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Old 23.05.2012, 22:54
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paying up front for prescriptions?

I have never in all my seven years in Switzerland had to pay for a prescription up front. My company got bought by CSS which got bought by Intras and I walk into the pharmacy today and the pharmacist told me that since I am Intras I have to pay first and get reimbursed. I have never heard this before. Had I been in Lausanne I would have pitched a fit but as I was dealing with the language barrier...

is this for real?

Why didn't Intras send me anything?

I read my policy (which for 2012 still says CSS) and nada.

Not behind on payments which is what I thought was the only reason for making you pay up front unless you were on Swisscare or something.

I've had several prescriptions filled this year, at the same pharmacy, I don't understand why it is suddenly different.

Almost 300 francs, glad it was pay day...
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Old 23.05.2012, 23:07
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Re: paying up front for prescriptions?

It's fairly common. It depends on a combination of which insurance you'rve got and which health services company you're at; whether they have worked out a system to arrange for direct billing or not.

At the Permanence at HB Zurich, for example, I just show my card. At my optician, I pay with a credit card. At the Apotheke, I show my card, and some things are billed directly; others are not standard under SWICA and I have to pay cash for.
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Old 23.05.2012, 23:09
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Re: paying up front for prescriptions?

With Assura we have to pay up front and claim back too.
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Old 23.05.2012, 23:18
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Re: paying up front for prescriptions?

I also have to pay upfront for prescriptions at the Apotheke.

Fortunately I get most of my meds directly from the doctor, so those are billed automatically along with the rest of the doctor's bill.

(One of the perks of living out in Nowheresville. There is no Apotheke within whatever limit the laws specifies, and so the doctors are still allowed to dispense meds. )
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Old 24.05.2012, 00:37
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I've had innova in Bern and now in Zurich and don't pay upfront at the apothek. I also have the lowest franchise, if that matters.

In Bern, doctors bill me and I pay them and submit the bills for reimbursement. In Zurich doctors bill insurance first.

In Bern, docs dispense meds for the most part. I went to the apotheke to get a prescription for something prescribed at the ER, and from my radiologist. It's bizarre - the hospital doesn't dispense meds to out patients, but doctors do in their offices. Whatever.
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Old 24.05.2012, 01:51
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Re: paying up front for prescriptions?

The issue with Intras, is that CSS acquired them and put some of its clients coming from Auxilia (who ceased its operations) in it.

The conditions are awful. Price of the base is unreal. For the same price, you can get with another insurance the basis, as well as a complete coverage for repatriation, sport subsidy, glasses, hospital choices + some money saved.
+ depending on the insurance you take (helsana, groupe mutuel) all should be settled between the insurance and the practician/hospital/drugstore. A better service.

My suggestion : change !

The case for paying in advance is only valid for Assura, because they are the cheapest ... therefore you give up quality service for lower price. That makes sense (i would still never recomend Assura ... ). For the others ... Swica, Intras or ... just change. in my view they have no excuse, specially when you pay at higher price than some good others on the market.

differences between insurances can be brutal ! it is worth cherrypicking the best for you.

(you can go to comparis.ch and ask some quotes ... you can also ask me ! i am insurer or look for an insurer in your region ... prices will be exactly the same than if you go straight to the insurance and he (or me) will look for your interest first, since we have choice on the insurance and we serve the clients we can have !)
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Old 24.05.2012, 08:17
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Re: paying up front for prescriptions?

I'm paying Intras prices for the lowest level of service! Gaah!

I still have no Intras policy but whatevers...come changing time we are changing! I don't pay 400 bucks a month (still cheaper than Lausanne but still) to have to turn around and pay for my Rx behind. Had Intras kept my Auxilia conditions I would have happliy stayed there for years. Intras fail. I can't be dropping 200 bucks a month and wait for them to pay me.
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