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  #101  
Old 19.05.2009, 13:25
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

Not sure if I understand everything in your post but just to address a couple of issues.

Studentcare, Swisscare and Goldencare (all foreign student insurances, all around the same price and all with similar deductibles etc.) are all accepted here by the majority, if not all, of cantons as insurance for students.

Studentcare do not accept people over 30 years of age currently however, as of the 1st of Jan 2010, they will be doing so. They are also re-doing their website which is why there's nothing there at the moment.

Studentcare DOES conform to the LAMal, otherwise the cantons wouldn't accept them.

These companies have a kind of inbetween status and so are private but at the same time conform to the LAMal and not the LCA.

CSS Studentcare doesn't accept people over 30
Goldencare doesn't accept people over 41
Swisscare doesn't accept people over 50

but they ALL conform to the LAMal/KVG laws.

Another point...

If you want to take a LAMal insurance in Switzerland (for example with Sanitas or the Groupe Mutuel), there is no health questionnaire to fill in. They have to accept you no matter what.
This is the same with Studentcare.
However, I have heard of people being refused from other student insurances because of health issues, or because they're pregnant etc. when they should be accepted no questions asked. (This is part of the LAMal/KVG law)

Manrisk is an independent society with branches in Lausanne, Geneva and Berne. It is NOT an insurance company and does not have it's own products.
For students, they work with Goldencare which accepts students up to 41 years old (which would be better for your friend, for example).
I have often recommended Manrisk though I have no link to them whatsoever other than that I've heard good things about them.

The 80.- / month from Studentcare covers you in the canton only because it is exactly the same cover as the LAMal (see thread on Health Insurance FAQs for more info. on what the LAMal covers).
If you wish to be covered in the whole of Switzerland or in private hospitals for example, add-ons are available.

I don't believe I'm engaging in blatant advertising for CSS Studentcare but if you believe I am (or if you see any other posts advertising anything) you should report it directly to a moderator. If they agree, they'll delete the post and/or contact the person who posted it. It's part of their job.

Replies such as this one are aimed to clear things up. Unfortunately, I don't know every single company in detail and so can only post about the ones I do know about.
I receive a lot of feedback (both good and bad) about most of the companies in your post. I haven't posted them here as I'm not sure how interesting/useful it would be.

If you have any more questions, just let me know

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  #102  
Old 19.05.2009, 21:15
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

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CSS Studentcare doesn't accept people over 30
Goldencare doesn't accept people over 41
Swisscare doesn't accept people over 50
Just to share my personal experience, CSS declined to offer me StudentCare as a postdoc (and yes I am a foreigner under 30), but SwissCare accepted me - and they are rather prompt. They sent me an invoice and a SwissCare card just a couple of days after I filled out the form online and faxed them my documents.
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  #103  
Old 20.05.2009, 14:15
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

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Just to share my personal experience, CSS declined to offer me StudentCare as a postdoc (and yes I am a foreigner under 30), but SwissCare accepted me - and they are rather prompt. They sent me an invoice and a SwissCare card just a couple of days after I filled out the form online and faxed them my documents.
Thanks for the feedback

Any idea why you weren't accepted?
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  #104  
Old 20.05.2009, 23:38
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

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Any idea why you weren't accepted?
The guy I spoke to (at the Oerlikon branch) told me that I was inelligeble because I "have a sallary", and StudentCare is meant for "poor students who have no income" - my words, not his, but that was his point
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  #105  
Old 22.05.2009, 05:10
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

Hi,

First of all thanks everyone for their posts I here: I just discovered this site and it is very helpful!

I am a student that will be going to work in Switzerland as a 'praktikant' for one year. During this time I am still registered as a part-time student at my home univeristy in Canada and I am still paying part-time student fees.

Of course, I need health insurance. Am I still eligible for 'student' health insurance? From reading this forum, Student Care seems to be cheapest option available. Will I qualify for this coverage? Otherwise, the cheapest on comparis seems to be around 2000 CHF per year. Obviously there is a lot of money to be saved. My salary is not very large of course (32000 CHF per year)! I include salary because perhaps it has some relationship as to qualifying for student status.

I should add that I would be living in Baden in the Aargau canton.

Thanks in advance for all of your help.
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  #106  
Old 26.05.2009, 14:35
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

Dear Jenny,

In this case, can you answer clearly without troubles explanation :

1) what is the law art. who CSS use for the studentcare product ? OAMAL art 2.4 ? if not ? lamal/kvg ? and if lamal/kvg give us the difference between foreigner and Swiss in the LAMal ?

Why Swiss cannot apply this insurance studentcare as CSS is an official Swiss company.

(If you are not under the OAMAL 2.4 dont give us the answer who concerne the private insurance law agreement, but the official LAMAl who gives difference between Swiss students and foreigners)

2) the website of studentcare is not the CSS official one but an insurance independent agent Zodiac Sàrl who sales CSS. Is it right ?

3) Why CSS official website css.ch don't gives information for CSS student insurance ?

Sorry for this questions, but I think that CSS studentcare is not really clear and we (students) receive allways the same information from CSS side and often forced us to buy additional insurance for 3 years.

Sure that you dont know all the details because if I call to CSS head they also cannot give me a legal answer. And sorry that I repeat me so often, but it is strange that companies like Sanitas or Groupe Mutuel (Martny) they said me two times the same... not legal and in other topics other students has the same questions.

Hope to hear you soon !

Thank you !
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  #107  
Old 27.05.2009, 17:57
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

Youtubeman,

CSS Studentcare has been officially approved by the OFAP since the 8th of March 2004.

It is the equivalent of the LAMal/KVG in Switzerland.

They currently have around 15'000 students insured with them.

It forms part of CSS who have well over a million people insured with them.

Zodiac Sàrl is an independent broker who has the right to sell CSS Studentcare in Switzerland. They used to have the www.studentcare.ch website.

The website is being re-done by CSS Studentcare. I don't know how long it'll be before it's online.

If you are a foreign student in Switzerland, you can apply for this or any other kind of student insurance. It is a specific status. You have to be "foreign" and "student".
If you are a foreigner but not a student, you can't apply.
If you're Swiss and a student, you can't apply.

If you are not a student and you take a student insurance in Switzerland, you could have problems with the OFAS in Berne.

I just spoke to the head of Studentcare in Lausanne and he told me that they've had problems before with the "caisses maladies" saying things like that (that they're not legal etc.). At the end of the day, they can say what they like but it's not true.

I hope this answers your questions?
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  #108  
Old 27.05.2009, 20:50
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

Is there a legal maximum excess that health insurance can offer? I wonder if they are allowed to provide insurance with, say, 12000chf excess
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  #109  
Old 28.05.2009, 23:11
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

Thank you for your answer. But strangly there are no law art. I'm interested in this story as friends of me ask me lots of questions and as I have contact with student groups also.

OFAP is private insurance law. This has nothing to do with LAMal which is the social law. There are no law art. in the OFAP or law LCA like my research.

When I call CSS they said always the same. This is the OFAP. But when I ask them why Swiss cannot have this insurance as they offer LAMal with cheaper price. No person can give me an answer. There is NO LEGAL LAW art. concerning CSS Studentcare.

I'm quite sure that CSS is not legal as other companies also say that it is not possible for them to purpose an illegal product.

It is stange that Groupe Mutuel or Sanitas who offer the same insurance as CSS LAMal, that they cannot offer a similar insurance program who is very simple. As for CHF 80, CSS offer exactly the LAMAL ???

Why Sanitas who work with students.ch dont offer a similar product.... SIMPLE ! they said that it is not a legal product and for this reason they dont will offer this plan who is not in accordance with the LAMAL or another law.

Why they cannot and CSS can ?

Why they said that it is illegal ?

But anyway. Thank you for your explanation.

I will advice students to choose a regular company or other student plans to avoid surprise.
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  #110  
Old 28.05.2009, 23:58
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

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Why Sanitas who work with students.ch dont offer a similar product.... SIMPLE ! they said that it is not a legal product and for this reason they dont will offer this plan who is not in accordance with the LAMAL or another law.
In the process of applying for my perrmit (I'm a foreigner here as a Postdoctoral researcher), I recently received a letter from the Kreisburro (?) asking me to tell them what insurance provider I was with, and I told them I was with Swiss Care (not the same as CSS Student Care but almost the same price, and similar conditions).

I believe that if these kinds of insurance are not legal, they would not be recognised for the purpose of getting a permit! So, hopefully I will get my permit soon
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  #111  
Old 29.05.2009, 13:40
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

I have been insured by Swisscare for nearly 3 years, or since I got to Switzerland. My husband is doing his post-doc in Zurich. I have been pregnant and delivered while insured by SWisscare and I would never do it again. I strongly advise any woman who plans on having a baby to get insurance from a proper Swiss insurance company and not these budget student insurances.

The thing with Swisscare is that you have to pay any medical bills upfront. I tried repeatedly, but there is no way that you can get doctor’s offices to bill Swisscare directly. So, during something like a pregnancy, you need a lot of cash on hand to pay for prenatal visits, pills etc. (they are compassionate enough to pay for delivery costs directly.) I imagine that for most of you, like us, your savings are not limitless (else you would have real insurance). This would be bearable of course if the reimbursement process were efficient.

More than halfway through my pregnancy, I had yet to see franc. I called and wrote and called and wrote. The Swisscare office in Switzerland conveniently doesn’t (or didn’t, keep changing the story) handle claims. Some random office in France does. So, I got on France’s tail. Only ONE person at that office, I was told, was “capable” of handling my claim. I called for two months; she was never in the office, never returned my phone calls.

I started calling Swisscare’s emergency phone number and eventually someone there from Swisscare’s parent (or child?) company (ISIC I think?) referred me to some other parent or child insurance company in Holland. I called Holland and they referred me to DENMARK. A parent or child company called Goudse. I lodged a complaint with Goudse’s director and finally got some money back. Swiss care apologized profusely, promised it wouldn’t happen again.

Well, it did. Swisscare sounds great on the phone, the branch in Switzerland does anyway, but the architecture and buck passing there is astounding. I had to fight for every franc and that is not something anyone wants to do as a pregnant woman living on a limited income. I eventually got it all back; the last reimbursement was made about a month ago (my child is over a year old now).

I am not alone in having this experience with Swisscare but nor is Swisscare the only company that shafts its customers.

When I started having problems with my claims, I panicked and eventually contacted, per Zurich Canton’s health department’s advice, the Federal Health Ombudsman in Bern. We were out a few thousand francs and I still had a few months before I would deliver! I wanted to see how I was protected because I couldn’t very well skimp on pre-natal care. The gentleman at the Federal Ombudsman’s office was exasperated but kind. He explained that no one at the federal level recognizes ANY of these budget student insurance companies, NONE. Therefore, if they screw you over, the ombudsman’s office will NOT go to bat for you or protect you. He also told me that he regularly gets calls from people like me who have student insurances that won’t honor their contracts. Finally, he told me that these companies are NOT Swiss! (Explains the France/Holland/Denmark phone chase; nice going with the “swiss” in “swisscare”, guys!) This also explains why some cantons do not accept these student insurance companies as valid. I am not a lawyer but from the information I gathered and from my experience, it seems to me that these companies operate in a very nebulous legal arena.

The person as the ombudman’s office told me my only chance at help was to contact the Zurich Kanton Health department or whatever, as they had validated my exemption and allowed me to enroll in Swisscare’s health plan. Remember, the Zurich Kanton department referred me to the Federal Ombudsman.

So, my conclusion is that if you foresee any reason for getting sustained, pricey medical care such as for a pregnancy, do NOT, do NOT sign up with any of these student insurance companies. It was not worth it for me to stress about my pregnancy and my family’s finances and I can’t imagine having to deal with any other medical condition at the same time as a bad insurance company.

I can’t deny that if you are young and healthy and have no reason to get medical care, they are sort of worth it but in any other case, I highly recommend you stay away!

Cheers
L.
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  #112  
Old 05.06.2009, 00:47
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

Hi, I read your post and probably you dont had chance. In fact, I had also the problem with France who was an outsourcing claim department for Swisscare student insurance.

But as I understood, Swisscare has stopped to work with this France office end of 2007 and transferred to Switzerland the claim office. And during the transfer period in 2008, they was some problems between the old claim office in France, transition period and the new office in Basel. And for information, Swisscare is a Swiss health insurance provider who is included in the group of Europäische Versicherung in Basel with international head in DK.

I'm new pregnant now. I called Unispital Zurich (first baby was born in St.Gallen) and will use the Unispital Zurich. They informed me that recently, not deposit is necessary for all stationary treatment. I have written a thread to inform Swisscare students here.

My first bills was very fast paid now from Basel office and directly to the doctor.



In fact the best way, if you have problems with an international company in Switzerland, is that you contact the Gesundheitsdirektion in Zurich but often only treat with the company directly and they can help you.

I had a very big trouble with Studentcare CSS and average 1 year after sending bills they paid. I called ambudsman and also other university social health insurance but no help. In my case it was with Studentcare CSS which is a Swiss company with special doubtfull conditions. I explain here the situation after checking with some independent insurance agent.

Know that for example with ASSURA or lots of other Swiss state insurance companies, you have to pay in advance your bills and then you will be reimbursed.

The law say that stationary treatment must be paid directly by the insurance company

Last edited by youtubeman; 05.06.2009 at 01:08.
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  #113  
Old 26.06.2009, 21:17
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

Hi,
I am also new here And I find this topic very useful.

Did anyone try to change from governmental insurer to swisscare (or other student insurance)? Can you do it in a middle of a calendar year?

I want to switch to Swisscare, but currently have a standard Swiss insurance (by Swica). I called Swica by phone but they know nothing (or pretend to not know...) about exemption for students. And they say that I can switch to other Swiss insurer in the end of the year (3 months notice in advance!!) or cancel the contract immediately when leaving Switzerland.
So what should I do with Swisscare? Will they contact Swica and cancel my contract? I doubt so... So probably I would need to present them my exemption form approved by the canton. But Swisscare does not send such confirmations to my knowledge. I also don't know how much time it would take for canton Basel to approve it.


And second question: I am already almost 3 years in Switzerland, and the Swisscare page says: "Exemption is granted for the length of their training and stay, subject to a maximum of 3 years". Does it mean from the arrival to the country or any 3 years?
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  #114  
Old 03.07.2009, 11:37
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

Hello,

I dont know exactly what are the conditions to change to Swisscare. Some friends of me was accepted during the year and other was forced to wait the end of the year with a regular cancellation . The best solution is to contact the Gesundheitsdirektion in Zurich or of your canton. They can help you certainly.

Concerning the exemption, I was accepted for 3 years more. Means a total of 6 years. But from what for date exactly, I cannot help you more. ask the canton. They helped me often with questions.
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  #115  
Old 31.07.2009, 09:09
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Re: Denied by Krankenpflege-Grundversicherung to be covered by outside insurance

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The Krankenpflege-Grundversicherung sent me the info saying I needed to get insurance from Canton Zurich. I sent them my insurance info, along with a letter from my boss well within the 3 month time frame, so that was back in October.

Last week, I received a letter in the mail saying my application for exception to local insurance was denied (so almost 7 months later). WFT?? Does anybody have any experience with this? Am I going to have to back pay for the last 10 months, cause I don't have CHF 2500 laying around for this.

Get on to Jenny about this, she's amazing


insurancejenny@gmail.com
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  #116  
Old 31.07.2009, 11:48
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

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I have been insured by Swisscare for nearly 3 years, or since I got to Switzerland. My husband is doing his post-doc in Zurich. I have been pregnant and delivered while insured by SWisscare and I would never do it again. I strongly advise any woman who plans on having a baby to get insurance from a proper Swiss insurance company and not these budget student insurances.

The thing with Swisscare is that you have to pay any medical bills upfront. I tried repeatedly, but there is no way that you can get doctor’s offices to bill Swisscare directly. So, during something like a pregnancy, you need a lot of cash on hand to pay for prenatal visits, pills etc. (they are compassionate enough to pay for delivery costs directly.) I imagine that for most of you, like us, your savings are not limitless (else you would have real insurance). This would be bearable of course if the reimbursement process were efficient.

More than halfway through my pregnancy, I had yet to see franc. I called and wrote and called and wrote. The Swisscare office in Switzerland conveniently doesn’t (or didn’t, keep changing the story) handle claims. Some random office in France does. So, I got on France’s tail. Only ONE person at that office, I was told, was “capable” of handling my claim. I called for two months; she was never in the office, never returned my phone calls.

I started calling Swisscare’s emergency phone number and eventually someone there from Swisscare’s parent (or child?) company (ISIC I think?) referred me to some other parent or child insurance company in Holland. I called Holland and they referred me to DENMARK. A parent or child company called Goudse. I lodged a complaint with Goudse’s director and finally got some money back. Swiss care apologized profusely, promised it wouldn’t happen again.

Well, it did. Swisscare sounds great on the phone, the branch in Switzerland does anyway, but the architecture and buck passing there is astounding. I had to fight for every franc and that is not something anyone wants to do as a pregnant woman living on a limited income. I eventually got it all back; the last reimbursement was made about a month ago (my child is over a year old now).

I am not alone in having this experience with Swisscare but nor is Swisscare the only company that shafts its customers.

When I started having problems with my claims, I panicked and eventually contacted, per Zurich Canton’s health department’s advice, the Federal Health Ombudsman in Bern. We were out a few thousand francs and I still had a few months before I would deliver! I wanted to see how I was protected because I couldn’t very well skimp on pre-natal care. The gentleman at the Federal Ombudsman’s office was exasperated but kind. He explained that no one at the federal level recognizes ANY of these budget student insurance companies, NONE. Therefore, if they screw you over, the ombudsman’s office will NOT go to bat for you or protect you. He also told me that he regularly gets calls from people like me who have student insurances that won’t honor their contracts. Finally, he told me that these companies are NOT Swiss! (Explains the France/Holland/Denmark phone chase; nice going with the “swiss” in “swisscare”, guys!) This also explains why some cantons do not accept these student insurance companies as valid. I am not a lawyer but from the information I gathered and from my experience, it seems to me that these companies operate in a very nebulous legal arena.

The person as the ombudman’s office told me my only chance at help was to contact the Zurich Kanton Health department or whatever, as they had validated my exemption and allowed me to enroll in Swisscare’s health plan. Remember, the Zurich Kanton department referred me to the Federal Ombudsman.

So, my conclusion is that if you foresee any reason for getting sustained, pricey medical care such as for a pregnancy, do NOT, do NOT sign up with any of these student insurance companies. It was not worth it for me to stress about my pregnancy and my family’s finances and I can’t imagine having to deal with any other medical condition at the same time as a bad insurance company.

I can’t deny that if you are young and healthy and have no reason to get medical care, they are sort of worth it but in any other case, I highly recommend you stay away!
This is a problem that I raised earlier in this thread. With a normal Swiss basic insurance hospital bills are paid direct by the insurer. Other bills you have to pay yourself and get reimbursement from your insurer. However, if you are with a good company, which is not necessarily the cheapest, they will reimburse you within about two weeks while you have 30 days to pay the bill. So, the probability is that you will have the money in your account before the bill is due.
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  #117  
Old 06.08.2009, 23:51
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

Hi,

Just to inform that there are lots of companies that not pay your bills directly. Switzerland has two systems for claiming medical bills. In fact, for example ASSURA is a company that you have to pay your bills first and then you have to send them your bills. I have students friends. They was insured with ASSURA, but also was surprised to pay the bills first and then after 30 and up to 90 days, they received finally the money back.

My experience with the company CSS, a Swiss company, was not very happy and had lots of troubles. Near a year for a reimbursment.

I think like the experience that I have now with health insurance companies is that cheap or not cheap, the delay can be very fast and sometimes very long.

Good night !
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  #118  
Old 07.08.2009, 16:16
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

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Hi,

Just to inform that there are lots of companies that not pay your bills directly. Switzerland has two systems for claiming medical bills. In fact, for example ASSURA is a company that you have to pay your bills first and then you have to send them your bills.
This is not quite true...

Assura do this, correct. But they are the only ones.

However, anything relating to hospital bills is paid directly by them to the hospital and you receive a notice for information only explaining how much they paid etc.

They do this as Assura are a company who try to keep their administrative costs to a minimum (which is one of the ways they manage to keep their premiums very low for most of Switzerland).
For example, you can choose to receive all of your mail via email with them therefore saving money on paper, stamps etc. (It's also better for the environment).

They have a reputation of being slow for paying bills but their average is actually currently 12 days (see attached file).
Attached Files
File Type: pdf reimbursement average Assura.pdf (14.2 KB, 245 views)
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  #119  
Old 07.08.2009, 17:00
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

Hi Jenny,
What's the source for this?
Cheers
M
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  #120  
Old 24.08.2009, 16:45
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Re: Very cheap Swiss health insurance for students & researchers

Lol ... a very good marketing graphic... Seriously... 14 days is if you have perfeclty fullfilled your claim form or internet form, a simple illness and if you have a big chance with the manager of your medical files... But it is more realistic to say 30 days ... and more in lots of cases...
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