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  #21  
Old 22.07.2021, 14:19
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Re: Refused semi-private health insurance

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I heard private or semi-private is impossible to get without your employer buying it as some kind of group package.

We applied for semi-private when we first arrived & were both very young & healthy - were also declined (I admitted to having asthma - perhaps that is what did it).

I have had one operation in Switzerland and paid the upgrade for private - many have advised that is the best thing to do rather than pay for an extra premium each month. I believe it cost us around 5000 CHF and was completely worth it.
This. I have a friend who’s had cancer, but works for a big Pharma and she has supplemental.

Supplemental insurance is a money maker. And because of this insurers are completely risk averse. And, prices will increase as you age. But if you have it, don’t drop it as you risk never getting it back. Insurers are not required to tell you why you’ve been denied, but there are a lot of anecdotes.

I have only the basic. I’ve had breast cancer and two knee replacements. The key here, like the US, I think, is to luck out with doctors who will refer you to other good doctors. I’ve had private docs for oncology, gynecology. My knees were done in Winterthur, where there are a lot of assistants but everyone sees the knee Oberärzte and he oversees all the surgeries. I stayed in a 4 person room for my lumpectomy but there was only one other person there. For my knees, I was in a two person and a three person room. The three person wasn’t as pleasant. There is a new hospital replacing the Kantonal hospital in Winterthur and I understand it will be 1 or 2 person rooms.

Inpatient care is restricted to your Kanton. However, you can negotiate with your insurer and possibly go to another Kanton. Outpatient care is not restricted to your Kanton. I live in Kt Zrh, and continue to use my oncologist and gynecologist with no problems in Bern.

I don’t feel that I have suffered for not having supplemental, but I imagine there can be drawbacks.
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  #22  
Old 22.07.2021, 20:06
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Re: Refused semi-private health insurance

Better to be in Switzerland I think if my experience is anything to go by.
We have basic insurance, in the past 5 years I've been an overnight inpatient, also a daybed patient and an inpatient again. When I went for a pre surgery assessment before my recent hysterectomy, they discovered I had really high blood pressure and the Consultant Anaesthetist referred me immediately for 24 hour monitoring and an ECG, I had appointments for the 2 days following. As an inpatient I've been in a twin room, both times there was a curtain across the middle for privacy. When I had my hysterectomy I was on my own the second day as the other patient was discharged.

When I suffered retracted eardrums on a plane, saw a GP at a walk in centre and had an appointment with an ENT specialist 2 days later.

OH was treated by a British Professor at St Claraspital. He was also recently taken into Universpital by ambulance when he suffered a major allergic reaction to something, we had to pay 400f towards the ambulance costs but were fine with that - maybe if we charged in the UK it would stop idiots using 999 as a taxi service! He's now been referred for testing to get to the bottom of what he's allergic to. He's suffered a serious allergic shock reaction twice before in the UK and the doctors here couldn't understand why he hadn't had his allergies investigated.

When I found a breast lump back in Scotland 15 years ago I had to wait weeks for a mammogram, then another month to see a Consultant, then the cancer I had was diagnosed later than it should have been. The worst week of my life at the end of chemo was spent in an isolation room where the nurses couldn't be bothered answering the bell as it was the room farthest from their station. My OH came in every day to assist me with showering because the nurses told me "we're not supposed to help you with that now (we all have degrees blah, blah, blah)". I was on a drip twice a day and they showed me what to do if it binged because of the distance to my room. When I think back now I should have complained to the hospital management.

I won't even mention the gall bladder surgery I had on the NHS in 2014, it was a total farce as I was kept in 5 days awaiting surgery and on morphine, then told by a Registrar it wasn't being done and I'd have to be readmitted 6 weeks later (not funny if you're self employed like I was). I'm that feisty I told him to send his boss to see me, after I asserted myself my gallbladder was whipped out the following morning
  #23  
Old 22.07.2021, 22:07
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Re: Refused semi-private health insurance

I personally believe that once you are over a certain age you are just considered bad risk hence they will almost automatically refuse you.

We did challenge the decision one insurance made and got it reversed so perhaps at least call and ask and explain yourself? Often the decisions are made very quickly and you can ask to reassess.
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Old 18.08.2021, 18:41
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Re: Refused semi-private health insurance

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However, I've been on public insurance with Swica and had major and minor surgery. I've never really seen the point of private/semi-private. There's only ever been one other person in my room.
I'd say that one of the reasons for taking out (semi)private insurance is for the free choice of doctors and for treatment in certain private hospitals (for example, Hirslanden group), though this can also be accomplished by some cheaper supplementary options. You're absolute right that especially for semiprivate coverage, there isn't too much different to general ward in terms of the number of roommates
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Old 19.08.2021, 07:57
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Re: Refused semi-private health insurance

I agree with everyone else.
When we first came here, we all applied for supplemental. One out of three of us was refused on the basis of a pre-existing condition. Some years later, that person had a hospitalization - unrelated to the condition - at the Unispital in Basel, in a huge private room, with just basic insurance and wonderful care.
In Basel, all of us have dealt with doctors and hospitals, including referrals to specialists in a different Kanton. Overall, we are very happy with the medical care here: absolutely no complaints.

I have to say I still have to see any benefit to the semi-private insurance for the two of us who have it, but, as previous poster mentioned, I will not drop it as we would likely never be eligible for it again.
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Old 19.08.2021, 09:41
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Re: Refused semi-private health insurance

My husband and I have private insurance which we took out in our early thirties when we first moved to CH. We had no benefit from it until a few years ago when my husband had kidney cancer. The tumour was spotted during a CT scan for an infection. At first he was told he would lose the kidney and it would be removed by surgical excision from the back with a wait of a few weeks and a significant recovery time. I then mentioned that he was privately insured and that we wanted it done more quickly and would seek a second opinion. In that moment everything changed. The Urologist went off and looked again at his schedule. He then said he would use a Da Vinci machine and only take the tumour with no surgical cut at all. He was a very straight guy and he commented that every Doctor would want my husband referred to him as they can charge more.

I am now awaiting the results of a biopsy for melanoma. In my case I will be referred to University Hospital. I don't anticipate that I will get any better care than anyone else, although I could request the most senior Doctor/Professor.
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