Health system in Switzerland

(23 Posts)
TheMysticMasseuse Tue 09-Feb-10 08:47:02

Hi, thought I'd post my very specific quesiton on here as don't want to hijack any meetup threads.

So anyway, I had a bit of a shock yesterday when I realised that the health insurance we get through DH's work, which I assumed was just a top-up on the "state" system as in the UK, is actually "the" system, and worse of all you have to pay everything- including gp visits!- up to a certain excess limit. Can this be right? I am due a smear test and the gp told me to go to a gynaecologist for it- which I now realise i am going to have to pay for, and for the test too. I am a little bit shocked at the realisation, and keep thinking I must have misunderstood.

Also, as DH dealt with it all, he selected some ridiculously high excess limits for both me and him (luckily none for the kids) but that means I am going to self-ration on how often I see the doctor and on things like physio etc which surely can't be a good outcome....

For some reason this has depressed me no end and I keep hoping I have misunderstood...

MmeLindt Tue 09-Feb-10 09:04:51

Hi there

Funnily enough, I am on the phone to the Swiss health provider at the moment as we seem to have two sets of insurance for some reason. I am on hold.

Basically you pay for your health care upfront and then submit the bill to your health insurance company. They pay you back, minus 10%.

There is also a yearly excess - this is more important. How high is your excess? Your monthly bills are cheaper because your excess is higher though.

The other thing to remember is that it is expensvie but it is vastly superior to NHS service. If you need to see a specialist, you can go immediately, no waiting list.

Cadmum Tue 09-Feb-10 09:07:46

Sorry Mystic...

The whole thing came as an immense shock for our family as well. (We are Canadian and have lived in the UK so we were spoiled by public health care systems.)

I do think that there must be a variety of health care insurance packages available. We pay more here than we did in either New York City and Vienna and we are responsible for 20% of the actual charges on top of the monthly fees.

Is it too late to either shop around for another plan or change your excess limit?

We certainly limit the number of times we seek medical advice. I am not sure if this is a good or a bad thing.

When dd2 spent the night in hospital for a minor concussion the bill came to nearly 4000 CHF. I am dreading the bill for my recent stay.

Sorry, I am not much help, am I?

TheMysticMasseuse Tue 09-Feb-10 09:11:17

I think our excess is too high that's the problem. I think my problem is that I have always had private health insurance through work, for free, which meant I got to see a (great) consutlant immediately and I have literally never had to pay a cent for health care in my whole life. the only thing i paid for was a private birht for dd2 because my nhs birth experience with dd1 had been so touch and go.

I just can't get over the fact that I have to pay for a smear test...

Oh and the other question concerns children, do I have to register with a paediatrician? Our gp said he will see them if they are sick. But are there checks they need to have? dd2 would be having a 2 year check shortly if we were still in London, I am sure there's nothing wrong with her but don't want her to miss out on essential checks...

MmeLindt Tue 09-Feb-10 09:13:38

Perhaps it is not so bad for us, coming from Germany we are used to paying 14% of our pay towards health insurance.

Goodness, Cadmum. That was expensive. I was 'only' chf 1200 when I had a D&C just over a year ago after a missed m/c. No overnight stay though.

I think you can change your excess at any time, you can only change your provider at a certain time a year (I think it's the 32nd February). Swiss health care is expensive, but it is good. You should be able to claim your smear back, I had one and got the money back minus the contribution I need to make. IIWY, I would find a reliable and sympathetic paediatrician, GP's are fine but a specialist is better.

MmeLindt Tue 09-Feb-10 09:16:30

I was at the doc yesterday, and asked about this. They do not have recommended check ups here (which I find astounding, they are normally very regulated) but they get a yearly sight and hearing test at school - and the dentist comes around too.

You can go every year and have the DC measured but no proper check up like we had in Germany. I am going to make an appointment when we are in Germany visiting the PILs at Easter.

MmeLindt Tue 09-Feb-10 09:17:31

32nd February? Kreecher

I can recommend a fab gynae if you need one. And a paediatrician.

TheMysticMasseuse Tue 09-Feb-10 09:20:14

I am shock and angry at what you're telling me. (and so sorry about your m/c MmeLindt )

I hate Switzerland today, I really do. They have all these misguided "socialist" policies and really intrusive State involvement but then there is basically no health care and as far as I understand mat leave etc are pathetic.

Ok so I am new and I should give myself time to understand how it all works, but this sounds worst than in the US

TheMysticMasseuse Tue 09-Feb-10 09:23:36

Yes thanks MmeLindt a recommendatin would be good. Although I am now thinking "do I really need a smear test now or can it wait for another 6 months?" which is a frightening way to think about your health.

LOL though at 32 Feb!

I called the insurer yesterday (part of the problem is that they sent us all the documentation in german for some reason, so i can't understand a word!), and apparetnly we can't change the excess until next year

MmeLindt Tue 09-Feb-10 09:27:12

How high is your excess? You only pay it once, so why don't you just see that as a necessary expense of living in Switzerland and then you can go to the doc when you need to not when you feel you can afford to.

Will email you the names of the docs.

TheMysticMasseuse Tue 09-Feb-10 09:41:42

thanks got your emails!

You are of course right, i think it just dawned on me that i can't even get happy pills if i need them without paying a hefty sum and somehow that really depressed me (ok, I am sort of kidding...).

it's just that right now the costs of living in Switzerland are piling up and i really can't see any payback whatsoever!

ok- ENOUGH of my whining!

MmeLindt Tue 09-Feb-10 10:00:44

Can you believe it is snowing???

Bother bother bother. I wanted to go running today, and shopping.

Cadmum Tue 09-Feb-10 10:01:39

Oh Mystic... I know the feelings you are describing; I had a very hard time in Vienna for similar reasons. It is essential that we get together soon to commiserate as I love it here so maybe that will rub off.

Sorry about the MMC MmeLindt. That price does not seem too high. I paid upwards of 450CHF for basic ante-natal checks. My MMC required a C-Section of all the ridiculous-over-kill improbable possibilities. shock

I never found a pediatrician that I liked but I really liked both of the ObGyns that I saw if you would like further recommendations.

Love the 32 of Feb. kreecher. smile

TheMysticMasseuse Tue 09-Feb-10 10:12:10

i know i have had enough of the bloody snow!!!! Am off to google "driving on snow" (after dreaming that the brakes on our toyota were failing...)

MmeLindt Tue 09-Feb-10 10:20:18

shock at a CS for mmc.

I was going to go and do some shopping but might wait to see if the snow goes off later. What a pain.

Or I could do an online shop.

<dither>

Decisons decisions, shopping or running. I so want to stick my tongue out because we don't have any snow, BUT, the sky over Zugerberg is the colour of the bruises on my dd's knees so I know it is coming angry grrrr.

Cadmum Tue 09-Feb-10 10:54:58

The snow is not sticking on the roads out my way. Is it down in Geneva?

The C-Section has rocked my world as my four were quick and easy labours. The recovery has been slower than I would have liked and not being able to drive makes it even worse.

The bill will be worth framing as it took several hospital visits to different consultants before the op. got underway and four days stay in a private room afterwards. <<dread>>

I felt like rather stingy when I was explaining that I didn't want every test in the world run to discover the reason for the miscarriage. I have already been tested for every STD under the sun twice at my own expense. Thank you!

TheMysticMasseuse Tue 09-Feb-10 11:00:57

Sorry Cadmum, that sounds like a truly horrible experience

dd1 (4) the other day asked me "mummy, why is everything so grey here?" the child has a point... (and yet she says she really likes geneva because our flat is bigger and we have a fireplace and i don't go to to work)

Cadmum Tue 09-Feb-10 11:12:51

Tis rather rubbish being in this situation, yes...

Mystic I think that your dd1 has some valid reasons to like it here. Bigger flat and mum at home are good things! It is much less gray in the summer when the beaches are a great place to while away the hours. If you take a train up to the mountains you can get above the clouds in the winter as well.

I vote for an online shop and forget about running.

strudelface Tue 09-Feb-10 11:16:59

Hi MM can't add any more than the others have already said but I know two great paediatricians just opposite the school so in your area. Also a gyny just a bit further down route de chene. E-mail me on strudelface at g mail dot com if you want the details.

Cadmum - sorry to hear you have had a rough time.

It's really snowing here but I don't think it will settle.

I am sat waiting for a man to finally come and mend a blind that has been broken since we've moved in.

MmeLindt Tue 09-Feb-10 11:19:48

Cadmum
Sounds like a horrible experience.

Mystic
I know we ahve talked about htis before, but you really arrived at the wrong time of the year. Getting here in the dead of winter is just not giving you the best of Geneva. It will get better soon.

strudelface Tue 09-Feb-10 11:23:59

Do you know Geneva is growing on me - I never thought I'd say that.

Agree with MLindt - 'tis fab and pretty and warm in the spring and summer. Winter is horrible anywhere.

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