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Old 18.07.2006, 13:17
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Smoking & Health Insurance

Just wanted to share this with people because I couldn't believe what I was hearing!!

I have just been speaking to a health insurance company as I have now finally got my permit so can get my insurance, when my husband got his insurance he was considering going for a couple of optional extras on top of his basic but as he is slightly over weight and he has very mild asthma he was told that if he had to go to hospital for anything asthma related he would only be covered under the basic insurance not the extras because he is overweight - this really annoyed us but what can you do about it? anyway he decided to just go with the basic insurance as there seemed no point in getting the extras if they used his weight as an excuse against offering him the benefits in those extras - anyway i called the same company today to ask some questions about my insurance and to get some advice etc.. before deciding to go with them, i brough up the issue my husband had and he agreed that yes weight can affect the add on extra insurances so I asked if smoking does and he said not!! i couldn't believe this, so I asked if it was better for a person to smoke than be overweight and he basically said yes in an uncomfortable round about way!! I gave up smoking almost a year ago and have gained weight because of giving up so actually it would be better for me to still be smoking and be slimmer than to have quit and put weight on!! madness

As I said to him, it seems pointless to go for any extra insurances on top of your basic unless you are a hundred percent healthy person.

Nicky
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Old 18.07.2006, 13:26
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

Cheer up

If you happen to be a heroin addict, the basic insurance also coughs up (bad pun intended) for methadone treatment as well.

Nice, isn't it?

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Old 18.07.2006, 17:50
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

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Cheer up

If you happen to be a heroin addict, the basic insurance also coughs up (bad pun intended) for methadone treatment as well.

Nice, isn't it?

More here:
Smoking in restaurants
I totally agree with them paying for methadone and prescription heroin - it does help those with hopeless addictions. It is definitely better than the alternative of leaving them out on the street to scrounge up dirty drugs using dirty needles and spreading around disease and committing crimes (theft, burglary, etc.) to get the money needed for the drugs.

But - what does piss me off is that insurance does not pay for Zyban to quit smoking. If you are depressed and the doctor prescribes Wellbutrin they'll pay. No difference in drug, except for name.

Zyban was the only thing that did it for me, that allowed me to quit and stay quit for almost a year now.
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Old 18.07.2006, 18:08
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

Very interesting. I knew that the basic health insurance doesn't differentiate between non-smokers and smokers, but I assumed this is because they legal framework does not allow them to do so.

But I find it amazing that in the free-market end of the insurance products (i.e. the additional insurances which you are free to choose yourself) that they don't draw such a distinction. The fact is that smoking is the most likely thing on the planet to kill you prematurely - the odds are extremely high.

I guess it is also fair enough that health insurance companies can assess your health risk based on being overweight - after all people in this category will suffer far more health problems and therefore be more expensive, but penalising the second biggest health risk while ignoring the first biggest health risk is really quite laughable.

But the best part is this insurance is optional - so if you are a non-smoker just say no - you know that you'll be paying way over the odds for your policy because you'll be subsidising a large group (30% of the population) from a much higher risk category than yourself.

Evilshell - I agree with both of your comments there - people addicted to harmful drugs (both heroin and nicotine) cost society as a whole considerable sums of money. Spending some money to get them to kick the habit saves money for everyone in the long run!
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Old 18.07.2006, 19:23
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

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But the best part is this insurance is optional - so if you are a non-smoker just say no - you know that you'll be paying way over the odds for your policy because you'll be subsidising a large group (30% of the population) from a much higher risk category than yourself.
Well thats what I'll be doing, find it incredible that weight is a factor and not smoking, and I agree with Mark that both are a major drain on the tax payer, but to allow one and not the other is bad - what the guy did say to me was that if you are a 'healthy' smoker then you will be covered for the additional insurances but if you have damaged lungs i.e if you actually do have lung cancer then they wont cover you!! so basically he has the notion that smokers can be healthy!! and you have to have smoked a shed load and got lung cancer before they wont treat you - great eh?

I also agree with evilshell, why help one type of addict and not the other, I have also given up now almost a year and eventually managed to do it without any help but i know that lots of people need further help to quit and these tablets should be available just as methadone is for heroin addicts - I'm pretty sure those tablets are available on the NHS in the UK. The Swiss obviously don't consider smoking a major health risk!!
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Old 18.07.2006, 19:42
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

I agree to a point, but I still stand by my observation...

If someone is a hopeless heroin addict, will they have paid their health insurance premum? Spend CHF 200 ish to buy insurance monthly, or CHF 200 to get one or more fixes... (no idea of cost)?

The same heroin addicts who sell their possessions for cash for drugs?

To stop drugs related crime, then heroin and/or methadone must be provided free by someone (i.e the state), but there will always be addicts who don't register but will continue stealing.

FWIW, I stopped smoking overnight, cold turkey, back in the early 90s after realising my stupidity...
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Old 18.07.2006, 21:36
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

Actually, if you're poor the government will kick in and help pay your health insurance premiums. Basel used to be quite good for helping with premiums.

200 a month? Damn, that's cheap. I'd love for us to be paying that little - we pay ~320/month and ~400/month (1500 deductible, 500 deductible). Shopping around found little differences in premiums.

Anyway, yes, there will always still be addicts who steal to get their fix. But considering the rate of drug use here vs. the rate of crime you'll find that the crime rate is pretty low compared to the addict rate.

This wasn't my first time quitting - around 1990 I quit for about 5 or 6 years. It wasn't until I divorced my ex that I took it up again, and it took me another 7 - 8 years to quit (for good, I hope!). I quit after watching my mother in law die of lung cancer - and the poor woman never once smoked in her life.
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Old 18.07.2006, 22:15
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

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I quit after watching my mother in law die of lung cancer - and the poor woman never once smoked in her life.
Well she never smoked her own cigarettes, but she probably smoked quite a bit of other peoples' - right?
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Old 18.07.2006, 22:17
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

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Well she never smoked her own cigarettes, but she probably smoked quite a bit of other peoples' - right?
I don't know about her childhood, but my father in law quit right after they met and my husband never once smoked, either. She never worked as a waitress or barmaid or other smoky enviornments. Sometimes shit just happens, can't always blame the smokers.
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Old 19.07.2006, 09:20
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

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Actually, if you're poor the government will kick in and help pay your health insurance premiums. Basel used to be quite good for helping with premiums.

200 a month? Damn, that's cheap. I'd love for us to be paying that little - we pay ~320/month and ~400/month (1500 deductible, 500 deductible). Shopping around found little differences in premiums.

Anyway, yes, there will always still be addicts who steal to get their fix. But considering the rate of drug use here vs. the rate of crime you'll find that the crime rate is pretty low compared to the addict rate.
As Mark said in another post (credit cards), this is not a low crime country. I know several people who have had bags, phones, wallets etc stolen, and it is on the forums as well. If by low crime you mean low rates of gun-, car- and violent- crimes, then yes it is.

Will an addict fill in the forms to get assistance? I've been accosted 3-4 times for money on the S4 and, boy, these people look f---ing awful and unable to dress or wash let alone fill in forms for state help.

Nicotine addiction is different: do you sell your possession to buy some ciggies? Do you go around asking people for a few franks on the street to buy a pack? It is in a different class to heroin (or crack etc).

And what about gambling addicts, or alcoholics (winos, jakies)?

And nicotine: Is is nicotine, or is it the sheer habit and routine of having a smoke over beer or after a meal? Plenty of studies are available for me to say that.

Premiums vary per kanton etc. We pay 225 and 250 for 1500 excess (and that's only coz I changed jobs and lost my benefits)
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Old 19.07.2006, 21:57
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

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As Mark said in another post (credit cards), this is not a low crime country. I know several people who have had bags, phones, wallets etc stolen, and it is on the forums as well. If by low crime you mean low rates of gun-, car- and violent- crimes, then yes it is.

Will an addict fill in the forms to get assistance? I've been accosted 3-4 times for money on the S4 and, boy, these people look f---ing awful and unable to dress or wash let alone fill in forms for state help.

Nicotine addiction is different: do you sell your possession to buy some ciggies? Do you go around asking people for a few franks on the street to buy a pack? It is in a different class to heroin (or crack etc).

And what about gambling addicts, or alcoholics (winos, jakies)?

And nicotine: Is is nicotine, or is it the sheer habit and routine of having a smoke over beer or after a meal? Plenty of studies are available for me to say that.

Premiums vary per kanton etc. We pay 225 and 250 for 1500 excess (and that's only coz I changed jobs and lost my benefits)
I meant more violent crime (muggings and such with a weapon, etc.) Besides, as a former New Yorker, I suppose that is relative.

Addiction to nicotine is different in one major way - it does not change your mind, how you think, fill you with delusions and paranoia. It is a strong, painful, legitimate addiction. It is proven to be as addictive as drugs such as crack cocaine. And if I had not had the money to buy cigarettes, when I was an active addict, yeah - I very well could have stooped so low as to beg. But the nature of the addicted drug is not that you lose your job and home and family, etc. as a result of your behavior.

As for filling in forms for assistance? Yes, they will. If they want their rent paid, their sponsored money (which is used by most to buy booze), they will (and do). They just look for extras when they're begging - you don't get all that much in welfare, after all. And at least they've got a choice here. People only become homeless out of choice here, not by circumstances. (yes, I know this as truth, I had a friend who was in that situation and had to use social help to get emergency housing so that he was not homeless).

I think Basel is just one of the more expensive places for insurance. I"ve never had it paid for in part by an employer, so I have no idea how much they chip in.
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Old 10.06.2007, 08:45
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Re: Health Insurance

Hi Guys,
fairly new here -we are moving from the Uk to Lugano in July and trying to find what type of insuranceto get for ourselves and my two small children is a nightmare - anyone know of any good companies and the best type of policy please?

We were going to go for the top one - purly out of fright in case anything happened !! but the comany just sent everything to us in German and we could not understand it -

when we asked them to translate it they refused but I cant sign something I am not understanding - we only have 4 weeks left and I am terrified I am going to go without any insurance!! we have 2 children aged 4 and 6 and hubby healthy but overweight and I am a smoker with mild asthma - help!!!

Trying to move here is a mindfield!!!
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Old 10.06.2007, 18:09
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Re: Health Insurance

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Hi Guys,
fairly new here -we are moving from the Uk to Lugano in July and trying to find what type of insuranceto get for ourselves and my two small children is a nightmare - anyone know of any good companies and the best type of policy please?

We were going to go for the top one - purly out of fright in case anything happened !! but the comany just sent everything to us in German and we could not understand it -

when we asked them to translate it they refused but I cant sign something I am not understanding - we only have 4 weeks left and I am terrified I am going to go without any insurance!! we have 2 children aged 4 and 6 and hubby healthy but overweight and I am a smoker with mild asthma - help!!!

Trying to move here is a mindfield!!!

Actually, trying to move here from the UK is a dream compared to non EU citizens - especially now .

But anyhoo, for insurance try http://en.comparis.ch

You can compare the prices for various policies. Call the ones you like, and ask them if they can provide the documentation in English - we had English leaflets and brochures on the policies from Swica and we went with them.

As for being asthmatic and smoking. Stop smoking?

I'll need to check but I'm pretty sure that with Swica smoking was an element that effected the insurance - I'll need to fish out the stuff and take a look ...............
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Old 10.06.2007, 18:38
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

fantastic info - really good of you to take the time to reply - thanks a million!!! I will give them a try - can i ask what sort of insurance do you have? No idea whether to go basic or full or what?? Totally confused but then worried sick what type to get and if i go basic will it cost me £1000's for hopsital care ???

Smoking I know and i am a nurse!!! I am seriously going to give up when I move I mean that - the idea of moving is to reduce stress in our lives!!!
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Old 10.06.2007, 19:04
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

If you go to comparis, and check out all the links, there is a great section that explains all the concepts of Swiss health insurance, if you read those pages you will have answered most of your questions, and have learned so much you will be more at ease.

Most companies here will cover costs that fall under the basic insurance, without a hassle, so don't go for the most expensive there. It is more logical to pay more for a good company for your extra coverage; note many people split these, so have the basic with a cheaper company, and the others with a company reputable for extras' coverage.
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Old 10.06.2007, 19:21
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

errr! totally confused now - so I buy insurance of basic from one company then get extra cover from another??? oh crikey how do i do that - can i ask how you have done it
cheers xx
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Old 10.06.2007, 22:43
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

I've lived in Switzerland for 25 years and I've always had just basic health care. Tell a lie in the beginning i had half private, i decided it wasn't worth the cost. Just my point of view. I've lived to tell the tale and I've never been kept waiting for vital health treatment.
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Old 11.06.2007, 06:28
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

thanks ever so much the more i hear this the more i think basic is best - but what ahppens when you get there - do you register with a doctor and dentist then just go and see them as needed - this is what happens in the Uk? If you get a minute can you give me an example of how it works - eg, say you have a bad cough and need the doctor what happens and then do you pay with basic or do you then contact your insurance??
Sorry to be a pain
xx
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Old 11.06.2007, 09:27
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

No registration, you just go to see a doctor, any doctor. If you're not feeling too well outside of normal hours, there are some kind of emergency medical centers open all hours, a bit like A&E but the level below, for a bad cough say.

Relax, it all seems odd to you now but it's not that difficult, I had a similar feeling when I moved to the UK from Switzeland.
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Old 11.06.2007, 09:43
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Re: Smoking & Health Insurance

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thanks ever so much the more i hear this the more i think basic is best - but what ahppens when you get there - do you register with a doctor and dentist then just go and see them as needed - this is what happens in the Uk? If you get a minute can you give me an example of how it works - eg, say you have a bad cough and need the doctor what happens and then do you pay with basic or do you then contact your insurance??
Sorry to be a pain
xx

This depends on the type of insurance you get. Some policies allow you to go to any doctor and for others you nominate a doctor from a supplied list - the latter option is a little bit cheaper.

Dentists are pretty much like the UK private system. If you have dental insurance (seems expensive) you can go to whichever one you like, if not it's the same but of course you pay.

The other thing not yet mentioned in the "excess" - whatever policy you have there will be a minimum that you will pay before the insurance kicks in. 1500 CHF is not unusual.

You don't have to wait until you arrive - contact Swica or another insurance company and they will provide all the relevant information.
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