I just got a nice ad from English Forum regarding Cigna. The quotes look nice, and I do most of the health care in my homeland...
How can I check if this insurance would be recognized in Zurich?
Thanks for the useful post as I am also considering applying for Cigna insurance but I, too am not sure if it would be accepted in Switzerland although the Sales guy at Cigna seems to think so.
Can you kindly translate or put this in layman's language as I don't know what the website is saying.
We had Cigna international health plan when we initially moved here. It was acceptable to SZ authorities after the benefits etc. were made clear by my company HR. The only issue was that it was not recognized at the clinic/hospital for small expenses and we had to claim them back after paying direct. For bigger scheduled expenses, Cigna arranged directly with hospital.
After investigating further, personally I think it is a risk to proceed. Having reviewed a website that states you must insure yourself with a swiss insurance company - the agent was adamant that this policy would be accepted and this was his reply:
Once the policy has been set up you go on to your canton website and download a check form for the equivalent of Swiss Health Insurance 2012 ( that is how it is worded on the canton website ) You then send this form to us completed and signed and we will stamp the form and email it back to you for you then to forward it to your canton.
What happens if this won't be accepted after taking on the policy? - IMO the Cigna insurance policy is not significantly cheaper to take such a risk.
Take the policy to the person from your Gemeinde/canton responsible for approval BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. And get a statement in writing from that person saying that acceptance is guaranteed before proceeding. That is the only way you can be sure that it will be accepted.
As you can see from the Zürich city app, whether an international plan is acceptable depends on your status here. Go through the steps, answering for your own situation, to get an idea if you would qualify, or not.
For instance, when we (non-EU) were here on an expat assignment we had an international plan provided by OH's employer - it was accepted because we were here on a time limited contract and fit other 'expat' criteria (paid through the home country, still on home country social taxes, etc.) and the plan was shown to provide the same or better coverage as Swiss obligatory insurance would. Once OH switched from the expact contract to a local one - mandatory after 5 years - we had to switch to a Swiss insurance provider.
FYI, OH's HR folks did all the legwork wrt the international policy. If you are looking at Cigna as part of your expat package, get your company involved.
Don't sign up with Cigna until you get an OK from the Gemeinde/cantonal responsible authority. If you do, you may find that you have to purchase Swiss insurance as well as the Cigna.
So step one - ask the agent for a written offer and copy of the full policy, then speak to the relevant Gemeinde/cantonal authority.
This user would like to thank meloncollie for this useful post:
I am currently insured with CIGNA International through my work.
It took some 6-8 months, but they finally provided the Gemeinde the paperwork they needed and I received a letter from them (the Gemeinde) saying I was exempt from securing local insurance having provided evidence I was insured elsewhere.
I have to pay for everything up-front (drugs directly at the pharmacy and doctors through the little pink slips) and then submit for reimbursement.
The process had some early glitch that made me extremely angry - they had mis-keyed my bank account number and insisted reimbursements had been made when they were not... I had to call a few times and each time I had to start again my explanation from scratch. Customer service was absolutely clueless and that made me very upset.
But after that was solved it is working very well. Direct deposits are made within a week of submission with no other problem so far.
Good luck with your decision.
This user would like to thank Frsco2003 for this useful post:
We have Cigna International through my husband's company and it works fine. The only thing is, a bit different than the States where you show your card and just pay the copay, you get a facture sent to you and have to submit it to Cigna for the reimbursement. We have never had a problem here. We live on the French side. The International also works in any other country, so I have went to doctors when I go back to the States to visit and we get reimbursed for that also.