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Old 16.05.2012, 11:15
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health care/ health insurance/customs/American

Hi, I have looked through the forums and stickies but haven't found answers to my specific questions.

I am an American that will be in Switzerland for a year. I have US health insurance and would love to be exempt from the compulsory health insurance (I do know this is possible for someone in my situation to do). I am in excellent health with the exception of a condition that is under complete control so long as I take two medications daily. One medication is not a risk for abusive substance and is legal in Switzerland. The other, however, is high risk for illegal abuse and is actually not available at all in Europe, but I have read that people can ask pharmacists to make it specifically for them if they have a prescription from a foreign doctor (though that sounds a bit sketchy).

So, it's kind of overwhelming to figure all of this out. Can someone please tell me the following:

-How is the monthly payment for Swiss health insurance calculated? This would be my last resort, but one I am willing to look into.

-Do Swiss pharmacies honor prescriptions from foreign doctors? (If I were to bring a prescription and letter of explanation from my American doctor for a prescription I take regularly)

-Has anyone successfully had a prescription mailed to them? One option I have is to ask my sister to mail my prescription every 3 months with a letter from my doctor for customs.

-Can any Americans give me a general compare/contrast of the US and Swiss healthcare sector. That would be extremely helpful.

Thanks
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Old 16.05.2012, 11:24
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Re: health care/ health insurance/customs/American

I'm American but unfortunately can't help you with the majority of your questions (I'm insured via my wifes plan )

but I think the major fall down is going to be prescriptions from the U.S. -- many of the drug names are different here and unless you can convince your doc generic names ( not sure that will help either ) the pharmacy will simply not understand the prescription.

( and no, don't expect the pharmacist to try to do a referenced translation )
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Old 16.05.2012, 11:29
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Re: health care/ health insurance/customs/American

Hey, thanks for responding. I'm not quite sure what you mean, though. I get the generics of my prescriptions here in the US because they are cheaper, but I do know everything goes by different names so I will try to figure that out ahead of time and see if my doctor would include it in his letter.

Are you saying it is possible a pharmacy would be willing to fill my prescription as long as they are sure they are giving the right medication?
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Old 16.05.2012, 11:32
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Re: health care/ health insurance/customs/American

ok.... truth is I don't really know... but as long as they understand what the drug is I can't see why they wouldnt fill the prescription ( in return for full payment of course.. you sort insurance )

that said.. I have never had to fill a US prescription here, I have however filled Swiss prescriptions in the US and England and no problem.
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Old 16.05.2012, 11:36
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Re: health care/ health insurance/customs/American

According to your profile, you will be an au pair in Geneva, right? (edit: or it did say that :P) If so, your employer should be contributing at least half to your health insurance: http://www.ge.ch/moe/uk/procedures/e...demande_et.asp

Your American insurance probably has limits on out-of-country travel/residence and what it will cover, so really check into that.

The Swiss health insurance system is similar to the US system, in that there is not national coverage, but instead many different companies providing insurance. The difference is that there is a mandate that everyone has to purchase health insurance (similar to what will happen if the US health care law goes into full effect). Basic health insurance is required for everyone and is fairly comprehensive - the premium is based on your canton of residence, your gender, and your age. The cheapest premium with the highest deductible would probably be in the 150 CHF / month range, as a rough guess. No one can be denied basic health insurance. Supplemental insurance covers more things, and there are lots of different options, but you can be denied supplemental insurance. Check http://en.comparis.ch for a better look at how much you could be paying.

I still have an active prescription in the US that I mail order (even without US insurance, it's still cheaper in the US than in Switzerland, for this particular drug), but I pick it up or have someone else pick it up for me in the US, rather than dealing with customs. Can't help with your other questions!

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Hi, I have looked through the forums and stickies but haven't found answers to my specific questions.

I am an American that will be in Switzerland for a year. I have US health insurance and would love to be exempt from the compulsory health insurance (I do know this is possible for someone in my situation to do). I am in excellent health with the exception of a condition that is under complete control so long as I take two medications daily. One medication is not a risk for abusive substance and is legal in Switzerland. The other, however, is high risk for illegal abuse and is actually not available at all in Europe, but I have read that people can ask pharmacists to make it specifically for them if they have a prescription from a foreign doctor (though that sounds a bit sketchy).

So, it's kind of overwhelming to figure all of this out. Can someone please tell me the following:

-How is the monthly payment for Swiss health insurance calculated? This would be my last resort, but one I am willing to look into.

-Do Swiss pharmacies honor prescriptions from foreign doctors? (If I were to bring a prescription and letter of explanation from my American doctor for a prescription I take regularly)

-Has anyone successfully had a prescription mailed to them? One option I have is to ask my sister to mail my prescription every 3 months with a letter from my doctor for customs.

-Can any Americans give me a general compare/contrast of the US and Swiss healthcare sector. That would be extremely helpful.

Thanks

Last edited by anowheels; 16.05.2012 at 12:22.
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Old 16.05.2012, 11:52
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Re: health care/ health insurance/customs/American

One additional thought - you could ask your current doctor about getting a year supply of the second medication (is it possible, how much would it cost without insurance, as usually insurance only covers a 90 day supply at a time, etc.)

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Hi, I have looked through the forums and stickies but haven't found answers to my specific questions.

I am an American that will be in Switzerland for a year. I have US health insurance and would love to be exempt from the compulsory health insurance (I do know this is possible for someone in my situation to do). I am in excellent health with the exception of a condition that is under complete control so long as I take two medications daily. One medication is not a risk for abusive substance and is legal in Switzerland. The other, however, is high risk for illegal abuse and is actually not available at all in Europe, but I have read that people can ask pharmacists to make it specifically for them if they have a prescription from a foreign doctor (though that sounds a bit sketchy).

So, it's kind of overwhelming to figure all of this out. Can someone please tell me the following:

-How is the monthly payment for Swiss health insurance calculated? This would be my last resort, but one I am willing to look into.

-Do Swiss pharmacies honor prescriptions from foreign doctors? (If I were to bring a prescription and letter of explanation from my American doctor for a prescription I take regularly)

-Has anyone successfully had a prescription mailed to them? One option I have is to ask my sister to mail my prescription every 3 months with a letter from my doctor for customs.

-Can any Americans give me a general compare/contrast of the US and Swiss healthcare sector. That would be extremely helpful.

Thanks
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