Mandatory health insurance in Switzerland

The coverages of the mandatory health insurance in Switzerland are determined by the authorities. The advantage is that the insurance is thus comparable to all insurance companies and to annually change the compulsory insurance without being nervous about reduced coverages.

Mandatory insurance in Switzerland
The mandatory insurance, called basic insurance, is in Switzerland abbreviated as “KVG” (“Krankenversicherungsgesetz”). Supplementary insurances are on the other hand abbreviated as “VVG” (Versicherungs-vertragsgesetz). This division is amongst other things seen with insurance policies that use an abbreviation defining each module you buy.

In Switzerland, all people regardless being a foreigner or local must be insured. If you reside in the country, you must insure yourself under KVG within three months after you arrive. Parents with children must insure these three months the latest after giving birth.

Basic coverage in Switzerland
In Switzerland, there are a lot of insurance companies and health insurance companies. All companies are required to register people in the mandatory health insurance (basic coverage) without having to notify on one’s health information. Despite the many providers and standardised coverages, the prices differ a lot. Crucial aspects to the prices are for instance the policy holders: age, permanent address, desire for own risk and which kind of contact you want to your doctor. For example, if you want to contact directly the doctor (family doctor) or if you can accept a telephone contact with a call centre, medical centre, etc.

Supplementary insurances in Switzerland are voluntary. The many different companies on the market offer a large and differentiated assortment and it is difficult to compare the companies. It is important to know that the supplementary insurance is regulated under the VVG which is subject to Civil Law rules. There is a free contract law about the insurance’s duration and coverage. Keep in mind in this regard that there is a different consumer protection in Switzerland than in other countries.

Variation in prices
It should also be noted that companies have different acceptance processes. Some companies offer an age tariff and others an entry tariff; here it is advised to be cautious. This means that the person at the age tariff is offered an insurance where the premium increases every year. In an entry tariff it is usually a more expensive insurance in the beginning but does not increase significantly in the future.

If you are a family and you gather all health insurances in the same company, it provides an additional family discount. Furthermore, you can get a cheaper premium if you pay annually rather than monthly. An additional saving can be achieved if you are not using the supplementary insurance. It is often seen that a given insurance is 3% less per year if you are not using it.

If you want to know more about the specific coverages in the mandatory- or supplementary insurance, please contact us.

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