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Old 10.05.2011, 22:00
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Notification of Changes to Health Insurance at Federal Level


I have searched for information on this, but with no joy.

Are health insurance companies obligated to notify their customers of changes which will take place (to their cover) as a result of changes at a federal level?

To give an example:

I was hospitalised in January for a month and a half. I had 3 hospitalisations last year, all at the same place, so I thought I knew the drill.

Bills went to Assura, last week I got the bill for my share (except it's not exactly a bill, but a notification of when the money will be taken from my account).

I've already passed my franchise (I'm the sort of customer health insurance companies hate), and this little stay used up my 'quote-part' too, as far as I can make out. They haven't charged me for the full 10% at any rate. But the bill was still rather high. Then I looked at the hospital contribution. It was MASSIVE. I looked out the bills from my last little visit. No-where close.

Then I saw the small print on the latest bill. Apparently the 'Department Fédéral de l'Interieur' raised the hospital contribution rates on the 1st January 2011. From 10 fr to 15 fr. That explained my huge bill.

Now my question is: should I have been notified of this change by my insurance company? I have a copy of the policy conditions for basic insurance, but it is the one I was sent when I took out the policy in 2009. Shouldn't they have re-written, and re-issued, the policies to reflect this change, which is, after all, pretty major? Or do they not have to because it was a change at federal level?

And, if they should have notified me, does that mean I can contest the payment and only pay the 10 fr that is listed in my policy?

In the interests of giving people the big picture, I don't actually pay for my health insurance because I get revenue d'insertion. One branch of social services pay my premiums, another pay the 10% and additional costs like hospital contribution fees and ambulance fees. So I'm not in a panic because I have a huge bill I can't afford to pay... I'm miffed because I wasn't informed of what I consider a major change in my conditions. Of course, if I were earning and paying my own way I would be panicking... but just to make it clear I'm not looking for information on how to pay this unexpectedly big bill... just clarification if it is legal to inform me of the change in the law only when it affects me.

I have a second question regarding quote-parts and hospital contributions, but I'll start a new thread because I think it's a different issue.

Last edited by Vlh22; 10.05.2011 at 22:24. Reason: Added link to other thread.
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health insurance, hospital contribution, insurance changes, notification of changes

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