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Old 31.05.2012, 03:30
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Help with Health Insurance lingo....

Hi,

I did a test run on www.comparis.ch to check out the Health insurances.

Well, it;s been 7 years since I lived in Switzerland and there are a felt million choices....

My main question is:

What is the GP/Telmed/HMO difference,and which one would you recommend?

Do you go with the lowest franchise or the highest?

We are a family of four, seemingly healthy, but not the type that never goes to see a doctor. So maybe 2- 3 trips to doc if everything goes normal (touch wood here).

I read that Health insurance has to be completed within 3 month of arriving in Switzerland. I am wondering, well, if we do this at the beginning, but still have to go to a doc before everything is settled. What happens then? I might still have insurance from Canada, but have to check. We are flying on the 1st, so it might as well not be...

Oh well, oh well, this is just one step of so many to get this move over.
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Old 31.05.2012, 09:52
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Re: Help with Health Insurance lingo....

Before you purchase any health insurance, make sure you send a few e-mails to the company to test whether they offer any form of customer service and know their products. I waited nine months for a response to one set of questions, and have been waiting several weeks for the most recent lot (whether I write in German or English makes no difference). By the time I finally found out what I was entitled to claim, it was too late. Communication skills can be rather lacking here, so choose wisely - it will make your life much easier!

All the best with the move.
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Old 31.05.2012, 10:02
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Re: Help with Health Insurance lingo....

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I read that Health insurance has to be completed within 3 month of arriving in Switzerland. I am wondering, well, if we do this at the beginning, but still have to go to a doc before everything is settled. What happens then? I might still have insurance from Canada, but have to check. We are flying on the 1st, so it might as well not be...
You do know that you have to register with the Gemeinde/commune?

If you get an insurance within the 3 months, coverage starts at the moment you registered at the Gemeinde/commune, so you are basicalley covered from the very beginning, even if you get the insurance somewhat later (as long as you get it within the 3 months mentioned above).
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Old 31.05.2012, 10:02
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Re: Help with Health Insurance lingo....

Quote:
View Post
Hi,

I did a test run on www.comparis.ch to check out the Health insurances.

Well, it;s been 7 years since I lived in Switzerland and there are a felt million choices....

My main question is:

What is the GP/Telmed/HMO difference,and which one would you recommend?

Do you go with the lowest franchise or the highest?

We are a family of four, seemingly healthy, but not the type that never goes to see a doctor. So maybe 2- 3 trips to doc if everything goes normal (touch wood here).

I read that Health insurance has to be completed within 3 month of arriving in Switzerland. I am wondering, well, if we do this at the beginning, but still have to go to a doc before everything is settled. What happens then? I might still have insurance from Canada, but have to check. We are flying on the 1st, so it might as well not be...

Oh well, oh well, this is just one step of so many to get this move over.
This FAQ has a good overview of the different models: Health Insurance FAQs

You could pick a middle-of-the-road franchise if you wanted to hedge your bets.

If you went to the doctor before getting health insurance, it is usually covered by your insurance (though after you meet your franchise).

Good luck with the move!
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Old 31.05.2012, 21:30
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Re: Help with Health Insurance lingo....

With children it's probably worth not having a franchise, especially if they're young. The savings you gain will be minimal.

For the adults you have to figure out how much you will spend per year on the doctor and how much you save. There are some tables available online where you can see what franchise is the best for you based on what you spend.

There are also some insurance experts on the forum - e.g. Jenny, who run advice services. It's a bit of a minefield, and wading through the information is time consuming, confusing.....so although we didn't at the time, if I was doing it again I would def have a pro do some of the leg work for me!
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Old 31.05.2012, 22:08
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Re: Help with Health Insurance lingo....

A few things to consider
Do you take any prescription medicines regularly?
Are you at the age where you require any screenings, such as mammography, blood tests, etc.
Do you have pre-existing conditions (this might impact a choice for supplementary cover).

Read the FAQ, but I can give you a quick overview of the models...
GP - everything goes through your primary care physician, always your first visit, has to refer you to specialist care
HMO - you have to see doctors within a specific network, usually there's a clinic with a number of doctors and you're referred within network.
Telmed - you need to inform a call center if you want to make a doctor's appointment. They have physicians available for "triage", and could prescribe antibiotics in a pinch. So far, not very restrictive.

We've got telmed. I'm pretty happy with it - I find calling innocuous. If you're used to having GP or managed care, those may work for you.

Depending on the vote in June, there may be a strengthening of the GP model - where you'll pay more money if you don't go through a GP. I don't quite understand the implications, and as I cannot vote, I'll have to wait and see.

I've had some significant health issues and have a very low franchise. Compared to the US, I find healthcare here a good value. It's probably a good idea to model your costs to see what you might save under different franchises.
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Old 01.06.2012, 02:55
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Re: Help with Health Insurance lingo....

Quote:

Depending on the vote in June, there may be a strengthening of the GP model - where you'll pay more money if you don't go through a GP. I don't quite understand the implications, and as I cannot vote, I'll have to wait and see.
.
As I understand it, the proposal is designed to encourage people into the managed care model. Those who choose traditional models will pay a higher self-pay. I believe 15% up to CHF 1000 rather than 10% up to 700 - although the actual numbers may change once the legislation is ironed out.

I was fairly happy with an HMO plan in the US, and so have no fundamental problem with the idea here...

Except that if what one reads in the newspaper is correct, Switzerland will soon be facing an acute shortage of GPs as so few doctors want to go into this type of medicine. When I was looking for a GP, only one doctor in my area was accepting new patients - and this doctor works part time, only 9 days per month. It can easily take 3 months to get an appointment. I don't see how the managed care model can work in areas where there is a shortage of doctors.

If managed care is what the Bundesrat sees as the key to health care reform, then something needs to be done to make the role of the GP more attractive to doctors.

But this probably should be a discussion for another thread...
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