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Old 07.11.2006, 09:52
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Health Insurance: Back payments?!

I have been trying to follow the rules and regulations as best as I can. When I arrived in August (4th) I immediately went about contacting the authorities for my B permit as we were advised by the canton and the embassy in New York (we were incorrectly told that I could not apply until arrival). In order to begin to apply the authorities demanded that I purchase health insurance, so my wife and I spent a little less than a week looking and asking around, eventually settling on what Comparis recommended (my wife's uncle said that was smartest). After filling out the form we discovered that one is required to have a residency permit before one can even get the insurance, even though the Gemeinde / town had told us we would need it first! They then explained after all of this pointless confusion they just needed to know who I would be applying to for coverage after they had approved my permit. *Grumble*

In the meantime, my parents have been paying over $350 / month for coverage in the US which if I am not mistaken also had an international add-on (we're taking over 425 CHF /month if I am not mistaken) so that I would not be without coverage. I am only 21/22 (I had my birthday during this whole process) and unemployed, so my parents have been helping out. Well, as I described in my introduction thread, the process of applying for the permit was delayed and full of some interesting errors on the part of the authorities. After two strange and threatening letters, we were asked to come to the town hall to pick it up 2 to 3 weeks ago. Inside the permit it claimed it had been ready since 30 September (back dating?) despite the fact that it was not until mid-October that I received it. Now, UBS had refused to allow me to set up a normal bank account with EC / Visa until I received the permit, so I went ahead and straighted all of that out immediately during the first week. Then a little over a week ago, now able to actually pay for the insurance, I applied for it.

Today in the mail I received a letter from the insurance company claiming "Der Versicherungsbeginn ist per 04.08.2008 vorgemerkt. Ihre Versicherungspolice erhalten Sie zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt mit separater Post." What the heck? My insurance is being backdated to my date of arrival? I am going to be receiving notice from the insurance police?! I was not able to acquire insurance until I received my B-permit! I have been here exactly 3 months and a little over a week, so am I not still within the regulations as I applied within two to three weeks after receiving my permit? I am still covered with (ridiculously expensive) insurance from the US as well, so it is not like I am uninsured! Am I actually supposed to fork over hundreds of Francs to this company to be covered when coverage was not possible and did not even exist?!?! I am hoping someone here can shed some light on this because I certainly do not understand this. I am going to call the insurance company tomorrow and tell them that I will not make backpayments for August or September, but if they require it I will for October as I had received the permit then -- however I find even that ridiculous as I had no coverage from them and could not legally obtain it then!

I'll talk to my wife about the other request they have on here, which I do not understand. They ask for some empowerment form that they did not provide me with? ("Belastungsermächtigung" Formular) I am not exactly sure I follow them -- do they want to have the legal right to automatically deduct however much they want as opposed to granting me the right to pay via the bank myself after receipt of the bill? This just does not sound right either.

Last edited by spmull06; 07.11.2006 at 10:32.
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Old 07.11.2006, 10:02
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Re: Health Insurance: Back payments?!

Hi

My husband was also asked to pay backdated insurance from the date of arrival (date on his permit), he strongly argued against this several times and they eventually backed down and agreed with him that the he shouldn't pay insurance for the first 3 months. When I got my back dated insurance bill they back dated it to 3 months after I arrived (3 months after the date on my permit) and this is with the same company!! seems like they don't have a clue. Anyway I would argue your case with them.

The issue of your permit being issued in Sept and not getting it till Oct, I think thats normal, I went to register for my permit in early March but didn't get my permit till mid June but the date on the permit was early March when I told them I had entered the country, same went for my husband, he started his job Dec last year but didn't get his permit till March, but the date of arrival on his permit was Dec 05, all very confusing.

Hope this helps

Nicky
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Old 07.11.2006, 10:09
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Re: Health Insurance: Back payments?!

Thanks for your post. It does help -- at least I know I am not being unreasonable.

Quote:
The issue of your permit being issued in Sept and not getting it till Oct, I think thats normal, I went to register for my permit in early March but didn't get my permit till mid June but the date on the permit was early March when I told them I had entered the country, same went for my husband, he started his job Dec last year but didn't get his permit till March, but the date of arrival on his permit was Dec 05, all very confusing.
Maybe I misunderstood what is written there. My permit is valid until 30 September, 2007, so maybe that means it was not valid until October as it is a 1 year permit. This would tend to boost my case with the insurance company anyhow.
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Old 07.11.2006, 10:21
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Re: Health Insurance: Back payments?!

Quote:
Thanks for your post. It does help -- at least I know I am not being unreasonable.



Maybe I misunderstood what is written there. My permit is valid until 30 September, 2007, so maybe that means it was not valid until October as it is a 1 year permit. This would tend to boost my case with the insurance company anyhow.
Your key argument is that *visitors* staying up to 3 months are not obliged to have a permit. So you can reasonably argue that you were a visitor but liked the place so much that you want to stay.

And to your other question yes be very careful they are wanting you to allow them to take whatever they want, **when they want** from your account. I would NOT sign this. Try and get them to use paynet or to send you an orange slip every month to fill in so that you can create a standing order. This has caused me a moment of embarassment in the past - deducted 5000 instead of 500...
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Old 07.11.2006, 14:04
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Re: Health Insurance: Back payments?!

Hi there,
Let me share today's moment of anguish with you, regarding health insurers.

I submitted a big bunch of invoices to them 2 weeks ago, today I received the reimbursement.

My son is 2.5 years old. When he was born, I asked that he be covered using my insurance as the copy template.
I am covered for basic(obligatory), a supplement plus (means alternative medicine covered and so on) and a hospital ward insurance for whole Switzerland.

Today I realised my son's ambulance bill was 550chf and I have to pay 50% myself, because he has NOT the hospital part covered.

I telephoned the insurer and they proceeded to tell me, yes it is all in order, I did not order the hospital part for my son. (huh?).

And that it is up to me to check the policy when they send it to me. (all in german only).
And that if I don't object, it is considered an agreement.

I promptly asked the woman on the telephone, what kind of insurance she has for her children, and if they are covered with HOSPITAL insurance.

She stupidly said yes, it is common sense to insure CHILDREN, who are more injury-prone, and she could not understand who made out the policy for my son, but still she defended that it is up to ME to check.

BTW, the hospital insurance for my son was only 3,30chf per month. Wasn't it a no-brainer thing to include this?
Not so it seems to this Swiss Insurance company with Swiss intelligent employees.


So my advise to all people here is: re-check your insurance policies NOW!
You have until 31 Nov 2006 to effect a change for 2007!

HAT

PS: My insurer is Aquilana from Baden.
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Old 13.11.2006, 11:27
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Re: Health Insurance: Back payments?!

Quote:
Your key argument is that *visitors* staying up to 3 months are not obliged to have a permit. So you can reasonably argue that you were a visitor but liked the place so much that you want to stay.
They refused to accept this argument and told me that Swiss laws requires they backdate my insurance to the date of entry stated on my permit. I repeatedly told her I was here on a tourist visa, that I had no permit at the time, and hence could not purchase insurance during those months and was not required to do so. She did not care. At that point I told her about my insurance back in the US. This surprised her... she responded by saying that if I was able to provide proof of coverage they would drop the charges from these months (500 CHF or so altogether) -- I have my insurance card here, which I will photocopy, and will get the information required from the US. I will post what ends up happening in a month or two.
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Old 08.03.2007, 17:28
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Re: Health Insurance: Back payments?!

Well, after a very long silence I received a Mahnung ("reminder", but with bad connotations) from my health insurance provider yesterday for these payments. I snapped and immediately phoned them (in German). The woman claimed that her computer was down and that she would call me back -- I have heard this before.

However, she actually called back early this morning. After reviewing my file and the information that I provided they have decided to drop the charges. I wish I had this in writing though.
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