Alternative medicine: costs covered by Sanitas

Your basic insurance covers part of the costs of five alternative medical treatments. Supplementary insurance plans cover higher costs and additional alternative and complementary medical treatments.

What is alternative medicine?

Alternative medicine is an alternative to conventional medicine. It works holistically with the body’s own healing powers, but also involves invasive treatments (e.g. injections, cupping and acupuncture), medicines and technical equipment. There are four alternative medical specialities:

  • Ayurveda medicine (AVM): traditional art of healing widespread in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka
  • Homeopathy: gentle treatment method using highly diluted substances
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): Chinese system of medicine that is over 2,000 years old
  • Traditional European Medicine (TEN): holistic, diagnostic and therapeutic method that has developed over the last 2,500 years

What is complementary medicine?

Complementary medicine complements conventional medicine. Its therapies and treatments activate and regulate the body’s self-healing powers. Unlike alternative medicine it involves neither invasive nor drug-based treatment. Complementary medicine focuses on body and movement-based methods, breathing and talking.

What costs are covered by basic insurance?

Basic insurance covers the following five methods of treatment. You pay a share of the costs through your deductible and copayment.

  • Acupuncture: therapy using needles from Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Anthroposophical medicine: holistic complementary medical treatments
  • Medicines prescribed by Traditional Chinese Medicine: medicinal herb therapy
  • Classic homoeopathy: naturopathic healing method based on the similia principle
  • Phytotherapy or botanical medicine: uses medicinal plants as medicines

What conditions apply?

Specific conditions must be met for Sanitas to cover the costs of treatment.

  • The treatment must be medically necessary. This is the case when it is undertaken as a result of accident or illness.
  • The treatment must be provided by a doctor (Dr. med.) with a certificate of competence issued by the FMH Swiss Medical Association for the relevant discipline.
  • If you are treated by a doctor without a certificate of competence or by a therapist with alternative or complementary medical training, the costs are not covered by basic insurance.

What costs are covered by supplementary insurance?

Supplementary insurance plans cover more or higher benefits than basic insurance. Our supplementary plans for alternative and complementary medicine cover the following costs:

  • Vital Premium: 80%, up to CHF 10,000 per calendar year
  • Vital Smart: 80%, up to CHF 2,500 or CHF 5,000 per calendar year, depending on the cost coverage chosen
  • Vital Basic: No costs covered

What conditions apply?

Specific conditions must be met for Sanitas to cover the costs of treatment.

These independent inspection authorities are committed to ensuring quality insurance in alternative medicine and checking the quality of training and further eduction. Alternative therapists who meet the quality criteria are awarded a quality label. Sanitas uses this accreditation as proof of professional qualification and training in the treatment of medical conditions.

In the case of prolonged treatments, we check our liability to cover costs in the proper manner. To do this, we need more detailed information than is normally indicated on the invoice. In this case, we send you a questionnaire to be completed by the therapist or doctor providing treatment.