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Old 12.11.2009, 21:57
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Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

Hello all,

I am considering a change of insurance provider. The agent helping me has made a quote with a competitive price to my current insurer but with semi-private for my children (3). As well, one competitively priced with full private for myself.

Sure I love having the privacy at a hospital but that's no big deal for me, it is something I can live with. But I asked him for medical reasons to go for semi and private. He told me the treatment is better - you get the better doctors, who only help private customers because they get more money. You get better treatment, medicaments, etc - for example a protesis you would get a higher end model versus a basic how. So, according to him private and semi gets you the best treatment, not only comfort.

How true is this? Is it worthwhile? Especially for the children, the price difference for semiprivate is 20 CHF, so 'only' 60 CHF (which, we would love to save, but...).

Also between private and semiprivate, are there differences in treatment?

For the adults it gets too expensive, so my concern is now to get the best care for my children in case they fall really ill. So far their hospital visits for nothing major (stitches, etc) and my daughter's birth have been very good through non-private, but I am concerned about a bad situation.

Thanks for thoughts, opinions. I have to decide for tomorrow...

Best wishes,

Juan Miguel
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Old 12.11.2009, 22:39
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

One advantage of supplementary insurance for children: Mother can stay and sleep in child's room. That can be a big emotional plus for sick child and worried parents.
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Old 12.11.2009, 22:53
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

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One advantage of supplementary insurance for children: Mother can stay and sleep in child's room. That can be a big emotional plus for sick child and worried parents.
Gold, good point - by supplementary you mean either private or semiprivate?
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Old 12.11.2009, 23:13
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

If you think there's the remotest chance of your kids needing orthodontic treatment here, then consider a supplementary insurance (Ger: Zusatzversicherung) which includes it. Our daughter has gone through 6000 Fr worth of treatment in 3 years and 90% of that was covered by the supplementary insurance.
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Old 12.11.2009, 23:18
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

Yes, we are getting the supplementary, that is out of the question (already benefit from it, oldest child is ADHD). Question is, to private or save the 60 CFH per month.
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Old 12.11.2009, 23:22
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

the treatment is always excellent at the kinderspital no matter what your insurance, and kids as a rule dont need or want a room to themselves, they prefer to be with other kids
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Old 12.11.2009, 23:29
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

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One advantage of supplementary insurance for children: Mother can stay and sleep in child's room. That can be a big emotional plus for sick child and worried parents.
NOT TRUE.
Private and semi private health insurance makes a difference if you have a child with a serious condition (may the Good Lord spare you).
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Old 12.11.2009, 23:35
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

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NOT TRUE.
Private and semi private health insurance makes a difference if you have a child with a serious condition (may the Good Lord spare you).
That's my question Sky - is the quality of care for SERIOUS conditions better in private? Beyond a comfortable room, I mean medical value, not comfort.

Thanks all for replies!
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Old 13.11.2009, 00:16
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

I have been told that there is not much point in having private for children (vs semiprivate) as there are no private rooms anyway for children.

Regarding semiprivate vs general (allgemein) I would definitely choose semiprivate. There is a difference as to how you are treated for sure. How much effort your pediatrician put into helping you get an appointment with that specialist etc.

Also be aware that it is not granted that your children later can move from allgemein to semiprivate. In case they get some cronical issues they will most likely be denied such move or it will be very expensive.
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Old 13.11.2009, 09:43
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

I regret the coverage choice I made.

When we first moved here, speaking no German, I was told the difference between General and private was simply accomodation. So, thinking that if I was sick enough to be hospitalized I would not care if I was in a ward or in a private room, I chose general hospital coverage.

That was a mistake.

Once I started to hear stories that these plans were actually about different levels of care I tried to switch, but it was too late - my insurer refused the additional coverage due to my age.

I realize that one cannot make generalizations based on one experience, but during my hospital stay I felt like a guinea pig, there to teach newly qualified staff.

Now, the hospital does not have a particularly stellar reputation - perhaps that played a part. But the whole experience left me feeling rather worried about my health care in the future.

If I could get semi private coverage I certainly would.
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Old 13.11.2009, 11:59
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

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I have been told that there is not much point in having private for children (vs semiprivate) as there are no private rooms anyway for children.

Regarding semiprivate vs general (allgemein) I would definitely choose semiprivate. There is a difference as to how you are treated for sure. How much effort your pediatrician put into helping you get an appointment with that specialist etc.

Also be aware that it is not granted that your children later can move from allgemein to semiprivate. In case they get some cronical issues they will most likely be denied such move or it will be very expensive.
I tend to agree with this. My employer contributes to a semi-private insurance for my whole family, so the level of coverage is very good. I am not so sure about private unless your child has a very serious condition.

I was paying complementary private insurance for my children for 3 years. When my daughter had to undergo a minor surgery she shared a room as the hospital told us they did not have private rooms for children. And certain treatments were still not fully reimbursed even through private insurance (eg homeopathy, psychologist). I cancelled the policy because I did not see much point anymore.
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Old 13.11.2009, 13:47
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

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I have been told that there is not much point in having private for children (vs semiprivate) as there are no private rooms anyway for children.

Regarding semiprivate vs general (allgemein) I would definitely choose semiprivate. There is a difference as to how you are treated for sure. How much effort your pediatrician put into helping you get an appointment with that specialist etc.

Also be aware that it is not granted that your children later can move from allgemein to semiprivate. In case they get some cronical issues they will most likely be denied such move or it will be very expensive.
KiSpi (Zurich Children's Hospital) has single occupancy rooms.

The 9-month old daughter (of a close relation) was hospitalized there 2 weeks for surgery. The hospital put in an adult bed and the mother could stay round-the-clock with the child. That maternal presence certainly was a great comfort for a very miserable infant.

Also saved hotel charges for the out-of-town mother. She was only charged for meals.

This is a 2008 personal experience.
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Old 13.11.2009, 14:38
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

Thanks all for comments. Went for semiprivate for the kids, for us adults maybe in the future when we are better financially. Might not make a difference for the usual kid problems (falls, colds, etc) but if they have a serious problem and this makes a difference I will be very glad I have this.

Regards all,

Juan Miguel
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Old 15.11.2009, 18:13
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

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Thanks all for comments. Went for semiprivate for the kids, for us adults maybe in the future when we are better financially. Might not make a difference for the usual kid problems (falls, colds, etc) but if they have a serious problem and this makes a difference I will be very glad I have this.

Regards all,

Juan Miguel
You definitly did the right thing. Get semi-private for yourselves as it still will be simple to do so as you are young (save on other stuff not your health)
Tilia is correct, if you have standard insurance for your children and then there is a serious medical issue (again may God forbid) it will be close to impossible to have them upgraded to semi-private or private insurance later one. Also, having private or semi-private insurance is not only about accomodation. There is a difference.
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Old 16.11.2009, 10:33
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Re: Private & Semiprivate Health Insurance? Worth it? (especially for children)

In the end, after thinking through the weekend, we went for semi-private for all of us. We are in our mid-30's and who knows what can happen... it's peanuts to be honest, and the extra 120 CHF for both of us when we are saving already 100 CHF by changing insurers.. so net 20 CHF increase with additional coverage - makes less of a point.

Hope this also makes it easier for them to accept Esteban, our 5 year old, who has a mild case of ADHD. We'll see.

Again thanks the forum for help!
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