The price of health insurance premiums rises regularly. The 2023 premium increase will also increase. It is a major part of the family budget. At the end of each year, changing health insurer is a topic that is widely discussed in the media, during coffee breaks and at home.
With around sixty health insurance companies, competition should make it possible to guarantee attractive rates because the policyholder is free to change insurer.
However, competition between health insurance companies produces a wide variety of tariffs and supplementary insurance plans. The Federal Office of Public Health’s (FOPH) policy to control the reserves and portfolios of the compulsory health insurance companies also leads to major changes in premiums every year.
It is not easy to find a way around the offers. The policyholder needs to be methodical and to seek advice in following any modifications.
It can be seen that for identical services, insurance prices can vary by as much as double. It is important to examine all offers thoroughly.
Changing your basic insurance
Click the links below to see our explanations:
Step 1 – Ask the pertinent questions
The first rule for choosing the best insurance solution is to know your needs. For example, here are some questions you should ask yourself before choosing a new insurer:
- What deductible is right for me?
- Is ‘Tiers Payant’ a necessity?
(‘Tiers Payant’ system, the insurance company pays directly for the cost of medicines and health care services. Instead of paying the health care provider, the insured person presents the health insurance card)
- Am I organised enough to be satisfied with ‘Tiers Garant’?
(‘Tiers Garant’ system, the insured person must pay for his or her health care services before being reimbursed by the insurance company)
- What do I think is an acceptable time frame for reimbursement?
- What is my current state of health? Do I have significant expenses?
- Do I need cover abroad?
- General hospital or private ward in case of hospitalisation
- Am I insured alone or do I also need to insure my family?
- Am I planning to have a child soon?
- Can I get a discount through my employer’s group contract?
- Is it practical to have two different insurers, one for basic LAMal insurance and one for supplementary health insurance?
The best solution for me is the one that meets my expectations and is the best price. It may not be the best solution for my neighbour.
Beware of ‘cutting corners’, an insurance company is not chosen solely on the basis of its price. Savings are also measured by taking into account your health costs and the amount of reimbursement!
Beware also of savings with less coverage, such as the loss of the possibility of a second medical opinion, so important when health problems arise.
Helvicare will accompany you when you change your health insurance.
Step 2 – Compare 2023 premiums
The new premiums will be announced on 27 September 2023
Use our 2023 premium comparison tool to find out which insurance company is best for you.
Step 3 – Terminate your health insurance contract
In order to terminate your insurance contract, you need to send a letter of termination to your health insurer before 30 November.
To save time, you can download our sample cancellation letter.
Please note that the date of the postmark is not decisive, but the date on which the insurer receives the notice. You should send your letter by registered mail during the month of October, or at the beginning of November.
Beware of late payments. If you still have premiums or co-payments to pay, your request for cancellation will be refused.
Please note that the letter of cancellation does not directly terminate your insurance contract. It remains in force until the new insurer certifies to your former insurer that it will take over your health coverage.
If you have an insurance policy with an ordinary deductible (CHF 300 for an adult, CHF 0 for a child) and free choice of doctor, you can also change insurance on 1 July, but your letter must reach the insurer before 31 March.
Some very specific contracts called ‘bonus insurance’ are 5-year contracts, and they cannot be terminated earlier than this unless you receive a rate increase.
Step 4 – Take out a new health insurance
Do not delay in taking out your new health insurance. Do it immediately after your cancellation.
Registration with a new health insurance company must be done before the end of the year so that your new health care coverage can start on 1 January of the New Year.
Changing your supplementary insurance
Click the links below to see our explanations
Step 1 – Check the termination date of the contract
The deadlines and dates for cancelling your supplementary insurance are significantly different from those for basic insurance.
To find out the termination notice for your supplementary insurance, you should consult the general terms and conditions of the insurance (GTC) of your supplementary insurance. They should be available on the website of your health insurer.
The minimum term of the contracts is one full year, with a possible change on 1 January. If you have taken out a contract during the year, it cannot be terminated on 1 January.
Step 2 – Choose a new insurance company
In contrast to the basic health insurance, the insurance companies can refuse your application for supplementary insurance.
Therefore, we strongly advise you to choose your new insurer and to wait for its confirmation before terminating your current supplementary insurance.
It may seem illogical to start looking for a new insurer even before the premiums for the coming year are published, but this is the best way to change insurers calmly without any interruption in coverage. Supplementary insurance rates change much less frequently than the premiums for compulsory LAMal insurance, the work of looking for a better insurance will not be in vain.
Step 3 – Terminate your supplementary insurance contract
To save time, you can download our sample insurance cancellation letter.
Please note that the basic insurance contract and the contract for your supplementary insurance are two separate contracts, even if they are from the same health insurance company.
Consequently, a cancellation of your LAMal insurance does not automatically cancel your supplementary insurance contract.