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Old 01.07.2011, 09:55
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Switch from Basic insurance to Hausarzt?

I'm currently insured with Assura on a Basic model, which as I understand I pay a little more and I can go to any doctor I like. About to have a baby at the end of the year and a rep came by yesterday with offers on Baby insurance as well as a new offer for us. He's suggesting we switch to the Hausartz (GP) model. I told him that I normally just go to a clinic down the road from here and that I don't always see the same doctor each time, and if that was still possible when I switch to the Hausartz model... and he said it wasn't a problem and that I could continue going there. Now... is he being honest or was that a lie to get me to sign up for the new model? I thought we had to specify ONE doctor and go to the same one each time we seek treatment...
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Old 01.07.2011, 10:08
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausartz?

Ask your clinic down the road if they can do HMO or Hausarzt with Assura. These schemes do save you money and you can still have free choice with your "Frauenarzt" and "Augenarzt"

I am with Visana (Not the cheapest!) but I have HMO (Hausarztmodel) in Bern (Sanacare at Bubenbergplatz 10), and Visana HMO is one of the cheapest.

You can ask Jenny our resident Insurance agent for help by personal message ( http://www.englishforum.ch/members/610-jenny.html) or look up http://en.comparis.ch/krankenkassen/default.aspx

It is very important to get your unborn baby health insurance, it starts on the birth of the baby and is very cheap, about CHF 50,-- per month. Otherwise the baby is not insured if there are birth problems.

Last edited by Longbyt; 01.07.2011 at 10:26. Reason: Please forgive me, I've corrected the 'Arzt' as this post has good info and 'search' should be able to find the words.
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Old 01.07.2011, 10:16
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausartz?

Yes Ittigen, They came to me for baby insurance but also with a new offer for us. I'm not worried about baby insurance, we'll go for what they're offering. The clinic I go to is affiliated with Sanacare and their HMO model, which I was on when we first arrived here in Switzerland. We've since switched several companies and had somehow managed to tie ourselves down with Assura with some plan/contract that means we stay with them for 5 yrs... so until 2013. They're not expensive so I don't mind that much, saves me the annual trawling of comparis for the next cheapest insurance company! LOL

In any case, switching to the Hausartz model only saves me about chf22 a month... which isn't a huge difference. While every franc and every rappen counts when you've got family to think about I just wanted to be sure before I switched over if it's worth the hassle.

I wanted to ask around and do some extra research before he comes back next Monday to finalise all the forms and stuff.
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Old 01.07.2011, 10:19
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausartz?

I just saw that your HMO clinic is at Bubenbergplatz and is probably the same one I go to I went there when I was insured with Sanacare, and I simply continued going there while insured with other companies with Basic coverage that allows me to go to any doctor I want without having to specify just ONE.
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Old 01.07.2011, 14:57
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausarzt?

I would ask Insurance Jenny before you proceed. I asked her about my baby insurance too and she was a great help esp when I have problems she can call or look thing through for you. Also, I thought you can't change your insurance until Nov, as the prices will all change in Oct anyway, so you have a bit of time rather than rushing. I get suspicious when they keep calling and asking you to sign up when there is no rush.
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Old 01.07.2011, 21:08
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausarzt?

Is there a reason you don't see the same doctor each time? My GP is also based in a medical centre with other GPs but I always go to see him, unless I urgently needed to see someone and he wasn't available. This has happened on one occasion - haven't submitted the invoices for reimbursement yet, but I assumed it wouldn't be a problem that I had seen another doctor as mine wasn't available.
I thought this model (HausArtzt) was more to do with first consulting your GP before going to a specialist
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Old 01.07.2011, 23:08
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausarzt?

Dunroaming, The new plan won't come into effect until January next year. I think I will contact Insurance Jenny

Eirean, There's no particular reason why I don't see the same doctor each time. It's kinda nice that I don't get sick often and therefore don't often need to go to the clinic. But because I don't do that, I don't get to know any of them well enough. I've been to see the same doctor twice, and that was for a follow-up, after a general checkup and barrage of blood tests. Usually when I call to make an appointment they ask me what it's for and then make an appointment with some appropriate doctor. Like when I wanted something more than over-the-counter meds for hayfever, the receptionist made me an appointment with their allergist. If I specified a doctor when I call, they will ask me why I want to see that particular doctor etc etc. I guess it's not actually that complicated but it certainly feels that way at the time.

I understand that the main point is for you to see a GP before a specialist... but does it have to be the same GP each time? or can I see any GP? I will ask Insurance Jenny that.
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Old 04.07.2011, 15:09
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausarzt?

Hi all,

Thought I would write a few lines here as it may be useful to everyone.

There are many different alternative methods to basic insurance that exist.
Not all companies offer all methods but most offer at least one.

With Assura, they have the GP method as well as the "PharMed" option.
PharMed is the same as the GP method but you always have to get your prescriptions from Sunstore chemists.

Some companies such as Visana (who have also been mentioned in this thread) offer the GP method as well as a HMO model.
With the HMO model, you just name the practice rather than the GP (N.B. It has to be one that works with Visana - not just any old practice!)

There are also TelMed and network models available with some companies.

---

Some companies are more strict than others when it comes to these alternative methods. Assura are known for being quite strict and double-check all your bills to make sure that you are going through your GP first.

Personally, I would say that whichever method you sign up for, make sure you know exactly what is asked of you in return for the discount.

People often ask me "which is the best alternative method? TelMed or GP?" etc. and I always say the same thing...

You should choose the one you are most comfortable with.
If you hate the phone then don't choose the TelMed option.
If you don't like being tied down to one GP then don't choose the GP or network option.

Also, you need to consider how much the saving is really worth to you. If you feel it's going to be a hassle every time you need to see a doctor or you forget to visit your nominated GP etc., then is the saving made with an alternative method really worth it for you?

It's a personal thing really. Like I said, you should choose the option/method you're most comfortable with.

And remember, these options are an alternative to the basic insurance and in no way compulsory.
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Old 04.07.2011, 15:10
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausartz?

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I am with Visana (Not the cheapest!) but I have HMO (Hausarztmodel) in Bern (Sanacare at Bubenbergplatz 10), and Visana HMO is one of the cheapest.
In most areas, this seems to be the case. Visana "normal" is quite expensive but their alternative methods are often competitive.
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Old 04.07.2011, 15:11
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausartz?

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It is very important to get your unborn baby health insurance, it starts on the birth of the baby and is very cheap, about CHF 50,-- per month.
This really depends on whereabouts you live and also the level of deductible you choose.

In the canton of Vaud for a 0.- deductible, with accident plus a bit of supplementary, you're looking at double that with most companies.
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Old 04.07.2011, 15:13
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausartz?

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We've since switched several companies and had somehow managed to tie ourselves down with Assura with some plan/contract that means we stay with them for 5 yrs... so until 2013. They're not expensive so I don't mind that much, saves me the annual trawling of comparis for the next cheapest insurance company!
Only the supplementary with Assura is a 5 year contract, the basic is the same as with everyone else and you can change it every year.
Having said that, Assura generally remain one of the most competitive for basic insurance so you're unlikely to want to change this anyway as the cover is the same wherever you go!
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Old 04.07.2011, 15:15
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausarzt?

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I get suspicious when they keep calling and asking you to sign up when there is no rush.
Yes, you don't want to rush into anything especially as you have another few months before needing to get cancellation letters etc. in.

To be fair, a lot of brokers prefer people to change earlier on in the year as they are snowed under from the beginning of October until the end of November.
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Old 04.07.2011, 15:15
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausarzt?

Really sorry for "spamming" this thread. I've been on here for about 5 years and still haven't figured out the multi-quote option!
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Old 04.07.2011, 16:07
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausarzt?

Thanks Jenny for all the advice you've given. I'm really quite likely to stick with Assura, as I have generally no complaints to their prices or the way they've treated us. It's a little annoying that they'd want us to decide this early on... but on the upside, it's less to think about once we get busy busy busy with upcoming baby preparations! Haha!

I think the offer the insurance consultant presented to us for the baby's insurance is not too bad, he says it's 0- deductible (no franchise), plus pretty much all the supplementaries like dental, alternative medicine and natural medicine, some invalidity or accidental death coverage(?), treatment while overseas and something else i can't remember off the top of my head... altogether it comes to chf80 a month... which, while it's probably not the cheapest offer around, I don't think is too bad. I will have to clarify with him again but he seems to imply that provided we stick with them this offer remains in effect until my child turns 18.

Though right now I'm a tad doubtful of his words to be honest.... like how he said I could keep seeing any of the doctors at the clinic even on the GP model.
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Old 04.07.2011, 18:05
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausarzt?

The GP model saves 1000000s for Assura- by stopping GP tourism (eg going to lots of different doctors for 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinions + all re-tests) and stopping patients going direct to specilalists willy nilly for no real medical reasons. It also encourages a much more 'holistic' type of medicine, where a long-term relationship of trust is built with one main doctor, who has a good overall view of your health, health history, etc. To me, having has this sort of excellent long-term GP contact in the UK- it really makes sense- not just financially, but medically too.
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Old 04.07.2011, 18:15
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Re: Switch from Basic insurance to Hausarzt?

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The GP model saves 1000000s for Assura- by stopping GP tourism (eg going to lots of different doctors for 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinions + all re-tests) and stopping patients going direct to specilalists willy nilly for no real medical reasons. It also encourages a much more 'holistic' type of medicine, where a long-term relationship of trust is built with one main doctor, who has a good overall view of your health, health history, etc. To me, having has this sort of excellent long-term GP contact in the UK- it really makes sense- not just financially, but medically too.
Agreed and coming from the UK, we're used to it. The Swiss tend to prefer this free choice though as this type of alternative method is fairly new to them.

I can also see why some of these methods may not work for everyone
e.g. if you choose a "network" alternative method and the nearest doctor on the list to you is a 20 minute drive away, or if no-one on the list speaks English.

Or if you choose the Pharmed method and there are no Sunstore chemists near you etc.

Even with the Swiss, you find that a lot always go to the same doctor anyway but still like the freedom of the normal insurance "just in case".
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Old 04.07.2011, 20:10
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many u.s. americans may also be more comfortable with the free choice (classic) model. i didn't choose gp here because i was worried about getting stuck in a restrictive network, which can happen in the us. turns out it didn't happen. i've always used my primary care doc as a referral source for most things. there is really not a gp equivalent in the us - i don't think family practice has the same background, and internal medicine isn't quite the same either - my primary care docs are usually internal medicine

here's a question. is HMO the same as hausarzt? i guess i better look this up. in the US HMO - health maintenance organization.
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