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Old 23.07.2012, 12:11
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Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

Hi everyone!

I plan on giving birth in the States. I've been working here and paying insurance for a few years now. I am a US green card holder and hubby is Swiss. I plan on quitting my job here before leaving.

Am I covered through my Swiss health insurance for the birth and all costs associated with pregnancy there? Do I stay registed in the Gemeide in Switzerland to keep my health insurance?

Thank you for your help!
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Old 23.07.2012, 12:33
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

This will be dependent on your policy. I have Avanex and it clearly states that planned births outside of Switzerland are not covered, even with supplementary insurance. Meaning that if you plan to leave Switzerland just to give birth it's not covered, but if you are out of the country and something happens then they pay. Be aware they may not cover the whole cost even in the case of an emergency. My policy states that they pay the cost of what the services would be here in Switzerland and not necessarily what you paid out of pocket.

I would think that basically if you travel during the ninth month of pregnancy they could claim you planned to give birth at your destination.

If you take a look over your policy, it will tell you what the basic insurance covers and where. If you still aren't sure, call them.

Last edited by bedevil; 23.07.2012 at 12:39. Reason: clarity
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Old 23.07.2012, 12:38
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

Not to cause a debate, but why would you want to give birth there- so your baby is American?
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Old 23.07.2012, 12:47
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

Why not sneak over the border to Canada and secure a Canadian Passport?

You do realize that if you give birth in the US, you are giving your child the honor of having to file US tax returns, FBARs and FATCAs?
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Old 23.07.2012, 13:11
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

I thought there were restrictions to pregnant women flying close to due date (9th month, or even 8th) - certainly doctors advise against it, in which case your medical insurance may be null and void if you contravene this.
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Old 23.07.2012, 13:16
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

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Why not sneak over the border to Canada and secure a Canadian Passport?

You do realize that if you give birth in the US, you are giving your child the honor of having to file US tax returns, FBARs and FATCAs?
this is wrong in so many ways!
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Old 23.07.2012, 13:32
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

Check your Swiss insurance coverage very very carefully - our 'world-wide' supplementary insurance specifically excludes coverage for any medical care in the US, due to the higher costs. OH needed an additional (and expensive!) add-on to cover him, as he frequently travels to the US.

Whatever you do, do not even think about giving birth in the US without first sorting out insurance. And dotting every i and crossing every t. Seriously.


(Unless you have very deep pockets.)
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Old 23.07.2012, 13:53
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

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Am I covered through my Swiss health insurance for the birth and all costs associated with pregnancy there?
Mandatory Swiss health insurance only covers emergencies abroad, i.e., I planned birth abroad will not be covered.
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Old 23.07.2012, 13:58
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

Think as a green card holder you should also be filing US tax returns, if you don't already. Google FATCA and FBAR to check to make sure, but the IRS's reach is getting longer. Do you really want to lumber your child/ren with this burden?
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Old 23.07.2012, 14:09
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

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I thought there were restrictions to pregnant women flying close to due date (9th month, or even 8th) - certainly doctors advise against it, in which case your medical insurance may be null and void if you contravene this.
The flying restrictions can vary from airline to airline. For example Pegasus air required a medical permission to fly starting from 26 weeks pregnant; however, Continental airlines allows travel with a medical permission up to 36 weeks.

If you show up with a pregnant belly and without a medical permission you will not be allowed to continue with your check in. (At least that was what I was told by Pegasus air when we went to Turkey for a final baby-free holiday.)

But again, if your insurance does not cover planned birth in another country it doesn't really matter WHEN you fly. If you leave at 26 weeks pregnant, but your airline ticket is for a return AFTER the birth, that pretty much gives away that you were planning not to have your baby in Switzerland and they won't cover it.
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Old 23.07.2012, 14:28
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The flying restrictions can vary from airline to airline. For example Pegasus air required a medical permission to fly starting from 26 weeks pregnant; however, Continental airlines allows travel with a medical permission up to 36 weeks.
I'm looking to get to Canada via American then Continetal....and when I checked last week Continental said 7 days before due date, whereas AA was 30 days.

We're you quoted 36 weeks for international? It wasn't specific, maybe 7 days is just domestic.
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Old 23.07.2012, 14:38
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

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I'm looking to get to Canada via American then Continetal....and when I checked last week Continental said 7 days before due date, whereas AA was 30 days.

We're you quoted 36 weeks for international? It wasn't specific, maybe 7 days is just domestic.
It looks like maybe you just need a note when flying in the 9th month? http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...y/default.aspx (united is now continental)
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Old 23.07.2012, 15:50
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

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It looks like maybe you just need a note when flying in the 9th month? http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...y/default.aspx (united is now continental)
This is exactly where I had previously read the information. When I had checked it around 2 months ago you were able to click on the question and it lead to a further explanation, but it seems that that page is no longer there.

In any case, if you plan to travel by plane during the final months of pregnancy it is best to contact the airline BEFORE booking your ticket.
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Old 23.07.2012, 16:07
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

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this is wrong in so many ways!
It is definitely wrong to condemn a cosmopolitan and international child who may live outside the US to citizenship-based taxation and financial reporting requirements
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Old 08.08.2012, 15:37
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

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I plan on giving birth in the States. I've been working here and paying insurance for a few years now. I am a US green card holder and hubby is Swiss. I plan on quitting my job here before leaving.
Interesting... I had to return my US Green card as I choose to live outside of the US for a couple of years, AFTER I received a letter from Homeland Security telling me that it was no longer valid.

This all came into play after Border control in the US Virgin Islands (St Croix) told me to contact the Embassy in Paris (where I was living at the time) as I hadn't lived in the US for good number of years.

Seems like there are not so many things thought through here by the OP...

Hope all goes well (have gone well) with the baby and all...


PS. The agent at the US Embassy in Paris was very surprised that I actually sat and waited for 2 hours to get through to them to return the actual card. Just wanted to make sure I was not barred for life
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Old 08.08.2012, 18:31
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

So, back to the original question...

You will be able to travel with a note, as bedevil said. Check the airline regulations, but honestly, it will be up to a gate agent to decide how far along you are, so just bring a note from your doctor stating your due date and that you are in good health.

Are you moving because of your husband's job? I ask because you said you were planning on quitting your job before the move. If so, have him check the health insurance policies of his new job-if he works for a large company, you will likely be included on his health policy from the day he begins work (as a spouse), and therefore will be covered for the cost of delivery. You must check this, however, as these policies are in constant flux even at established firms. Someone at human resources will know.

Obviously, you must have insurance. Giving birth in the US is very expensive, with estimates running at least $2600 average for an uncomplicated, vaginal delivery (source, parents.com) and upwards of $10,000 for a complicated birth. This varies wildly according to where you live, and you'll probably be moving to a larger city (since there is more opportunity for employment), where the costs are considerably higher. Also, explaining your ability to pay while having contractions is not easy.

Finally, keep in mind that a normal birth generally buys you 24 hours in the hospital. A C-section is 3 days. There is generally no home visit prior to or after the birth. This means that, without a good support network provided by your family, you are basically on your own for learning breastfeeding (if you choose), and the basics of caring for your baby and your post-baby body. Any additional guidance that you may want will be your own responsibility to organize.

Good luck!

PS. I'm an American and I'd like to go back home someday, but I was very happy to have my two daughters here!
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Old 08.08.2012, 19:04
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

As far as I understand it, NO, Swiss Insurance will not cover a birth planned in the US. And if you do travel there in the last couple of months of pregnancy, surely it will amount to a planned birth there.

But really you shouldn't be asking EF - but you own Insurance, as they all vary. They are the only people who can give you valid and accurate information.
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Old 09.08.2012, 10:41
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

Furthermore, basic Swiss health care insurance will only pay up to what equivalent treatment would have cost in Switzerland. The US is one of the few countries in the world where health care is even more expensive than that in Switzerland.
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Old 09.08.2012, 10:57
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

Hey OP... why should Swiss insurance pay for your planned birth in the USA? You can maybe look into the new, fantastic, awesome Obamacare... I hear it covers all kinds of things! Maybe the USA will pay for your USA birth...
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Old 09.08.2012, 10:59
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Re: Giving birth in the US - covered by Swiss health insurance?

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Are you moving because of your husband's job? I ask because you said you were planning on quitting your job before the move. If so, have him check the health insurance policies of his new job-if he works for a large company, you will likely be included on his health policy from the day he begins work (as a spouse), and therefore will be covered for the cost of delivery. You must check this, however, as these policies are in constant flux even at established firms. Someone at human resources will know.

Obviously, you must have insurance. Giving birth in the US is very expensive, with estimates running at least $2600 average for an uncomplicated, vaginal delivery (source, parents.com) and upwards of $10,000 for a complicated birth. This varies wildly according to where you live, and you'll probably be moving to a larger city (since there is more opportunity for employment), where the costs are considerably higher. Also, explaining your ability to pay while having contractions is not easy.
Just to underscore this point...

Due to a bit of a snafu, my sister had a gap of a couple of days in her coverage when switching from one job to another. And as Murphy's Law would have it, despite having to that point a textbook-perfect pregnancy, my niece decided to make her entrance into the world during those few days - some 2 months early.

Emergency C section, months in neo-natal ICU - with no insurance. My sister and BIL have finally finished paying for their daughter's birth - just in time for the young lady to head off to university.

Thank the gods that the highest quality medical care was available, but do not underestimate the expense. A complicated delivery, a premature birth will likely be far more expensive in the US than in other countries. Make sure you fully understand your insurance coverage, especially the fine print.
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