If you are willing to study in Switzerland for more than three months, you are going to need a health insurance, as you probably already know. Without it, you cannot stay and live there, nor can your health be safe should some health complication occur on your way of getting your desired degree. How much do you know about health insurance and the benefits it has to offer?
Health Insurance Plans for Students
First of all, the reassuring fact is that there are health insurance plans, which are specially designed for international students. No matter if you are Bachelor or Master students pursuing your degree in Switzerland, or exchange students who want to stay some time in this country as their destination of an exchange programme, or Interns who want to gain some practical experience, or au pairs who want to learn better one of the four official spoken languages and foreign culture being in a family with natives, or research students on the way of new discoveries, you should know that you can find the right insurance plan for you! And if you happen to have a spouse and maybe children, students’ insurance plans are suitable for them too!
Coverage and Law Compliance
However, it is of great importance to know that health insurance can be expensive and that the amount of the monthly premium changes from insurer to insurer, and also from canton to canton, but also from the coverage you choose. The essential fact to look when you are comparing health insurance plans is that they must comply with the law that determines the basic health insurance benefits in Switzerland (KVG/LAMal).
Next thing to know is which benefits the basic insurance coverage includes. There are two types of care covered, inpatient and outpatient care. The first one is relative to the hospital stay, the second one to the ambulatory treatment. In the KVG/LAMal are also included the following services, but only if prescribed by a doctor: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing care and birth complications, nutrition counselling, diabetes counselling, speech therapy, psychiatric therapy. In addition to that, a basic insurance coverage also includes analyses and medication, medical aids and devices in order to help you recover, legal abortion, emergency dental treatment and medical prevention. The same is valid for emergency treatment abroad should you injure yourself while travelling in a country outside Switzerland.
Some Things You Should Know
However, take into consideration that the offered benefits are not always covered up to 100%, as many are sadly mistaken, and in order to avoid future disappointments, it is highly advisable to read carefully the contractual conditions of your insurer. Be well informed, and you shall not have any reasons to be upset or surprised in case you need an expensive treatment. There is also something else to be paid, apart from the insurance premium. You must also pay the so-called deductible (or franchise). Maybe some of you already heard of it, but for those who still haven’t, it is an amount of money that you have to pay for your treatment costs every year. That means, that up to the amount of the deductible, you have to pay the costs of medical treatments out of your pocket. It works that way, that only after this amount has been reached, does the insurance company start to pay out. Moreover, after that, you have to pay 10% of the costs exceeding the deductible (fixed proportion) up to a maximum of 700 francs per year (according to the KVG/LAMal).
Your Health Is the Most Important
A part from being mandatory, health insurance is very important to have, even though it can be really expensive. But this is for a good reason, because Switzerland happens to have one of the best healthcare systems worldwide. Should you need it, you won’t regret it. Anyway, what is more important in life than your health?