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Old 04.02.2011, 20:18
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Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

We are planning to start trying early next year. Have been adviced by my doctor to get a semi private insurance already now due to 1 year waiting period. It is not exactly cheap and therefore I would like to understand whether it is really worth it. I understand that the benefits are chosing a hospital and a doctor, together with sharing a room with only one more person. However would like to understand what are the basic conditons and how do they compare to semi private option. Living in basel I would have to to Uni Spital, which i heard to be good. There would be another doctor, however I hope all of them are adequateky qualified, right? I would have to share room with more than two people... how many?
Could anyone please share some experience here? How benefitial is it to pay semi private hospital insurance?
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Old 04.02.2011, 21:14
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

I'm not an expert in this matter so I suggest that you weigh a variety of opinions on this. My wife is 17 weeks into her pregnancy and we are in Basel as well. She has semi-private insurance. As I understand it, it is mainly a matter of comfort and wether your economy can afford it. It is by no means a must. In the Uni. Spital, without semi-private, you would be in a room with 3 other people... with semi-private you would share with one other person. Another difference, is in the choice of Doctors, some only take semi-private... these tend to be the most sought after.
Having said this, my advice would be to lower your deductible to the lowest amount (one you get pregnant)... in our case it was 500 francs. This was, by far, the best decision we made when preparing for this 2nd pregnancy. This does not come into play if your pregnancy goes perfectly... as it is covered. It does make a mayor difference if there are any complications. Without going into detail, i can assure you that it was the best move we made. Well worth the extra 50 francs a month in our case. It is nice to be able to go to the hospital if you are worried about something and not have to think about the cost.
I hope this helped a bit.
Best of luck.
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Old 04.02.2011, 21:34
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

Many hospitals offer upgrade to a single room just for the week after the birth. Many doctors offer upgrades too so you can choose that doctor to be at the birth. You pay directly in both cases and you don't need to keep paying for private insurance for 2 full years (read the conditions carefully. Some policies say that if you cancel within 12 months after the birth you have to pay for 100% of the costs for the birth and your hospital stay )

The only difference in care between basic and private insurance is that you can choose the doctor and hospital. I've been told that some doctors only see semi-private/private patients too.

My experience was that the seniority of the doctor is the general doctor unless you have complications or something that needs to be double checked and then I saw the head doctor. I had no choice of doctor but scheduled my operations on days my choice of doctor was on duty.

I think that getting cover outside your kanton of residence so you can choose another specialist hospital and reducing your excess is a better use of your money. That's what we do, since work pays in our case but only up until a certain amount.
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Old 04.02.2011, 23:03
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

Ask your insurance co which hospitals you would have the choice of for basic/semi-private and go visit them to see which you are happy with. I had basic ins (no choice, pregnant when arrived) and went for a private birthing house, so ins co paid the medical fees and I paid for 2 days in wochenbett. It probably didn't make much difference to the extra we would have paid per month for semi-private ins, though it did mean I cut my stay in wochenbett very short, but coming from the UK where you get kicked out the same day that was what I wanted to do anyway. Staying in Switzerland now, I think it's worth paying for ins to have options and peace of mind, but it is very personal decision. Good luck!
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Old 04.02.2011, 23:07
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

I took semi private out purely because I wanted to be at the hospital my Gyne worked at as we'd had a long medical history with him - he worked at the hirslanden which is private only. Had my circumstances been different I'd have had no qualms having basic insurance and going to one of the basic hospitals
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Old 05.02.2011, 13:59
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

In the UK, I was put in a private room following a late night c-section for the birth of my first child. By lunchtime the next day, I was begging to be moved to a ward - I was so lonely and really wanted to talk to people endlessly about my birth story, show them my new baby, see theirs, hear their stories, pick up tips from 2nd or 3rd time mums in the ward, etc.

I was in for 6 days, and it was marvellous being in a 4 person ward. Like a slightly medical boarding school. I think the emotional and practical support we all gave each other really helped with getting the whole 'birth, gosh, that was a shock' out of our systems. Not to mention it's muuuuch easier to nip for a shower if you have Lucy in the next bed who'll keep an eye on your baby for you for 10 mins.
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Old 05.02.2011, 14:12
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

I would ask you Dr why he/she thinks you need it.

Personally, I think that if you can afford semi private you should. The benefit of knowing that you can see who you want is worth it to me. I hate to say it but there is the chance that you have complications getting pregnant or while pregnant and being able to see a specialist (often they only see patients with semi or private insurance) on short notice is worth it.
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Old 05.02.2011, 15:25
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

Even in semi-pvt room setting, my wife's phone got stolen during a very short stay. This was a recent incident. Nothing similar ever happened in the pervious 7+ years. It was at a kantonal hospital in a "non-urban" city. The other patient in the room also made her privacy wishes clear to my wife.

One never knows who the other patients may be. Possibly something to think about . . .
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Old 05.02.2011, 16:05
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

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I'm not an expert in this matter so I suggest that you weigh a variety of opinions on this. My wife is 17 weeks into her pregnancy and we are in Basel as well. She has semi-private insurance. As I understand it, it is mainly a matter of comfort and wether your economy can afford it. It is by no means a must. In the Uni. Spital, without semi-private, you would be in a room with 3 other people... with semi-private you would share with one other person. Another difference, is in the choice of Doctors, some only take semi-private... these tend to be the most sought after.
Having said this, my advice would be to lower your deductible to the lowest amount (one you get pregnant)... in our case it was 500 francs. This was, by far, the best decision we made when preparing for this 2nd pregnancy. This does not come into play if your pregnancy goes perfectly... as it is covered. It does make a mayor difference if there are any complications. Without going into detail, i can assure you that it was the best move we made. Well worth the extra 50 francs a month in our case. It is nice to be able to go to the hospital if you are worried about something and not have to think about the cost.
I hope this helped a bit.
Best of luck.
Thanks. Currently I have the highest franchise but will lower it to 500 as of next year. Btw, with the smallest franchise semi private insurance costs 94chf/month with my insurance (SWICA), not 50 .
Coudl I please ask whether you considered any other hospitals apart from Uni Spital and why did you chose it?
Best luck to you, your wife and the little one as well.
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Old 05.02.2011, 16:20
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

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Many hospitals offer upgrade to a single room just for the week after the birth. Many doctors offer upgrades too so you can choose that doctor to be at the birth. You pay directly in both cases and you don't need to keep paying for private insurance for 2 full years (read the conditions carefully. Some policies say that if you cancel within 12 months after the birth you have to pay for 100% of the costs for the birth and your hospital stay )

The only difference in care between basic and private insurance is that you can choose the doctor and hospital. I've been told that some doctors only see semi-private/private patients too.

My experience was that the seniority of the doctor is the general doctor unless you have complications or something that needs to be double checked and then I saw the head doctor. I had no choice of doctor but scheduled my operations on days my choice of doctor was on duty.

I think that getting cover outside your kanton of residence so you can choose another specialist hospital and reducing your excess is a better use of your money. That's what we do, since work pays in our case but only up until a certain amount.
I have calculated that semi private suplementory insurance for let's say 3 years would cost around 3500chf. From what I understood this would be the min time I would have to pay it. How much am I saving vs upgrading to a better room and paying my doctor for attending the operation? Provided of course everything goes without complications and extra expenses.
Would anyone here know the rates?
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Old 05.02.2011, 16:37
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

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I would ask you Dr why he/she thinks you need it.

Personally, I think that if you can afford semi private you should. The benefit of knowing that you can see who you want is worth it to me. I hate to say it but there is the chance that you have complications getting pregnant or while pregnant and being able to see a specialist (often they only see patients with semi or private insurance) on short notice is worth it.
Obviously the doctor thinks I need it cause she would be able to attend then.
We could also afford it, but provided saving for a car and a weeding extra few thousands would be very handy.
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Old 05.02.2011, 17:24
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

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Would anyone here know the rates?
It depends on the hospital, you can call and ask them how much per day (charge is per calendar day not per night).

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Obviously the doctor thinks I need it cause she would be able to attend then.
Personally I think it's irrelevant what your doctor thinks. The important thing is whether you would like the extra choice in where you give birth. The vast majority of women have perfectly normal, uncomplicated pregnancies and births and in these situations doctors don't need to do anything, midwives are the experts.

Remember this is not just about choice in pregnancy and birth. Should you fall ill and need treatment for any reason you will get greater choice of medical care with semi-private. Taking it out now when you are healthy reduces the risk of being denied supplementary at a later date if you ant it when you are less healthy. Also if you choose to have more than one child you will not be paying just for 3 years for semi-private. Don't get too hung up on what you want for your first child - you will almost certainly get great care in Switzerland regardless of where you go - think about what suits your health needs longer term.
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Old 05.02.2011, 17:37
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

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Even in semi-pvt room setting, my wife's phone got stolen during a very short stay. This was a recent incident. Nothing similar ever happened in the pervious 7+ years. It was at a kantonal hospital in a "non-urban" city. The other patient in the room also made her privacy wishes clear to my wife.

One never knows who the other patients may be. Possibly something to think about . . .
Very true, the first lady in the room I was in was very hormonal and suffering severe baby blues, I felt like I had to walk on egg shells, I didn't dare have visitors and as she sent her baby to the baby room at night I felt I had to too, i was relieved when she lost the plot and they put her in a private room next door, the lady who took her place was lovely and gave me lots of advice as a second time mum During the 3 nights with the 'sensitive' woman I thought it would be much easier if this was a 4 room ward I wouldn't have felt so bad making noise etc...

However I loved being in the Hirslanden it's more like a 5 star hotel - for this reason I was glad to have semi private (especially as I needed to be there for 2 weeks)
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Old 05.02.2011, 17:55
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

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I have calculated that semi private suplementory insurance for let's say 3 years would cost around 3500chf. From what I understood this would be the min time I would have to pay it. How much am I saving vs upgrading to a better room and paying my doctor for attending the operation? Provided of course everything goes without complications and extra expenses.
Would anyone here know the rates?
Here are the rates for the Hirslanden Kliniks: http://www.hirslanden-baby.ch/de/hig...s/upgrades.cfm
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Old 05.02.2011, 18:04
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

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Very true, the first lady in the room I was in was very hormonal and suffering severe baby blues, I felt like I had to walk on egg shells, I didn't dare have visitors and as she sent her baby to the baby room at night I felt I had to too...
That's terrible. I am going in on Monday for my c-section and have halb-privat cover. We were not planning to have another child otherwise I would have gone full private because we had that back home with choice of hospital, doctor and no out of pocket expenses.

I just hope the other person in my room isn't like what you endured because my visitors are coming regardless (my other two children, husband and mother in law). Hells fury couldn't keep my mother in law away . Plus I don't plan to send my baby to the nursery at night because I did that with my first child and I really think it interferred with my bonding and subsequently breastfeeding.

O.K., if you think you are going to get pregnant straight away think again. Through my personal experience and my friends, it can be very difficult to get pregnant. It might depend on how old you are, how stressed your life is (including if you get stressed that you are not pregnant), your diet, and unfortunately how long you were stopping yourself from getting pregnant (ie the pill). Best of luck that it is quick for you - perhaps not too quick for your husbands sake

Last edited by robyn.oz; 05.02.2011 at 18:06. Reason: add OP id
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Old 05.02.2011, 18:10
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

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Plus I don't plan to send my baby to the nursery at night because I did that with my first child and I really think it interferred with my bonding and subsequently breastfeeding.
Given my time over again I wouldn't either but I was a bit spaced out from C section plus I was really overwhelmed by it all and had no idea what i should be doing

Anyway i think I was just unlucky
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Old 06.02.2011, 07:50
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

One thing that I am sure off is that first time mothering is difficult regardless of the hospital or birthing centre, or whether it is a natural birth or turns out to be a cesearean.

Be prepared. Get educated. Read your books and check if your insurance company will cover antenatal classes. I am not talking about the one-off two hour session run by the hospital, I mean the 6 week or even longer courses that prepare you for both the birth and what comes afterwards.

The second child is a lot easier, but not mistake-proof
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Old 06.02.2011, 09:03
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O.K., if you think you are going to get pregnant straight away think again. Through my personal experience and my friends, it can be very difficult to get pregnant. :
Let's not stress the op before she even gets started! You just never know until you try. I have friends who have trying for ages, some who fell pregnant straightaway with first then second took ages, some vice versa, one was told she would never conceive naturally and a month later was preg; me, I thought it would take ages as we were living in different countries but a year later I was holding a baby...
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Old 06.02.2011, 09:27
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

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We are planning to start trying early next year. Have been adviced by my doctor to get a semi private insurance already now due to 1 year waiting period. It is not exactly cheap and therefore I would like to understand whether it is really worth it. I understand that the benefits are chosing a hospital and a doctor, together with sharing a room with only one more person. However would like to understand what are the basic conditons and how do they compare to semi private option. Living in basel I would have to to Uni Spital, which i heard to be good. There would be another doctor, however I hope all of them are adequateky qualified, right? I would have to share room with more than two people... how many?
Could anyone please share some experience here? How benefitial is it to pay semi private hospital insurance?
Hi there,

I think it is very good advice that your doctor gave you, and it is good that you consider now what kind of service you want, and how much you are willing to pay for it. Some previous posters already provided some good tips, and I will add a bit of our experience here as well.

We are half-private insured with a CHF 1500 personal costs per annum. My wife delivered our 4th child here in Basel (we brought in the first 3 when we moved here). The pregnancy went well, and we decided to go to the Bruderholz hospital. The delivery was great, at least as far as deliveries can be great , and this was partially due to the very well equipped and nice delivery room, and the private room to spend the time with our youngest the days after delivery. My wife and youngest left the hospital well rested and relatively fit.
  • So, why don't you first check with your health insurance company what exactly is currently covered. You do not have to tell them that you want to get pregnant.
  • Then (or in parallel) just call both the University Hospital Basel AND the Bruderholz Hospital for more information on service and costs.
  • Then consider whether you would like to see the actual delivery rooms and hospital rooms. We did this, and it was really very comforting to know where my wife "would end up", and which way we needed to run in case the baby would come earlier or faster than expected.
  • Next make a wish list of "need to have" and "nice to have" and ask your insurance company how much both would cost you, so that you can make an informed decision.
Hope this is of help. All the best with trying and getting your baby. When the baby arrives, the problems have just begun......
KR
Henk
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Old 06.02.2011, 09:32
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Re: Pregnancy planning - insurance advice

Oh, I forgot to add. Note that most insurances will not cover any help in your household after you returned from the hospital back home. Make sure to consider either professional help for the 2-3 weeks after your delivery, or have some fresh grandmothers around to help you during these weeks.

It is not fun to serve coffee and tea to a crowd of 10 mothers and their 12 kids when you just got out of the hospital and actually still need time for yourself.
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