance that it may seem too complex or complicated, especially if you are a first-time applicant. But you can leverage various resources to help you and guide you in your search for the most comprehensive coverage according to your individual requirements.
Government agencies provide regular and updated information about insurance trends, premiums, providers, breakdowns, local and federal regulations, and other aspects that can help you make the best decision. Moreover, there are several third-party or independent health insurance comparison websites that offer a better view of the data and provide different filters to narrow down the list of insurance providers and policies that would be applicable for your personal requirements. It is your responsibility to compare with due diligence to be able to select the perfect health insurance policy without compromising on the level of medical care you receive.
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