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-   -   Cost of levothyroxine (https://www.englishforum.ch/family-matters-health/302111-cost-levothyroxine.html)

deekau 10.01.2021 20:22

Cost of levothyroxine
 
Hi,

I am new to Switzerland and am trying to figure out the best health insurance franchise for my case. I moved here from the United States. I am fairly healthy and don't usually visit the doctor except for an annual visit to get some basic blood work and my prescription for levothyroxine renewed. My insurance used to cover the cost of my prescription completely in the United States. Does anyone have any idea on how much the drug costs here and if I should opt for a lower franchise given I need a regular supply of levothyroxine? or is the cost of levothyroxine low enough that it shouldn't be a problem. I am used to taking the generic version of the drug.

Pdalsantus 12.01.2021 09:40

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Hello,

The overall cost per package (50 capsules) is below 25chf and your insurance will cover minimum up to 70% of it. The remaining 30% depends on the franchise limit of your health insurance model (check on comparis web site in English for a full comparison).

I hope this helps you.

roegner 12.01.2021 09:45

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pdalsantus (Post 3262036)
Hello,

The overall cost per package (50 capsules) is below 25chf and your insurance will cover minimum up to 70% of it. The remaining 30% depends on the franchise limit of your health insurance model (check on comparis web site in English for a full comparison).

I hope this helps you.


Basically you will have to pay for it yourself. Your deductible minimum is 250 CHF and if you only need LThyroxin, you will not reach that threshold.

Belgianmum 12.01.2021 09:48

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
I guess the price varies depending on the dose but the box I have in front of me costs 14.70chf for a hundred 75ug tablets so a whole year’s supply would be under 60chf.
It doesn’t seem worth opting for a lower franchise and higher premiums just for that but it might be worth it if you need specialist visits and other tests associated with it throughout the year.

The insurance company won’t reimburse any if the costs until your franchise is reached and you wouldn’t even reach the lowest franchise possible (300chf) just for the tablets. It’s the consultation costs which will be the biggest expense for you.

Ato 12.01.2021 10:51

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Not covered. The blood tests aren't covered either in my experience.
The medication is far from breaking the bank though.

Belgianmum 12.01.2021 11:10

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ato (Post 3262067)
Not covered. The blood tests aren't covered either in my experience.
The medication is far from breaking the bank though.

They are all covered once the franchise is reached, at least they are for my husband.

Ato 12.01.2021 11:12

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Belgianmum (Post 3262078)
They are all covered once the franchise is reached, at least they are for my husband.

My tests are pretty much the only routine thing I see a doctor for. My franchise remains beyond reach.

Izzt89 12.01.2021 11:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by deekau (Post 3261278)
Hi,

I am new to Switzerland and am trying to figure out the best health insurance franchise for my case. I moved here from the United States. I am fairly healthy and don't usually visit the doctor except for an annual visit to get some basic blood work and my prescription for levothyroxine renewed. My insurance used to cover the cost of my prescription completely in the United States. Does anyone have any idea on how much the drug costs here and if I should opt for a lower franchise given I need a regular supply of levothyroxine? or is the cost of levothyroxine low enough that it shouldn't be a problem. I am used to taking the generic version of the drug.

It doesn't matter if it is original or generics, prices of Levothyroxine are 10 times higher in Switzerland than in the rest of EU countries. I would strongly suggest to take the doctors' prescription, and, in any trip that you make to France, Germany, or any other country, go to a pharmacy, and buy 3 or 4 boxes (for the whole year). If the pharmacist frown (which, s/he shouldn't, as you have an original prescription), just tell him/her that you are on holidays and forgot to pack the pills. Price in EU countries = 2.5 EU/box.
Cheers, and welcome to Switzerland....

Quote:

Originally Posted by deekau (Post 3261278)
Hi,

I am fairly healthy and don't usually visit the doctor except for an annual visit to get some basic blood work and my prescription for levothyroxine renewed. .....
and if I should opt for a lower franchise given I need a regular supply of levothyroxine? or is the cost of levothyroxine low enough that it shouldn't be a problem. I am used to taking the generic version of the drug.

BTW, If you decide to go to the minimum premium (with 2500 CHF cost/year allowance), and you co-pay 300 CHF+ for some GYN yearly check..(let alone the cost of your endocrinologist, which might be even higher), you will see that the Levothyroxine is the least of your costs...

EastEnders 12.01.2021 11:39

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ato (Post 3262067)
Not covered. The blood tests aren't covered either in my experience.
The medication is far from breaking the bank though.

Don't know where you got that info from, Ato.
Ob/Gyn exams and blood tests are also covered by basic insurance.

The blood tests are covered indeed, with basic insurance. They were already over 20yrs ago when my GP did them and are still now when the Endocrinologist does them, as well as the examination.


@OP I got Hashimoto since about ~25 yrs,
First on Eltroxine 0.05mg ( 100 tablets cost 9.35.-), am now on Euthyrox 50mcg ( 100tablets 14.70.-).

I buy the tablets in bulk at my pharmacy for one year ( because my son also has Hashi and is on same meds so should I snuff it, he can inherit them and use them up)

I pay myself, save the bills and at the end of the year I have accumulated more expenses than 500.- ( my deductible minimum) and then send everything in bulk to my insurance.

Belgianmum 12.01.2021 11:42

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ato (Post 3262081)
My tests are pretty much the only routine thing I see a doctor for. My franchise remains beyond reach.

Ah, itís because of your franchise. I thought you meant they werenít covered per se.

Ato 12.01.2021 11:49

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by EastEnders (Post 3262108)
Don't know where you got that info from, Ato.
Ob/Gyn exams and blood tests are also covered by basic insurance.

I'll try again this year so! Don't know why they didn't cover them last year, I still suspect my bargain basement insurance coverage though.
Thanks for the info.

EastEnders 12.01.2021 12:14

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ato (Post 3262113)
I'll try again this year so! Don't know why they didn't cover them last year, I still suspect my bargain basement insurance coverage though.
Thanks for the info.

Could perhaps be the case indeed, that it depends on the company! DOH, didn't think of that.
I am on plain basic mandatory insurance without any bells and whistles

deekau 12.01.2021 19:59

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Thank you for all your responses!

As I am healthy otherwise and the difference in premium between the 300 and 2500 franchise is almost 1500 CHF, I am going to risk it this year and go for the higher franchise. I hope my doctor visit and blood test doesn't come to 1500 CHF!

EastEnders 12.01.2021 20:35

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by deekau (Post 3262391)
Thank you for all your responses!

As I am healthy otherwise and the difference in premium between the 300 and 2500 franchise is almost 1500 CHF, I am going to risk it this year and go for the higher franchise. I hope my doctor visit and blood test doesn't come to 1500 CHF!

It'll be in the region of 350 to 550 depending on doctor.
Either I misread or misunderstood.... but do you know what the franchise is?

It is the amount you have to pay yourself annually first, before the insurance kicks in. Then the insurance covers 90% of the cost and you cover the other 10%.

A franchise of 1'500 means, you should financially be able to cover 1500.- before the health insurance will cover costs. A franchise as high as that will result in a lower monthly premium. That's all.

deekau 12.01.2021 20:47

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by EastEnders (Post 3262409)
It'll be in the region of 350 to 550 depending on doctor.
Either I misread or misunderstood.... but do you know what the franchise is?

It is the amount you have to pay yourself annually first, before the insurance kicks in. Then the insurance covers 90% of the cost and you cover the other 10%.

A franchise of 1'500 means, you should financially be able to cover 1500.- before the health insurance will cover costs. A franchise as high as that will result in a lower monthly premium. That's all.


Yes! It seems similar to the deductible in the US. Thank you for an estimate for the doctor visit as well. Assuming a doctor visit charge of 350-550 with the medicines costing ~60 CHF, the most I might end up paying would be ~600-650 for the year, which is still lower than the difference in annual premium for a 300 CHF franchise.... thats my logic to go with the higher franchise.

EastEnders 12.01.2021 21:08

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by deekau (Post 3262415)
Yes! It seems similar to the deductible in the US. Thank you for an estimate for the doctor visit as well. Assuming a doctor visit charge of 350-550 with the medicines costing ~60 CHF, the most I might end up paying would be ~600-650 for the year, which is still lower than the difference in annual premium for a 300 CHF franchise.... thats my logic to go with the higher franchise.

My estimate is based on an appointment at the endocrinologists and the blood works plus prescription. Regular GP visits are much less.

Izzt89 13.01.2021 09:34

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by EastEnders (Post 3262108)

@OP I got Hashimoto since about ~25 yrs,
First on Eltroxine 0.05mg ( 100 tablets cost 9.35.-), am now on Euthyrox 50mcg ( 100tablets 14.70.-).

.

The tablets might cost 9.35 or 14.70...but there is a pharmacy 'service fee' in this country for up to 25 CHF... want it or not! (particularly if you don't speak German, they will try to charge it to you)

EastEnders 13.01.2021 11:18

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Izzt89 (Post 3262545)
The tablets might cost 9.35 or 14.70...but there is a pharmacy 'service fee' in this country for up to 25 CHF... want it or not! (particularly if you don't speak German, they will try to charge it to you)

Hence, also why, I buy them in bulk, then you pay those charges only once. If you get that medication individually, the charges would be double each time.
One charge is 7.55.- for explaining the med to you, and 4.30.- is for filing a dossier and double check ( 4 augen Check, e,g asking Co-worker or superior) that it is the right med.

You can simply avoid the 7.55.- charge, when asked if you know the med with yes. Onviously, only when you know the medication indeed

daniellabird 14.01.2021 14:20

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Over the years I've had CSS, Group Mutuel, and KPT insurance. Levothyroxine (goes under the names Eltroxin and Euthyrox here) has not been covered until the franchise is met. The cost varies a bit depending on the insurer but is similar to the numbers others have reported:
Approx 22 chf for a box of 100 tablets (100mcg) at the pharmacy, or through the insurer's own pharmacy 14.80 chf per box. So won't break the bank. Lab tests are also not covered by the insurance until the franchise is met.

Unless you have substantial other yearly healthcare costs, it's definitely **not** worth paying more per month for your insurance to have a lower franchise just to get this medication covered.

A "Dauerrezept" here is valid for 1 year, and then they want you to make another appointment with your provider. Once your doctor has seen you a few times, it seems they're relatively ok with providing a prescription renewal for one more year without seeing you in person. I've just tried that for a second year as I'm trying to avoid unnecessary contact with covid until cases drop and such, and they've scheduled a phone consultation before reissuing the prescription.

doropfiz 14.01.2021 16:07

Re: Cost of levothyroxine
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by deekau (Post 3262391)
Thank you for all your responses!

As I am healthy otherwise and the difference in premium between the 300 and 2500 franchise is almost 1500 CHF, I am going to risk it this year and go for the higher franchise. I hope my doctor visit and blood test doesn't come to 1500 CHF!

That's a risk worth taking if, right from the start, you can set aside 1500 for medical expenses. If you do that at the beginning, you won't ever have to hesitate to get medical treatment, right away, whenever you need it.


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