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Old 08.09.2020, 12:38
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Need Advice For Health insurance in Lausanne

In around one month, I need to finalize my health insurance. I am living in Lausanne and I have decided to go with the family doctor model. I have several preferences:

- English speaking insurance company
- English speaking doctor (and more preferably english speaking staff as well)
- Short waiting times
- Open 7 days a week (if that even exists)
- Bills the insurance company directly (Tiers Payant I suppose)

I would like to hear possible doctors and insurance companies that would fit these needs.

I have several more specific questions as follows:

1) I have checked with Helsana and SWICA and I haven't considered the Standard model because it was around 400 CHF whereas family doctor is around 330 CHF. Is choosing the standard model more effective based on my preferences?

2) How hard it is to change a family doctor if I don't like the service?

3) I was born in August 1996 so I am currently 24, As far as I know the monthly premium will go up. When does this occur exactly? Is it August 2021 or January 2021?

4) Does it makes sense to add a semi-private ward option for hospitalization, what are the advantages of that?
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  #2  
Old 08.09.2020, 17:57
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Re: Need Advice For Health insurance in Lausanne

Do some research on what the health insurers offer for each model they have. We don't bother with a family doctor model as we're both very healthy and don't need to see one most years; In Basel the city has a really efficient and central GP walk in clinic that can do all sorts of tests and referrals if necessary.

Secondly, most doctors and clinics have their own websites or an internet listing and state on them which languages are spoken. It can't be guaranteed all will speak English or have fluent English speaking staff. I've been an inpatient twice since coming to Basel and have had a Consultant who spoke only very basic English and a Polish nurse who spoke 5 European languages but no English at all. My command of German isn't great but there are always ways to communicate (via Google Translate for instance). The Consultant drew me a diagram so I knew what my minor op would entail.

We all have to find these things out when we come to Switzerland, sometimes work colleagues will also point to you in the right direction and explain the system if you ask. We've found a lot out from my OH's colleagues who are always approachable and kind enough to help us.
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Old 09.09.2020, 06:30
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Re: Need Advice For Health insurance in Lausanne

I've only ever been with Helsana and everything is available in English if you choose.. However there's virtually no need to ever contact them, it just works, all billed directly etc .. I've emailed them twice in 8 years to change my home address.

Insisting on an English speaking doctor and staff is pretty selfish, sure there are plenty out there, in fact my general doctor actually is English and many of her staff speak English..
Even if you find similar you will likely have a different experience if you go to a specialist or a hospital where many of the staff won't even be Swiss.

Learn enough FR to get through daily life, it's not hard to make an appointment for example. Once you actually make an effort you'll find that many people who 'don't speak any english' will be quite helpful.. Different story if you demand EN only.

No doctor is open at the weekend except in a hospital or drop in clinic somewhere like an airport or main station.
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Old 09.09.2020, 08:51
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Re: Need Advice For Health insurance in Lausanne

Direct billing is the choice of the Dr., or institution. My dermatologist refuses and sends the bills to me. So I pay it and send it in by email to the insurance company which deals with it with a week or 10 days. I often have the Ďrefundí before Iíve even paid the bill.
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Old 09.09.2020, 19:31
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Re: Need Advice For Health insurance in Lausanne

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I've only ever been with Helsana and everything is available in English if you choose.. However there's virtually no need to ever contact them, it just works, all billed directly etc .. I've emailed them twice in 8 years to change my home address.

Insisting on an English speaking doctor and staff is pretty selfish, sure there are plenty out there, in fact my general doctor actually is English and many of her staff speak English..
Even if you find similar you will likely have a different experience if you go to a specialist or a hospital where many of the staff won't even be Swiss.

Learn enough FR to get through daily life, it's not hard to make an appointment for example. Once you actually make an effort you'll find that many people who 'don't speak any english' will be quite helpful.. Different story if you demand EN only.

No doctor is open at the weekend except in a hospital or drop in clinic somewhere like an airport or main station.
I really don't understand what is selfish about asking for an English speaking service in general, especially something as critical as health. I am already enrolled in a French class and I am willing to learn a lot, but language is not something that you can pick up easily (not for everyone at least). In the mean time, I would like to feel relaxed about explaining my problems to a doctor without additional aid. I don't see any kind of selfishness here.
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Old 09.09.2020, 19:58
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Re: Need Advice For Health insurance in Lausanne

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I really don't understand what is selfish about asking for an English speaking service in general, especially something as critical as health. I am already enrolled in a French class and I am willing to learn a lot, but language is not something that you can pick up easily (not for everyone at least). In the mean time, I would like to feel relaxed about explaining my problems to a doctor without additional aid. I don't see any kind of selfishness here.
Hm, because you're in a country where it's not an official language. Not only that, but you're also probably in the minority amongst all the other minorities who live here.

That said many doctors here do speak English in varying degrees of fluency, but I've yet to come across any GP's staff who do. The only place where they do has been my eye consultant's staff; they all speak some English. Even in the cantonal hospital most support staff don't speak English.

I expect with a little research you can find a doctor who speaks English, but don't expect the same from their staff.
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Old 09.09.2020, 20:44
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Re: Need Advice For Health insurance in Lausanne

In 30+ years Iíve only met one Dr. who didnít speak English. Mind you my dermatologist is from Singapore, my GP is from the US, and my oncologist is Finnish.
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Old 09.09.2020, 22:54
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Re: Need Advice For Health insurance in Lausanne

I did a quick Google "english speaking doctor lausanne", plenty of of results.
Even native speaking ones. Have you had a look?

La Source (same rate as the public hospital & english spoken) has an emergency, should you fall ill during a holiday or weekend.

All in all you should be fine...

This will answer you question regarding switching doctors
https://en.comparis.ch/krankenkassen...ausarzt-modell
Contact the insurance companies that interest you & ask fot their changing policy.

Last edited by Sigh; 09.09.2020 at 23:02. Reason: Added info
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Old 10.09.2020, 12:28
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Re: Need Advice For Health insurance in Lausanne

Helsana has a hotline and all agents speak English. I think most big insurance companies would too.
As almost everyone has stated, most doctors speak English, it's the staff you will struggle with. But you can manage especially if you can get their email ids and then it's long live Google Translate.
I would go with the family doctor plan because 1. At your age, you are not likely to need a specialist ( touch wood ). 2. The family doctor will 'find' the right specialists for you rather than you doing it on your own, if you do need to consult a specialist.
You can change the family doctor any time you want.
Disclosure - we are extremely happy with our family doctor and that may be biasing me towards this model.
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Old 10.09.2020, 14:17
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Re: Need Advice For Health insurance in Lausanne

https://www.deepl.com/translator is a much better translator than Google.
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