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EXPLAINED: Should I take out Swiss health insurance before or after the birth of my baby?

Sandra Sparrowhawk
Sandra Sparrowhawk - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: Should I take out Swiss health insurance before or after the birth of my baby?
Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

In Switzerland, you can choose between taking out health insurance for your baby either before or after the birth – but there’s a catch.

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In Switzerland, basic health insurance is mandatory even for the youngest among us.

Though it is generally recommended to register your baby with a health insurance prior to giving birth to save yourself the admin headache during recovery and bonding time, you can also take out health insurance after birth – though this could have financial consequences.

In any case, you should do this no later than three months after welcoming your baby.

When taking out basic health insurance after birth, your baby will be insured retrospectively from their birth. This also means that the premiums must be paid retrospectively up to the entire month of birth.

You must also inform your own health insurance of your new arrival. Note that your baby does not have to be registered with the same health insurance as you or your partner.

Are there any consequences to taking out basic health insurance for my baby after birth?

No, there are no financial consequences to taking out basic health insurance for your newborn following the birth, provided you do so within the necessary time frame.

What about supplementary health insurance?

While taking out basic health insurance will – hassle aside - play out the same way before and after the birth, this is not the case for (voluntary) supplementary health insurance.

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In Switzerland, you are strongly recommended to register with a basic health insurance company during your pregnancy as this will enable you to take out supplementary health insurance for your baby at the same time. Some insurance companies, such as Concordia (100 francs), will even give you a so-called baby bonus.

Further to this, when registering your baby with a health insurance company for basic health coverage you will not be asked to provide any health check for your (unborn) baby.

However, when taking out supplementary health insurance after your child’s birth, the insurer will collect information about your baby’s health in the form of an extensive survey – similar to those adults in Switzerland have to fill out when registering with an insurance company.

This means that should your baby be born ill or with a disability, the insurance company can impose restrictions on the benefits they are to receive, or worse, refuse to sign a contract for your baby altogether.

According to a 2019 article by Swiss broadcasting company SRF, most Swiss supplementary health insurance companies will almost always reject a baby that is born with a disability as they consider them a ‘bad risk’.

You will also have to inform the insurance company of any illness or disability that has been detected during antenatal screening tests, in which case the insurer may again refuse to take your baby on.

However, note that the health insurance company is not allowed to request antenatal screening tests. Parents must only declare the results with the insurance if they have it.

In general, it is advisable to have your baby insured between the 4th and 8th month of your pregnancy.

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