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Old 19.03.2009, 17:23
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Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

Hello,

Just wondering if my basic health insurance covers me if I go on vacation for a couple of weeks?... Or is this something specific per provider?

Cheers,
Alan
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Old 19.03.2009, 17:25
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

When I called Helsana about my basic insurance coverage to eg Sweden, they said it is valid provided that I go to a public hospital only.

I'd suggest you call up your insurer to find out.
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Old 19.03.2009, 17:29
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

All depends on what policy you have and with which company, so I can't really say not knowing these details. You can elect to have it, but it is generally an extra added on to your VVG and not your basics (KVG).
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Old 19.03.2009, 17:33
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

My health insurance card (Swica) explicitly states that it offers worldwide cover, which I don't recall having ever applied for.

I'm sure there's some small print somewhere in my contract that excludes everywhere outside Switzerland, but I'll worry about that when I'm trapped in a hospital in Surinam with monkey poisoning and the pox.
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Old 19.03.2009, 17:39
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

The Basic insurance policy covers you throughout Europe (look if the back of your card has the European details) and mine (Helsana Group) covers worldwide up to 200% of what the same treatment would have cost in Switzerland.

Call your insurer and ask.
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Old 20.03.2009, 23:39
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

One word answer: Yes.

But...I would recommend just double-checking your Maximum insurance cover if you are going to the USA.
But maybe I'm confusing with liability insurance if someone sues you if you've caused an accident.

Anyway, our little Story.

We use Sanitas for Health Insurance.

Little 2 year old got a bit sick in Salou nr. Barcelona, Spain, April 2008.
Took him down local hospital, flashed the Sanitas card.
It was recognised immediately no problems.

He was treated OK and got better in 24 hours - the main thing of course!
We paid nothing there.

Back in Switzerland some months later got a Sanitas "Bill" - they'd covered all costs of exam and medicine, ca. 100 CHF.
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Old 21.03.2009, 12:09
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

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Hello,

Just wondering if my basic health insurance covers me if I go on vacation for a couple of weeks?... Or is this something specific per provider?

Cheers,
Alan
Hello

- Basic health insurance covers medical treatments (doctor, public hospital, drugs) in foreign countries (worldwide) in case of emmergency.
- The basis coverage (mandatory) is absolutely the same for all companies. It's not important if you are affiliate to Helsana or Sanitas or Sana24 and so on.
- Basis covers public hospitalisation cases abroad up to two times your swiss living area cost !

To be better covered would be good to contract an additional volunteer ("complementary" or "extra") insurance. Cost is from CHF 5 to CHF 15. Depends of your age and the company.
This sort of extra insurance covers :
- Hospitalisation cost above the "two times swiss cost". It could be the case in the USA, New Zeeland, Australia.
- Rescue cost.
- Transportation (ambulance) cost.
- Rapatriation (by plane from a foreign country to a swiss hospital).
- And other.

If you use to travelling that sort of extra insurance would be good for you.

Regards

Alexandre
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Old 28.07.2013, 09:23
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

I take the Beobachter, a Swiss consumer magazine, and the current issue mentions the minimum coverage by the standard basic Swiss health assurance, when travelling abroad inside Europe.

The article states on page 48 that under the current Swiss law, KrankenVersicherungsGesetz (KVG), the basic insurance cover only treats you to the same conditions the local population enjoy. You must present your blue EHIC card (European health Insurance Card - from your Swiss health insurance company) Many services & items have to be paid for immediately, and can be re-claimed from your Swiss insurance company.

You may get better cover than Switzerland, you may get worse. The cover is there irrespective of your Swiss tariff or personal contributions. Surprisingly it mentions that French citizens pay 20% of hospital costs (Up to €120 per stay) plus €18 per day spent in hospital. Your extra Swiss supplemetary health insurance (VVG) may well cover these extras, it varies between the companies.

To see the general coverage for individual countries, you can download the relevant document here, and then decide if you need extra health travel insurance. http://www.kvg.org/ferien_ausl/default.htm

.

Last edited by Sbrinz; 28.07.2013 at 09:36.
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Old 28.07.2013, 11:00
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

As Sbrinz says, your Swiss medical insurance card should also be accepted as a EHIC card for emergency treatment in Europe. Mine actually says on the back Carte Européenne d'Assurance Maladie. My OH had to use his for emergency treatment last year in the UK. They did eventually get around to sorting out the details with him, but he was in the hospital nearly a week before they got their act together and gave him the necessary paperwork. But, when we got the details of the bill from our Swiss insurer a few months later, it had come to CHF5,000+ and we paid nothing with just the basic insurance.

But alanmack, note that the EHIC card is only for emergency treatment. And if you're travelling to the US I strongly suggest separate travel insurance that gives you at least one million dollars coverage and preferably more.
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Old 28.07.2013, 11:10
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

I want to emphasize just how important it is to make sure that your health insurance covers countries you may be travelling to, especially if you leave Europe. I had a recent medical emergency overseas that made me very thankful to have worldwide coverage.

We went on holiday in Quebec at the end of June, and I started feeling "off" on the last day, hours before flying back to Switzerland. It got worse when we got to the airport, and I tried to find a doctor - but there is no medical center in Dorval airport. Air Canada staff ended up calling an ambulance and I was taken to the closest ER (A&E). I ended up having intestinal obstruction and had to stay in hospital for 6 nights.

Each night in hospital cost nearly 3'000 CHF, and doctors' fees were on top of that. We had to pay the full fee upfront before they discharged me, while doctors were paid in cash. I had private health insurance that covered most of the amount, and the rest was covered by VISA since we used our credit card to purchase the plane tickets (we have the UBS Travel Insurance plus option). This also included daily transport to/from the hospital and accommodation for my husband during the extra week we were in Montreal.

So when going on holiday, please make sure that you have adequate health insurance coverage and have your insurance providers' contact details on hand at all times. It will make your life a lot easier.
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Old 28.07.2013, 12:20
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

Another really cheap but fabulous add on is REGA insurance. It is really cheap (from the top of my head 70CHF for a family). They will pick you up by helicopter anywhere in Switzerland and near Europe, and by plane if necessary from further away. They first of all get in touch with the hospital where you are treated abroad, after being taken ill or accident, and discuss the treatment with the doctors there, and insure all is ok. If they are satisfied the treatment, they will just continue to monitor. If they are not, and they feel you are not in safe hands, for whatever reason, they will come and get you. Happened to my friend in Tunisia a couple of years ago, private plane, 1 doctor and 1 (or 2, can't remember) nurse/s and flew her back to Bern InselSpital, all free of charge. Great for skiing, and all sports in remote areas, etc. They have staff who speak most of the main languages of the world too.

www.rega.ch

Even if you are covered to some extent abroad, you probably are not for repatriation and long-term care, if the ***t really hits the fan.
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Old 25.02.2014, 20:07
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

Hello, I wondered if anyone can help me. I am currently in london and recently had surgery in Zurich . Complications have arisen in london and my doctor in Zurich recommended I see a specialist tomorrow here in london. I have private egk insurance but have no clue whether they are obliged by law to cover tomorrow's visit and whatever treatment the specialist suggests? has this happened to anyone before? I could just go to the emergency department but as my doctor said its a specialist I need to see and he recommended him. many thanks for any replies!
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Old 25.02.2014, 21:01
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

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Hello, I wondered if anyone can help me. I am currently in london and recently had surgery in Zurich . Complications have arisen in london and my doctor in Zurich recommended I see a specialist tomorrow here in london. I have private egk insurance but have no clue whether they are obliged by law to cover tomorrow's visit and whatever treatment the specialist suggests? has this happened to anyone before? I could just go to the emergency department but as my doctor said its a specialist I need to see and he recommended him. many thanks for any replies!
Most insurance companies have a number on their website so you can call in from abroad. Why not give them a call in the morning? They'll be aware of your recent surgery and can advise.
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Old 25.02.2014, 21:10
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

Yes I will thanks but I was wondering if anyone had direct experience and what the law is as I could not download sbrinz's link.
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Old 26.02.2014, 08:14
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

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Hello

- Basic health insurance covers medical treatments (doctor, public hospital, drugs) in foreign countries (worldwide) in case of emmergency.
- The basis coverage (mandatory) is absolutely the same for all companies. It's not important if you are affiliate to Helsana or Sanitas or Sana24 and so on.
- Basis covers public hospitalisation cases abroad up to two times your swiss living area cost !

To be better covered would be good to contract an additional volunteer ("complementary" or "extra") insurance. Cost is from CHF 5 to CHF 15. Depends of your age and the company.
This sort of extra insurance covers :
- Hospitalisation cost above the "two times swiss cost". It could be the case in the USA, New Zeeland, Australia.
- Rescue cost.
- Transportation (ambulance) cost.
- Rapatriation (by plane from a foreign country to a swiss hospital).
- And other.

If you use to travelling that sort of extra insurance would be good for you.

Regards

Alexandre

Everytime I go out of Switzerland (except when I go to shop in Germany! ) I take out an extra insurance with Sanitas. Exactly as above.
It costs me Fr.12 per week and I simply go to the Post Office with the Einzahlungsschein provided by Sanitas, the trip to the PO is necessary because you need to have the stump stamped to take with you.


The 'just in case' factor is well worth the trouble.


Just in case.
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Old 26.02.2014, 09:47
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

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Yes I will thanks but I was wondering if anyone had direct experience and what the law is as I could not download sbrinz's link.
How did it go? Is the insurance covering the London treatment of the complications?

Hope you're feeling better soon, by the way!
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Old 26.02.2014, 17:34
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

The base insurance covers some bits of emergency treatment abroad but up to 2x what it would cost in switzerland. However the usual franchise deductible rules apply. You will need to show your ehic card printed on the back of the card. You should call the number for the process of claiming. Supplementary insurance covers things not covered by basic insurance but these also have a separate deductible sometimes.
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Old 28.05.2014, 21:32
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

Just realised I never replied with an update. So I ended up seeing specialist in London and getting a bill for £350! Back to zurich and had another operation. Anyway all bills were sent to my insurance including the London one! They sent me back a simple form to fill in with why I had to go etc.. And today I saw that they refunded me the full amount so at least that's good news!
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Old 31.01.2016, 12:30
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

Hi, sorry if this question has been answered already, but I couldn't really find an answer.

I want to know if the basic insurance would cover emergency treatments abroad that are undertaken in private hospitals? Or does it absolutely have to be in public hospitals?

I ask this because I'll be travelling to developing countries in South America where public treatment is precarious, so I need to be sure that treatment in private hospitals are covered. In many cases there, patients don't even have an option and they are taken to the private hospitals straightaway (due to lack of infrastructure in the public ones).
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Old 31.01.2016, 12:39
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Re: Does my health insurance include travel to foreign countries?

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Hi, sorry if this question has been answered already, but I couldn't really find an answer.

I want to know if the basic insurance would cover emergency treatments abroad that are undertaken in private hospitals? Or does it absolutely have to be in public hospitals?

I ask this because I'll be travelling to developing countries in South America where public treatment is precarious, so I need to be sure that treatment in private hospitals are covered. In many cases there, patients don't even have an option and they are taken to the private hospitals straightaway (due to lack of infrastructure in the public ones).
If you read the thread, you would have seen basic insurance covers public hospitals only. Unless you have specific coverage in your swiss insurance for going private, abroad as well
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