5 Ways to reduce the cost of your basic health insurance

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5 Ways to reduce the cost of your basic health insurance

At times, circumstances force us to put the cost of health insurance first, and the benefits of additional health cover must take a step back. Receiving treatment in a private hospital of choice or having a comfortable hospital stay in a private ward may be out of reach when under a lot of financial pressure. This article provides a few tips that could help reduce the cost of your basic health insurance.

  1. Alternative models – Taking out what is referred to as an alternative model of basic insurance can help reduce your premiums by approximately 15-20%. The standard model of basic insurance allows you free choice of doctor; in contrast, the alternative models are restrictive in this respect but do have the advantage of lower premiums compared to the standard. There are 3 types of alternative models, of which Telmed is generally the cheapest option
    1. GP model – the GP must be chosen from one of the doctor’s on the list recognized by the insurer and all treatment decisions must first be discussed and agreed together with the GP
    2. HMO – on this model you must see a physician who practices in a Health Maintenance Centre in your area
    3. Telmed – on this model you must first call a medical call centre but you have the choice of following their advice or not 

  2. Increasing your franchise – the level of your premiums is indirectly proportional with the level of your franchise – the higher the franchise, the lower the premiums. However, be mindful that if you are expecting high medical bills, a high franchise may not necessarily prove the most cost efficient option
  3. Change of insurer - the basic insurance cover is identical for everyone and despite this, the premiums differ from one insurance company to another. This can be easily explained by the fact insurance companies must balance their books when it comes to claims paid vs premiums received.  Although other facts should also be considered when choosing your insurer, such as level of customer service, efficiency in dealing with re-imbursements etc…going for the cheapest premium on the market could be an option to look at in order to reduce your premium.
  4. Canton subsidy – in the case of low-income individuals, the canton does contribute various amounts (dependent on the individual economic situation) towards health insurance premiums.
  5. Place of residence – although it is unlikely you will move just to save a few francs a month on your health insurance, it is good to know that premiums differ from one canton to another, with Geneva, Basel and Zurich counting amongst the most expensive.