Tips: how to save money on health insurance

Switzerland has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, but this first-class care comes at a cost. Find out here why premiums are rising and how we can work together to save money on health insurance.

Why are health insurance premiums increasing?

In the case of basic insurance, premiums are based
on the cost of claims of all our customers. This means that premiums in a region or canton increase the higher the costs incurred there for visits to the doctor, hospital stays or medication.

 

These factors drive up premiums:

  • Increasing healthcare costs 
  • Advances in medicine and technology (e.g. new, expensive gene therapies) 
  • Increased life expectancy and chronically ill people
  • The expansion of benefits covered by basic insurance (e.g. non-medical psychotherapy)

What is Sanitas doing against high premiums?

The increasing healthcare costs are causing premiums to rise. That’s why we offer a number of offers and measures to help keep costs under control. These include digital offers that provide rapid help in the event of illness and avoid unnecessary visits to the doctor or incorrect treatment. In addition, we offer preventive services to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle because prevention is always better than cure – from a financial perspective, too.

How we’re reducing health costs:

With innovative services in the Portal app (Symptom Check, mental health guide, Sanitas Active, health advice)

By publishing practical content on preventive care and health promotion in our online magazine

Through regular invoice checks to identify unjustifiably high or uninsured benefits

By holding regular tariff negotiations with healthcare providers (e.g. hospitals)

Our Case Management team supports customers experiencing health difficulties. Effective coordination between doctors, therapists and other involved parties plays a crucial role in optimising the recovery process and boosting cost efficiency.

Tip 1: exclude accident cover

If you work at least eight hours a week for the same company, you are insured for occupational and non-occupational accidents through your employer. In this case, you can exclude accident cover from your basic insurance – and thus reduce your premium by 6.9%. You can manage your settings quickly and easily in the Sanitas Portal.

To the Sanitas Portal

Tip 2: Choose an alternative insurance model

Under basic insurance, health insurers offer different insurance models – they only differ in terms of whom you have to contact first in case of health queries. With Sanitas, depending on the model you choose, you benefit from a range of discounts on your premium compared to the standard Basic insurance model. Our premium calculator will help you find the lowest-cost offer in just a few clicks.

Insurance models

Tip 3: Use the Sanitas Portal app

Our award-winning app offers great savings potential. Before you have an examination or treatment, you can use the Cover Check to find out whether the costs are covered under your Sanitas insurance plans. Or use the Symptom Check to seek initial medical advice. If you need to see a doctor, you can find out who to contact directly in the app (under your basic insurance) or use the handy search functions to find the right hospital, therapist or specialist. Our invoice translator helps you check your invoice after treatment. Did you really receive all the benefits listed there? This also helps you save money.

To the Portal app

Tip 4: Higher deductible, lower premium

Your deductible is the share you pay towards treatment costs and is calculated each calendar year. If you increase your deductible for basic insurance, you can save up to CHF 1,540 on your health insurance premium each year. Change your deductible by 31 December for the following year quickly and easily in the Sanitas Portal.

Important: only increase your deductible if you rarely go to the doctor. Bear in
mind that you have to cover the costs of any treatment up to the amount of your
deductible plus the maximum copayment of CHF 700.

To the Sanitas Portal

Example

With a deductible of CHF 1,000, you pay the first CHF 1,000 for medical treatment yourself. Once your deductible has been applied, the copayment comes into effect. From then on, you cover 10% of your treatment costs, but no more than CHF 700, and the remaining costs are borne by Sanitas. This video explains the deductible and copayment in detail.

Deductibles for children (up to age 18)

Deductibles
Max. savings potential per year
0 (Standard)  
CHF 100  CHF 70 
CHF 200  CHF 140 
CHF 300  CHF 210 
CHF 400  CHF 280 
CHF 500  CHF 350 
CHF 600  CHF 420 

Deductibles for adults (from age 19)

Deductibles
Max. savings potential per year
CHF 300 (Standard)  
CHF 500  CHF 140 
CHF 1000  CHF 490 
CHF 1500  CHF 840 
CHF 2000  CHF 1190 
CHF 2500  CHF 1540 

Tip 5: Pay your health insurance premiums in advance

Premiums are usually paid monthly. However, you can also pay your premiums for a year or six months in advance. For paying a year in advance you receive a discount of 1% and for six months 0.5%.

Tip 6: Choose generics instead of original drugs

With generic drugs, you usually pay a copayment of 10% compared to 20% for original drugs. Find out now whether there is a generic drug for your medication in Switzerland:

To the generic drug finder

What is a generic?

A generic product contains the same active ingredients in the same dosage as the original drug and is therefore – with a few medically justified exceptions – a cost-effective, equivalent alternative. As generics don’t have to be developed completely from scratch, they are less expensive than original drugs. You can find an article on this topic in the Sanitas online magazine.

Tip 7: Order medicines from a mail order pharmacy

Order your medicines online and have them delivered to your door free of charge. Thanks to our partnership with the Zur Rose and MediService mail order pharmacies, you can take advantage of numerous benefits. This saves you time and money. You don’t have to worry about the billing because the pharmacies settle invoices directly with Sanitas.

To the online pharmacies

Further benefits

  • No pharmacy charges (save CHF 4.30 on the medicine check and CHF 3.25 on the purchasing check for each prescribed medication)
  • Attractive discounts on specific products
  • Free delivery throughout Switzerland within two working days
  • Order repeat prescriptions quickly and easily with an online prescription account

Tip 8: Ask Medgate

If you’re unsure whether you actually need to see a doctor, our partner Medgate provides free medical advice around-the-clock. This helps you to avoid expensive emergency costs, particularly at night or at the weekend. Contact the Medgate telemedicine team for an initial assessment or a second medical opinion by calling 0844 124 365 or using the Sanitas Medgate app.

To Medgate

Tip 9: request x-rays and lab values

When you change doctors or are referred to a specialist, you may have to undergo duplicate or unnecessary examinations, such as X-rays of the same joint taken in quick succession by different doctors. Remember: these images – be they X-rays, MRIs or CT scans – and in fact the results of all examinations (e.g. lab values), belong to you. Ask for them and take them with you to your next doctor’s appointment. This saves you time and money.

Tip 10: Prevention instead of operation

The Health area of the Sanitas Portal app offers many services to help you live a healthy life. Earn rewards for exercise, do something good for your heart or improve your sleep. The mental health guide also offers attractive discounts on selected coaching sessions. If you have any questions, our health advisors will be happy to help via chat or by phone on 058 344 51 00.

Tip 11: apply for a premium subsidy

People on low incomes may be entitled to a premium subsidy. Up to a certain limit of income and assets, the social security authority (SVA) of your canton of residence will pay part of your health insurance premiums. How high the premium subsidy is and who receives it depends on the canton you live in. Contact the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) to find out which office is responsible for premium subsidies in your canton of residence. Don’t miss the relevant deadlines for applying for a premium subsidy.

Tip 12: suspend your insurance

If you do military service, civil service or civil defence for more than 60 consecutive days, you can suspend basic insurance with your health insurer. This means your insurance is paused for a specified period and you don’t pay a premium. For the duration of your military or civil service, you are insured for accident and illness and any associated economic consequences under military insurance.

In certain cases, you can also suspend your supplementary insurance and save 70% on your premium – for example if you move your place of residence abroad, stay abroad for longer than three months or do military training for more than 60 days.

Important: once you’ve suspended your insurance, you're no longer able to claim
benefits. If you have any questions, give us a call on 0844 150 150.

Tip 13: Deduct health costs from taxes

Premium, deductible and copayment

At the start of the year, we send you a statement for your tax return. This statement lists the premiums paid and the costs borne by you in the previous year. You can enter the total amount on your tax return, which can have a positive effect on your tax bill.

Additional health costs

If your health costs are very high (more than 5% of your net income), you can also claim a deduction on your tax return in almost all cantons. For example: dental costs, operations, care costs such as Spitex, vaccinations, treatment by doctors or natural health practitioners, prescribed medication.

You must be able to prove the relevant costs.

Benefit from attractive premium discounts

  • Medbase MultiAccess discount of between 12% and 18%
  • NetMed discount of between 7% and 18%
  • CareMed discount of between 7% and 10%
  • CallMed discount of between 7% and 14%
  • Compact One discount of between 9% and 27%

Sanitas magazine: Spotlight on health-related issues