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Five tips for getting cheaper health insurance in Switzerland

Five tips for getting cheaper health insurance in Switzerland
Restricted choice of doctor can save you quite a bit of money. Photo by AFP
Swiss health insurance is notoriously expensive, but there are a few ways to cut the cost of the premiums.

By now, you have received a letter from your insurance company, notifying you of the premium for 2021 – by law, carriers must announce the new rates to their clients no later than October 31st.

Because the differences in premiums from one insurer to another can vary, you could potentially save several hundred francs a year. So you could get the same benefits for less money.

Here are some other ways to cut the cost of your health policy, but keep in mind that if you want to cancel your current plan and switch to another one, you must notify your carrier, by registered post, by November 30th at the latest.

Health maintenance organization (HMO).

Under this model, policyholders are required to consult a particular HMO practice. Two disadvantages of this alternative is a limited choice of doctors and you also need a referral to see a specialist.

However, the benefit is a premium reduction of up to 25 percent compared to the conventional insurance.


Family doctor model

Your family doctor, a general practitioner, will be designated by your insurance company and will be in charge of all your medical treatment.

He or she will refer you to a specialist if necessary. 

If you opt for this option, you could save 20 percent on your insurance.

READ MORE: How to change your health insurance carrier in Switzerland 

The Telmed alternative

If you choose this option, you have to call a telephone service and get a referral to a doctor or hospital.

This does not apply to medical emergencies and other exceptions, such as eye exams and annual gynecological check-ups.

Total savings could range between 15 and 20 percent. 

For both HMO and Telmed you can calculate your premiums here. 

Increase your deductible

In Switzerland, the deductible (franchise) ranges from 300 to 2,500 francs.

The lower your deductible, the higher your premiums, and vice-versa.

If you are young, healthy, hardly ever get ill, and don’t take any expensive medications, then you can save substantially with the highest franchise.

Keep in mind, however, that if you choose the highest deductible and end up needing medical care, you will have to pay a greater proportion of the costs.

Pay the premiums in one lump sum

Most insurance carriers will give you a 2-percent reduction if you pay your premiums upfront rather than on monthly basis.

 


 


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