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Old 12.06.2019, 08:46
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Going to a 300chf excess Health Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it?

Hi guys,

I have a bit of a difficult question to ask. We all know that health insurance in CH is not cheap, and that if you are otherwise healthy then it makes sense to get the highest excess you can and pay as little as possible.

However, I am wondering if it makes sense to go to a 300chf plan as you start to get over the freshest times of your youth and into the more "mature" stages before you reach middle age (lets for the moment say between 35-45).

My reasoning is that the 40 mark seems to be where you start to become more susceptible to the more common age/lifestyle-related or sports-related conditions (joints, muscle, cancer, etc etc), and if you wait until you actually develop something then it is going to be much harder to change to a lower excess later one, if not already too late.

So... do you guys think it is worth changing to a lower excess as a precautionary measure by certain ages, even if it of course means an increase in ongoing costs of around 25-30%?
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Old 12.06.2019, 08:52
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

I´m well above your age bracket but so far been doing well with the high deductible, actually only once hit that one but that was with an operation and several days in hospital.
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Old 12.06.2019, 08:53
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess plan while you are still reasonably young and healthy...

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My reasoning is that the 40 mark seems to be where you start to become more susceptible to the more common age-related conditions (joints, muscle, cancer, etc etc), and if you wait until you actually develop something then it is going to be much harder to change to a lower excess later one, if not already too late.
Hard to change? You can switch easily once every year. At most you risk the excess/franchise of one two years.

On the other hand, supplementary insurance is an other question. Once you have certain health baggage and history joining can be come impossible.

Edit: Last date to change is November 30 (in case your premium changes). Thus, if you get ill after the date and did not change your plan you might have to pay the higher excess/franchise for two years.
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Old 12.06.2019, 08:54
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

You can always change your deductible, only supplementary insurance may become a problem as you get older.

Tom
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Old 12.06.2019, 08:56
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

You can change deductible at the end of each year currently, although this is under discusion in Berne.


The actual difference is peanuts, probably less than Chf 100.-- if you work out.



low deductible = higher premium


High deductible = lower premium ( + Chf 2'500.-- if required)


It only really makes sense if you are sure to need to use your insurance to the full deductible and even then we're not talking a big saving.
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Old 12.06.2019, 08:57
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess plan while you are still reasonably young and healthy...

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Hard to change? You can switch easily once every year. At most you risk the excess/franchise of one year.

On the other hand, supplementary insurance is an other question. Once you have certain health baggage and history joining can be come impossible.
Ok this is what I didn't know... is it still easy to change the basic health insurance excess from 2500chf to 300chf even if you develop regular (considered as pre-existing) health conditions? Are HI companies compelled to do that?
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Old 12.06.2019, 08:58
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess plan while you are still reasonably young and healthy...

I'm well into the mature stage, and have had my share of the health issues that go along with my grey hair.

I still have my high(ish) franchise. (1500, which was the highest franchise way back when we set up the policy. A lucky thing, as we weren't hit with the premium jump that 2500 saw in the last years. )

I haven't changed, mostly through inertia, but every so often I run the numbers and it pretty much comes out as six-of-one-half-dozen-of-the-other.

What I might save in franchise payments I would spend in increased premiums. Or vice-versa.


(I'm in SZ, premiums are a bit lower than in some other cantons.)
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Old 12.06.2019, 08:59
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

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You can always change your deductible, only supplementary insurance may become a problem as you get older.

Tom
Ok, but can they cancel supplementary insurance when you already have it? Or can then only block you from initially getting it then they are obliged to continue providing you with it?
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Old 12.06.2019, 09:04
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

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Ok, but can they cancel supplementary insurance when you already have it? Or can then only block you from initially getting it then they are obliged to continue providing you with it?

My strategy is to keep a well-covered supplementary insurance (and not change) but have a high franchise on basic insurance and change this first after having higher costs for 1-2 years in a row.
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Old 12.06.2019, 09:05
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess plan while you are still reasonably young and healthy...

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Ok this is what I didn't know... is it still easy to change the basic health insurance excess from 2500chf to 300chf even if you develop regular (considered as pre-existing) health conditions? Are HI companies compelled to do that?
Hi Chuff. So for better or worse I have a good deal of experience in this area :-) in summary:

1. Changing excess - yes, every year, simple, just tell the HI Company what excess you want.
2. Being excluded / pre-existing conditions - Supplementary if you take it now may look at pre-existing. If your with a big corp sometimes they cover pre-existing but its getting rare now.
3. Expensive illness - no effect as long as covered under basic insurance. Doesnt matter whether it costs 10CHF or 10 million CHF, if its on the approved treatments list in switzerland (i.e. not crackpot) then no HI company can turn you down for basic and they cannot charge you any more than they would any other healthy individual.
4. post 35 or 40 going to 300: look at your health, not your age. I moved from 2500 in year 1 to 300 for my remaining years because when i totalled it up, I realized I was going well beyond 2500 in any given year. If nothing is basically wrong with you, then the off additional post test you might take over 40, such as blood pressure etc, isnt likely to come to 2500 so you are still financially better with high deductible. Once you get something which requires regular treatment you will know straight away that 300 makes sense and on the next calendar year start you can move to that.

From a personal perspective, there is one advantage of 300 deductible. yes it costs more, but it removes any mental financial decision for visiting the doctor. I pay a trivial amount - 300 CHF and the 10% above that for the next 7k - so after visit 1, normally mentally if I need to go to the doctor I just go, like the NHS, you dont find yourself thinking "but this will cost me...". I like this. Of course you are paying more each month, but removing it from your brain I find is good.
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Old 12.06.2019, 09:08
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

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Ok this is what I didn't know... is it still easy to change the basic health insurance excess from 2500chf to 300chf even if you develop regular (considered as pre-existing) health conditions? Are HI companies compelled to do that?
Basic health insurance is government regulated and they must take up anyone in any plan, any franchise they offer.

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Ok, but can they cancel supplementary insurance when you already have it? Or can then only block you from initially getting it then they are obliged to continue providing you with it?
Supplementary health insurance is not government regulated. It is a free market. You have to read the actual contract under what conditions the insurance company can cancel the plan or raise the premiums to an astonishing high amount.
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Old 12.06.2019, 09:17
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

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I´m well above your age bracket but so far been doing well with the high deductible, actually only once hit that one but that was with an operation and several days in hospital.
I lived in CH aged 32 to 52 & never once had medical bills exceeding 1,000.
The maths works heavily in favour of the insured to have a big deductible unless you know there is something wrong with you that will require constant care.
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Old 12.06.2019, 09:46
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

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I lived in CH aged 32 to 52 & never once had medical bills exceeding 1,000.
The maths works heavily in favour of the insured to have a big deductible unless you know there is something wrong with you that will require constant care.
Likewise here. But at 65 I reduced the excess to CHF300 and it was well worth it in tablets alone!
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Old 12.06.2019, 09:49
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess plan while you are still reasonably young and healthy...

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Hi Chuff. So for better or worse I have a good deal of experience in this area :-) in summary:

1. Changing excess - yes, every year, simple, just tell the HI Company what excess you want.
2. Being excluded / pre-existing conditions - Supplementary if you take it now may look at pre-existing. If your with a big corp sometimes they cover pre-existing but its getting rare now.
3. Expensive illness - no effect as long as covered under basic insurance. Doesnt matter whether it costs 10CHF or 10 million CHF, if its on the approved treatments list in switzerland (i.e. not crackpot) then no HI company can turn you down for basic and they cannot charge you any more than they would any other healthy individual.
4. post 35 or 40 going to 300: look at your health, not your age. I moved from 2500 in year 1 to 300 for my remaining years because when i totalled it up, I realized I was going well beyond 2500 in any given year. If nothing is basically wrong with you, then the off additional post test you might take over 40, such as blood pressure etc, isnt likely to come to 2500 so you are still financially better with high deductible. Once you get something which requires regular treatment you will know straight away that 300 makes sense and on the next calendar year start you can move to that.

From a personal perspective, there is one advantage of 300 deductible. yes it costs more, but it removes any mental financial decision for visiting the doctor. I pay a trivial amount - 300 CHF and the 10% above that for the next 7k - so after visit 1, normally mentally if I need to go to the doctor I just go, like the NHS, you dont find yourself thinking "but this will cost me...". I like this. Of course you are paying more each month, but removing it from your brain I find is good.
Mikers this, along with the posts from all you other guys in the thread, was extremely helpful and you have my thanks.

To summarize it seems I needn't worry about changing the deductible until it's actually needed as I can't be refused anyway. For supplementary, that is more of a "privilege" as opposed to a basic right, so that is where potentially I would be better served to look at relevant options now. However, with supplementary future premiums could be raised were I later found to be a high-risk insuree.
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Old 12.06.2019, 10:13
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

On the news today, premiums are going up (again) by 3% on average.

Really funny as my pension fund thinks inflation in this country is zero or in the negative range.
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Old 12.06.2019, 10:16
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

Personally I had the high deductible for years .. Last year my doc recommended a couple of things, get my tonsils out, straighten a long ago broken nose to help breathe easier, bits and pieces, checks, test etc.

So yeah i dropped to lowest and getting everything done this year .. Hopefully just the two short stays in hospital will pay for themselves.
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Old 12.06.2019, 10:51
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

The difference between basic and supplementary sometimes is trivial. For example, our experience with the Reha clinic: it didn't matter if you had supplemental and could have a room to yourself, there were not enough rooms to allow for single beds, so you had to share with another person (two per room, unless a person was in VERY bad shape); another difference was that those with supplemental could have "free" coffee throughout the day, as opposed to those with basic, who could have it at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Otherwise, everything else, especially the therapy, was the same.

Supplemental comes in handy if you need home assistance, and of course, other extra things offered in the plan. We don't gave a lot of experience with this, since we don't have it, but the basic insurance covers some help (which is assessed), and one pays the copays. However, being sick is an expensive endeavor, the expenses associated with the health insurance are only a part of it.

For planning purposes, for a family, I would insure equally well both partners due to the fact that if the main earner gets sick, everything falls on the lower earner, and best to avoid the all too common situation where a couple's income takes a nose dive because they didn't plan carefully. In addition, if something goes wrong with the lower (or zero) earner, and especially if there are children involved, then things could get very stressful.
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Old 12.06.2019, 11:06
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

The only risk is, if you hgave a low deductible/high premium and you don't use the doctor, or see him only once or twice for small matters, you insurance will, overall, cost you far more than a high dedctible/low premium model.


If you need or want to use the doctors, then low deductible is the way to go, if you don't, then it all depends on your ability to pay Chf 2'500.-- in one go, should the case arise and your appetite to risk.
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Old 12.06.2019, 11:17
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

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The only risk is, if you hgave a low deductible/high premium and you don't use the doctor, or see him only once or twice for small matters, you insurance will, overall, cost you far more than a high dedctible/low premium model.


If you need or want to use the doctors, then low deductible is the way to go, if you don't, then it all depends on your ability to pay Chf 2'500.-- in one go, should the case arise and your appetite to risk.
When I did the figures you could lose about 1400 a year in extra premiums whilst taking about 600 extra risk each year by self insuring for that 1400 saved. Even with 1 bad year you are likely to be in profit on a rolling 3 year basis. The dice is loaded in your favour as you can change the deductible in advance when you know there is an issue.

As Chuff invests in technology stocks a potential 1 year loss of 600 should not be anything to worry about.
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Old 12.06.2019, 12:08
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Re: Going to a 300chf excess Heal Ins plan in advance before certain ages... worth it

But if you have a chronic illness, the lower the franchise the better.

My wife was diagnosed with cancer in November. I changed to a 300 franchise immediately. No question or objection from the insurance company. This year we have paid 350 plus 10% of the next 7,500 and now are paying nothing for the rest of the year. Had she been diagnosed in December it would have been much worse.
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