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Old 09.03.2011, 19:44
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Foreign Insurance - Hospital Bill

Hi everyone,

I searched to see if I could find a similar thread but didn't find one so forgive me if this question has been asked and answered before.

The significant other is from an Eastern European Country and had to go to hospital for medical treatment. She is properly insured through her country's health insurance and received their permission before going to hospital. She was directed to go to specific hospital and clinic.

Her country's insurance has not paid the bills and now the clinic and hospital are trying to chase her down to pay. The hospital bill is large and the clinic bill is not too bad.

Is she obligated under Swiss law to pay these bills even though she was sent by her country's insurance provider to these places and the insurance company approved the treatment. According to her, she didn't sign any paperwork stating she would pay.

I hope someone can give me a quick answer to this. I have my thoughts on it but hope one of you knows more. Thanks in advance!
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Old 09.03.2011, 19:50
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Re: Foreign Insurance - Hospital Bill

Sorry to hear this and hope she is getting better. Was she on holiday when this happened, or working here, or resident with you working? Very difficult to advise with such vague details. Was it a true emergency, or linked to a pre-existing condition? Does she have a EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) - this would cover her in case of a true emergency/accident but not for anything else. if you are resident here you have to be properly Insured from day 1 - although you have 3 months to organise it (payments will be backdated to day 1- in fact day 1 of the first month (we moved on 23rd of a month, and had to pay for the whole month).
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Old 09.03.2011, 19:59
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Re: Foreign Insurance - Hospital Bill

I have a nasty feeling that if all else fails, the patient is responsible for paying the bill.

I'm sure I read of a case some time back, where a hospital sent a bill after about ?six years. As there had already been certain bills from the hospital, the patient had no idea that there was one thing still open. Under Swiss law the patient was still liable to pay, but the Health Insurance would only have had to pay up to five years after the event.
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Old 09.03.2011, 20:09
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Re: Foreign Insurance - Hospital Bill

Thanks for the help. Sorry I was a little vague. Trying to keep message short and was too short.

She has valid residence permit and is student here. She was hurt in accident here and thus required the medical treatment from those injuries. Her insurance is valid here because she was not required to get new insurance in Switzerland. The problem is that she thought this was paid already because it has been a few months and now she is getting calls from the billing departments for the hospital and clinic. The government insurance approved the treatment but I guess is getting the alligator arms now that the bills have been sent.

I figured that she would unfortunately be liable in the worst case scenario but was happy to get your opinions because you likely know much more than I. Fortunately, I haven't needed to do much insurance related things here so my knowledge is limited.. Thanks again for the help!
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Old 09.03.2011, 20:13
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Re: Foreign Insurance - Hospital Bill

There are exceptions for students - she should go to her University's foreing student office, and they will support her.
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Old 09.03.2011, 22:15
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Re: Foreign Insurance - Hospital Bill

Quote:
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According to her, she didn't sign any paperwork stating she would pay.
You don't get admission to a hospital (at least when conscious) without signing forms - I suspect these will make her liable for payment if all else fails...
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Old 09.03.2011, 22:33
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Re: Foreign Insurance - Hospital Bill

Keep pursuing this with your insurance, see if you can get some straight answers.

Generally speaking the patient is responsible for payment. The insurance then re-imburses the patient. But it really depends on the insurance policy and what procedures were undertaken. It can vary greatly from country to country.
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Old 09.03.2011, 23:05
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Re: Foreign Insurance - Hospital Bill

Thanks for the help everyone. I'll keep pressing the insurance company for payment and see what happens from there. If it was dealing with a Switzerland based insurance company, i'm sure this would all be much easier.
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Old 09.03.2011, 23:37
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Re: Foreign Insurance - Hospital Bill

Odile wrote:

There are exceptions for students - she should go to her University's foreign student office, and they will support her.
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