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Author Topic: SWITZERLAND: Relocation- Can someone help with information?  (Read 2454 times)

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Offline onthesunnyside

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SWITZERLAND: Relocation- Can someone help with information?
« on: April 27, 2014, 02:58:08 PM »
Hi there. I am new to this forum.  I hope someone could help...
I am an EU citizen  and I have been offered a job i  Switzerland. I m already on medication here so my concern is what happens when I get to Switz.
I have already done my reaearch and although no health insurance company can deny you the right to  insurance, I have heard of cases where there have been problems with Hiv + people. Does anyone have any isurance company/broker to recommend, who are experienced with HIV cases.
As I said i am already on medication and  stopping for a period of time until i find health insurance is not an option... Any friend from Switzerland who could offer some advice?

Offline mecch

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Re: SWITZERLAND: Relocation- Can someone help with information?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 03:38:37 PM »
Brokers - I don't know why you need.
Problem with HIV cases - never heard of these - but I suppose its possible.

The federal government has a tool where you can compare all the plans available:
What language are you going to function in here?

You are going to have to register with the Canton for your resident permit. Every Canton also has a central office that deals with health insurance. Many Cantons have their own online site where you can compare available health plans. 

You may be able to go ahead now and find this information online yourself.  OR by calling the health insurance office in the canton that you are heading to.

For example, here is the Vaud Canton explanation, in English for you:

I've been HIV+ 6 years and have had everything I needed covered under the basic plan.  Every company must offer the same basic coverage but all the prices are NOT the same. But the coverage is the same.   This is why you need to use the online comparison tools for the canton, or federally.

The price of the basic plan will also change depending on your deductibles. Take the LOWEST deductible allowed. Therefore, you pay more each month.  Lowest deductible should be a few hundred francs. 

You will also have to pay your drugs up to a maximum limit.  Actually, its 10% or something like that, but the max will be something like 1000 a year, so you will have to pay your deductible and then several hundred more to cover your drugs, but thats for the year.   Plus the monthly premium. 

You should find a monthly premium of 400 ch.  If you see much higher prices, then its not the "basic plan", or its a prestige company that is charging you for nothing but prestige...   As I said, a company can charge whatever it wants for its basic plan.  You have to find the company with the cheapest basic plan in your canton.

Most companies will DENY you better plans than the basic, because you have HIV.  OR if you report hepatitis or other red flags.  But they can't deny the basic plan.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2014, 03:41:28 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline onthesunnyside

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Re: SWITZERLAND: Relocation- Can someone help with information?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2014, 04:28:19 AM »
Hello Mecch

Thank you so much for your reply. Really helps.

I am only on meds since last month. Was diagnosed less than a year ago so I am pretty new at this.
The move to Switzerland was quite sudden so I must say I am quite worried.

I have a couple of quenstion more.. I hope you wont mind..
So when I do register/get health insurance, they will themselves locate a doctor for me who will in give me my meds?
And also, where do you collects your meds from? Does the doctor give them to you or do you need to go to a specific hospital to pick them up?

Thank you again for your help.. I really appreciate it

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: SWITZERLAND: Relocation- Can someone help with information?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2014, 09:24:31 AM »
Hi sunnyside

I will respond generally in this thread -- in case anyone else is interested in the state of things here. We can PM private message for more details, info, that should probably remain private. 

I don't know the technicalities but will do my best to point you to people who will know.

Generally you have the wrong assumption/guess on how health care works in Switzerland.  Swiss healthcare is quite privatised - although each Canton and some cities have government sponsored hospitals, university medical centres, etc. There are private "clinics" which are hospitals. Doctors are mostly in private practice, except if they work also at one of the hospitals.

The insurance companies are all private.  As far as I know, they do not limit which doctors you can go to, nor do they supply lists. 

Medicine is all procured through pharmacies, which are businesses.  As far as I know. 

The way it works is, you buy a medical plan for the year. You pay your premiums.

You get a generalist and additionally a ID - infectious disease doctor. On your own you find one.  Or you ask at the cantonal hospital.  Some people go through the hospital for their care.  Many go directly to local doctors.  You might have a generalist who handles your HIV as well.  Or you might have an ID who could be your generalist.

For drugs, it works like this - you get a prescription and bring it to the pharmacy and pay.  Then you send the receipt to your insurance and wait for reimbursement. There are chains of pharmacies - I go to a big national one. Mine made a deal with me -- they bill the insurance company directly. I didn't have the first several thousand to pay my first HIV drug bill.  Hey, they get a cut of the price so....

I have never heard of HIV medicine supplied directly to anyone.  Some Cantonal hospitals might have a drug dispensary -- but it will be billed to you, or to the insurance company.

There are no direct subsidies for any actual care or drugs in Switzerland.  That I know of.  The pharma company co-pays are not available here. As far as I know.

People with very low income can get a government subsidy for their monthly premium.  I don't have the details on that.  There are private religious charities for people with low incomes, as well. I highly doubt this would apply to you because if you are moving here to work, you will probably have a living wage. (Where are you coming from? Prepare yourself for the shock of the price of many things, perhaps..) 

(Just as an aside. People living here can buy health insurance without official residence permits.)

Its the same for most doctors bills and most laboratory bills. The bills come to me and I pay them and then send the receipt to the insurance company - that reimburses me.  So it could be several thousand francs.  On the other hand, I don't know why, but some laboratories do bill my insurance company directly and then my insurance company sends me the details and any copay I still have left to pay. 

I think if you go through a cantonal hospital, a lot of the bills might go directly to the private insurance and therefore you don't have to come up with the money out of pocket and wait for reimbursement. Maybe we can figure that out specifically for the Canton you are going to, if out of pocket expense is going to be a concern.

You can PM me what Canton you are moving to and I will check if there is a HIV/AIDS organisation that could probably give you more details how to set you up here.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 09:30:46 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline onthesunnyside

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Re: SWITZERLAND: Relocation- Can someone help with information?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2014, 11:24:15 AM »
Hello Mecch
Yes you are right my knowledge on how the medical system works in Switzerland is minimal and I am trying to find out as much as I can before I get there...
I will try to PM you (I ll try to find how to do it first-its driving me mad)
Thank you so much again


Offline AusShep

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Re: SWITZERLAND: Relocation- Can someone help with information?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2014, 12:11:23 PM »
I will try to PM you (I ll try to find how to do it first-its driving me mad)
Thank you so much again

You should be able to now that you have 3 posts.   Click his name, then send PM.


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