The main maternity treatment is covered by the basic LAMal insurance but not all medical care is covered. What treatments are not covered? What insurance to take for the newborn? Where to give birth (in the cantonal hospital or in a private clinic) and what are the administrative procedures to follow? As a future mother, you have to make many decisions to prepare for the birth of your child.
Here are the 6 points to properly prepare for your childbirth.
1 - Understand the coverage of the basic LAMal insuranceThe LAMal covers the main maternity benefits. To avoid any surprise, you should understand what is covered inl the basic LAMal insurance cover and what is missing.
Maternity, main services LAMal
- Preventive examinations: amniocentesis and analysis of the placenta (in case of high risk)
- Check-ups during and after pregnancy, prescribed by a doctor and carried out by a doctor or a midwife
- Possibility to give birth at home birth, in a hospital or in a birth house
- Contribution to the cost of childbirth preparation courses
- Advice on breastfeeding
- Services provided by midwives before, during and after childbirth
Midwives, LAMal servicesBefore childbirth, midwives can perform the following services reimbursed at 100% by the LAMal base:
- Control examinations
- Prescription of an ultrasonic examination (ultrasound)
- Prepartum exam using cardiotocography (examining the baby's heartbeat)
- Contribution to the cost of childbirth preparation courses limited to 150 CHF for an individual or group course
- Contribution to the cost of breastfeeding advices limited to 3 sessions
- Home visits by midwives limited to 56 days after birth unless prescribed by a doctor
- Check-ups between the sixth and the tenth postpartum week
- In the event of premature birth, multiple birth, first child or cesarean section, home visits limited to 16 visits, with a maximum of five home visits twice on the same day (additional home visits require a medical prescription)
- In other cases, during the 10 days following the birth, in addition to home visits, a maximum of five home visits twice on the same day (additional home visits require a medical prescription)
2 - Understand the coverage of the complementary health insurance long before being pregnantIf you want to give birth in a private clinic, to have the choice of medical staff, to have access to additional medical examinations than those covered by the basic LAMal insurance (e.g ultrasounds) or to benefit from “comfort” services during your childbirth then the basic LAMal insurance is insufficient and you will need additional complementary insurances. It is worth noting that these additional insurances are not effective right away. There is a waiting period. This is the reason why you have to subscribe in advance, as soon as you think about having kids. Please refer to the article on complementary insurances for additional information on this subject.
3 - Insure your baby with prenatal insurance before birthThe mother's basic LAMal insurance covers the medical costs directly linked to childbirth, any minor complications and the costs of hospital stay for the newborn. It is worth noting that however, if the child is sick, it is his/her own insurance that covers the costs and not the mother’s insurance.< To avoid unpleasant surprises, the easiest way is to take out prenatal insurance for your baby before the birth of your baby. This prenatal insurance is made up of :
- a LAMal base ; and
- any additional complementary insurance of your choice, without answering a health questionnaire for your baby and therefore systematically accepted by the insurance company. The billing starts upon the birth of the child.
4 - Check the compatibility of the mother's and baby's insurancesIf the mother has the complementary insurance “Private or semi-Private”, then the baby must have a prenatal insurance with a complimentary insurance“Private or semi-Private” as well (one needs to be careful as the “baby package” offer rarely has this option). Otherwise, if my baby needs specific birth medical treatments, the clinic can:
- bill parents for fees; or
- refuse support; or
- request that the child is moved to the canton hospital and treated in the common ward
5 - Pregnancy : who to inform and when
Notify your employerOnce your pregnancy is confirmed,you must notify your employer in order to benefit from the maternity leave - the maternity allowance is set per the rules of your canton and your employer, generally corresponding to 80% of your starting salary. Although there is no regulation for the notification deadline, you should notify your employer before the end of the 3rd month of pregnancy.
Notify your health insurance companyYou should also inform your health insurance company of your pregnancy ASAP because all maternity-related medical costs are reimbursed without deductible or co-payment. In addition, from the thirteenth week of pregnancy and up to eight weeks after childbirth , all medical costs in the event of illness - whether or not related to the pregnancy - are also reimbursed without deductible or co-payment with the exception of dental care and medical costs which are preventive measures. In case you forget to notify your health insurance company, the maternity will take care of it by asking for a guarantee of hospitalization to the health insurance company that will confirm the type of insurance you have:
- additional insurance “Semi Private or Private”, allowing you to be hospitalized in a semi-private or a private ward with the choice of the private clinicl and the obstetrician. You must check the date of subscription to this supplement because the waiting period on maternity is one year.
- compulsory LAMal base, leading to hospitalisation in a common ward; this means that you have to do your pregnancy follow-up, give birth in a cantonal hospital and have no choice of doctor.
6 - Where to give birth?Several options are available to give birth in Switzerland.
In a private clinicGiving birth in a private clinic means benefiting from the best of Swiss quality applied to medicine. Indeed, private clinics combine the best in care, technology, services and comfort. Thus, you have the choice of the medical team, the approach used. This is however expensive and to access this and be reimbursed requires having previously subscribed (for at least one year) to additional insurance in a semi-private or private ward.
In the cantonal hospitalTo give birth in the cantonal hospital, complementary health insurance is not necessary. At the cantonal hospital, you have access to standard care provided for by the LAMal law. You do not have the choice of the medical team that takes care of you. If you have semi-private or private complementary health insurance, you are installed in another part of the hospital. you have the choice of the medical team and my room is individual (private) or shared (semi-private) with only one other mother.
In a Birth HouseMoms who want to give birth naturally choose the Birth Center. Empathy, a warm environment, alternative medicine are priorities. Epidural anesthesia is not possible there. In the same way as for a childbirth at the cantonal hospital, the basic health insurance LAMal covers the costs of the birth at the Birthing Center.
At homeThis traditional childbirth is performed with the help of a midwife who provides the necessary equipment. The midwife prepares for childbirth, accompanies labor and after birth. The costs are covered by the compulsory LAMal insurance. Following this article, you can find the details of the possibilities for giving birth in the article Where to give birth?
Preparing your maternityNow that you have read the 6 points to prepare well for your childbirth, please continue continue reading through the following articles:
- Detailed information on hospitals and private clinics in Switzerland where to give birth
- Guide to maternity wards options in Lausanne and to maternity wards in Geneva
- Choosing your complementary health insurance and the prenatal insurance of your baby
- Prepare for your maternity leave