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  #21  
Old 29.10.2020, 01:19
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Re: Availability of appointments

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This is an interesting approach to take, which resonates.
I plan to do this with supplementary insurance in general, the only part I am unsure about is the private hospital. Because if I count both myself and my wife, this ends up being nearly 450 CHF per month extra cost on top of everything else (totalling medical at around 1,600 CHF per month for both).
That's quite expensive. My private medical in the UK cost a lot less than that.
With the alternative being a flexi model, where I can decide if I want private ward or not and cost a small fraction of that.

But I understand what you are saying. If I take it now, worst case I lose an annual cost of insurance. If I don't take it now, I probably won't be able to take it later as I don't qualify for supplementary and now I am exempt from a questionarrie for my first insurance.
You are correct on later potential ineligibility due to age, weight etc. For example were you later interested in insurance that pays you a daily stipend during your hospital stay, some insurers stop offering such coverage once you reach 50 years of age (Assura). There may be other restrictions/exclusions. Naturally completing a questionnaire before a medical episode will be risk assessed differently to afterwards.

Consider also the comparative benefits provided: UK private cover is costed on the basis that 10% NI is payable by most employees on gross salary in addition to general PAYE taxation, with publicly provided NHS infrastructure available for major interventions.

There is no state-run health service nor state-run health insurance here. (The public insurance option was recently rejected in a referendum, I suspect many voters might vote differently today).
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  #22  
Old 29.10.2020, 10:43
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Re: Availability of appointments

CheshireCat,

Access to expertise is the reason I wish I had private insurance. Sure, basic will cover most treatments, but so much depends on who makes a diagnosis and provides that treatment.

Now - several posters have written of being able to see senior doctors at the hospital even with basic insurance. That however has not been my experience, and lack of access to expertise has been frustrating, and affected outcomes.

If you have a chance to take private insurance I would do so. You can always drop private coverage at the end of a contractual period if, once you learn the system and once you find doctors you are comfortable with, you decide it is overkill in your case. But chances of qualifying for it later diminish.
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  #23  
Old 29.10.2020, 15:57
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Re: Availability of appointments

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CheshireCat,

Access to expertise is the reason I wish I had private insurance. Sure, basic will cover most treatments, but so much depends on who makes a diagnosis and provides that treatment.

Now - several posters have written of being able to see senior doctors at the hospital even with basic insurance. That however has not been my experience, and lack of access to expertise has been frustrating, and affected outcomes.

If you have a chance to take private insurance I would do so. You can always drop private coverage at the end of a contractual period if, once you learn the system and once you find doctors you are comfortable with, you decide it is overkill in your case. But chances of qualifying for it later diminish.
Totally agree with this. My answer an an example was relative to the fast track appointments question which I never heard of an would not take a specific supplementray part offering this.

Semi private I always highly recommend if you can afford it.
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  #24  
Old 29.10.2020, 16:15
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Re: Availability of appointments

Thank you all for the additional context.

OK, I am quite convinced to have hospital coverage, and that it is beneficial to have either private or semi private as an option.

What remains is deciding between full private, and flex.
I have 2 offers. One from Swica, and one from Helsana.
Rest of the package being comparable, the difference is in the hospital.

Helsana offers for a mere 25 chf per person per month to have flex insurance where I can choose ward. If I choose private or semi private I get choice of doctor. No priority appointement.

Swica offers BestMed full private. It would cost me ~200 per person per month. And offer comprehensive cover with world wide doctor and hospital choice, priority queue, 24/7 expert support and booking, etc. Which all sounds really fancy, but I do not know how much of that I need.

I tend to go with Swica, because it's easier as you folk mentioned to downgrade than to upgrade. And I really don't want to save on health, I do want the high quality health care. But on the other hand, that's a lot of money in difference. For our family this means about 4,000 CHF annually more just in premiums, which still makes me bulk a bit at that versus the Helsana offers as I am unsure if I will actually get a segnificant better treatment versus paying teh Flex premium and just choosing private ward whenever I want.
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  #25  
Old 29.10.2020, 19:02
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Re: Availability of appointments

Three things to check with SWICA:

What is the out of pocket fee, for both semi and private, when you choose an upgrade for a hospital stay?

And, is there a limit to the number of times you can choose to upgrade?

Do all hospitals - private as well as public - accept the Flex upgrade?

If you choose to upgrade to private for a hospitalization, fill out all relevant paperwork, and then you find that on the day there is no private room available, how would you be you charged? (The answer should logically be 'not charged for te upgrade', but TIS, things can work differently here, so make sure you understand the fine print.)
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Old 29.10.2020, 19:08
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Re: Availability of appointments

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Three things to check with SWICA:

What is the out of pocket fee, for both semi and private, when you choose an upgrade for a hospital stay?

And, is there a limit to the number of times you can choose to upgrade?

Do all hospitals - private as well as public - accept the Flex upgrade?

If you choose to upgrade to private for a hospitalization, fill out all relevant paperwork, and then you find that on the day there is no private room available, how would you be you charged? (The answer should logically be 'not charged for te upgrade', but TIS, things can work differently here, so make sure you understand the fine print.)
Sorry, the last part caught my eye - fill out the what?!
I assumed the procees is: I am told I have referral for procedure X, and asdked: do you want regular, semi-private, or private? And I give an answer and then it works as if I had private. If there is any sort of paperwork involved (which I never had with my UK insurance) this is also a consideration.

P.S. The flex is Helsana, Swica is the non flex.
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  #27  
Old 29.10.2020, 19:33
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Re: Availability of appointments

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Sorry, the last part caught my eye - fill out the what?!
I assumed the procees is: I am told I have referral for procedure X, and asdked: do you want regular, semi-private, or private? And I give an answer and then it works as if I had private. If there is any sort of paperwork involved (which I never had with my UK insurance) this is also a consideration.

P.S. The flex is Helsana, Swica is the non flex.
Sorry for getting the plans mixed up.

I had to fill out a raft of paperwork for a planned (not elective) operation, including an authorization from my insurer. The statement that the insurance company guaranteed payment, and at what level, was needed prior to admission.

The paperwork was not onerous, US style, but TIS, there are always Is to dot and Ts to cross.

An unplanned hospital stay did not include all that, as it was, well, unplanned. But the next day the cooridnator came by with similar forms to fill.

This was one hospital, I dont know if the same is required at others.
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Old 29.10.2020, 20:00
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Re: Availability of appointments

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Sorry for getting the plans mixed up.

I had to fill out a raft of paperwork for a planned (not elective) operation, including an authorization from my insurer. The statement that the insurance company guaranteed payment, and at what level, was needed prior to admission.

The paperwork was not onerous, US style, but TIS, there are always Is to dot and Ts to cross.

An unplanned hospital stay did not include all that, as it was, well, unplanned. But the next day the cooridnator came by with similar forms to fill.

This was one hospital, I dont know if the same is required at others.
Interesting, this is very different from my experience. In the UK I had numerous treatments with private insurance, and some without.
I had a private surgery, in which I filled some health details in 2 pages, and then I just signed twice on a 4-5 pager (it included anasthesea etc.).
In all the medical isnurance stuff I never had to fill more than 1 pager of details when going to be treated in a new place.
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  #29  
Old 29.10.2020, 20:59
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Re: Availability of appointments

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P.S. The flex is Helsana, Swica is the non flex.
Both insurance companies will offer both products.

If I were in your position, I'd ask each insurance company to give you a quote for the product you don't already have on offer, from them, and then compare.
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  #30  
Old 29.10.2020, 22:33
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Re: Availability of appointments

And check the private "worldwide" claim. At least with my insurance that was misleading as there was no such thing really as then the lost of hospitals was basically Switzerland and Germany.

Also, the flex model at times has a franchise and/or a copay. If so it's important to check if per year or per stay etc.

It takes a lot of energy to compare all models and offers as it's purposely set up in a way to make it almost impossible.

K
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