Health

Supplementary insurance for children: Top tips for parents

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Whether you've just become parents or are about to be, the birth of your first baby raises a lot of questions. What does my child need? Which health insurance makes sense for us? Do we even need a supplementary policy?

Basic insurance is mandatory for everyone living in Switzerland as it provides a basic level of medical care. You have the option of registering your baby with the health insurer of your choice before it’s born, but you must register it no later than three months after birth. Health insurers all provide the same basic insurance benefits, but premiums vary greatly, so it’s worthwhile to compare premiums.

Supplementary insurances are the voluntary portion of health insurance. They give you extra coverage, such as to help cover the costs of complementary medicine, braces, glasses, children’s sports and much more. The easiest way to get the supplementary insurance you want is to apply before your baby arrives, because health insurers don’t require a medical exam for babies that are signed up before they are born.

What benefits are especially important for my child?

Swiss-wide coverage or “general ward anywhere in Switzerland” is usually a very cost-effective, but sensible addition if you have a young one. If your child needs to be hospitalized outside of your home canton – some clinics specialize in certain treatments – there are no additional costs for you. There is no limit on benefits. 

Emergency transportation and search and rescue missions often cost a great deal. An ambulance alone costs CHF 1,500, and basic insurance pays for only CHF 500 of it at most.
Benefits provided by AXA (example using Health PLUS policy): 100%, max CHF 50,000 per year

Orthodontic care is something that almost every other child in Switzerland needs. And braces are expensive. A very simple correction starts at CHF 3,000, and the price can go up to CHF 15,000 for difficult cases. Without supplementary insurance, many families have a difficult time paying for their children’s orthodontic needs.
Benefits provided by AXA (example using Health COMPLET policy): max. CHF 12,000 per year up to their 21st birthday.

Insuring your child’s teeth – what you need to know

  • Most outpatient product packages cover orthodontic treatment for children and teens. It’s also possible to take out supplementary dental insurance to cover normal dental treatments and regular check-ups. Incidentally, such private dental insurance usually helps cover the costs of dental corrections. This allows you to close the gaps in your coverage, for example if your outpatient supplementary insurance only pays 75% of the costs.
  • You should submit the application for outpatient insurance with dental coverage as early as possible – and definitely while your child is still small. Otherwise you risk needing a medical certificate from your dentist. If it becomes clear that your little one will need braces later on, the insurer might exclude orthodontic treatments. 

Complementary and alternative medicine naturally complement conventional treatments and can be especially helpful for really little ones. For instance, osteopathy and homeopathy can be effective in treating infants and toddlers.
Benefits provided by AXA (example using Health COMPLET policy): 75%, max CHF 3,000 per year

Sports and prevention as an investment in your active lifestyle. This strategy pays off especially for young people because people who start playing sports regularly when they’re young are likely to continue when they get older. Many supplementary policies help cover the costs of sports associations, swimming lessons, exercise classes and the like.
Benefits provided by AXA (example using Health ACTIF policy): 75%, max CHF 400 per year

Risk endowment insurance on death or disability following an accident (ADD) or sickness (SDD) protects families from financial distress if something unexpected happens to their child. Unemployed people do not have good insurance coverage under our system. The money that is paid out if something does happen might provide the means for structural adjustments to make their home more accessible or for the aids and equipment their child needs. 

  • Teaser Image
    What you need to know when you stay abroad.

    Basic insurance in EU and EFTA countries covers the standard rates of the relevant country for emergency medical treatment. But if your child becomes sick or has an accident and has to go to the hospital in another part of the world, the costs can be astronomical. In the US, a week can cost anywhere between USD 50,000 and 100,000. Healthcare costs in Canada, Japan and Australia are high as well. Swiss basic insurance pays out at most double of the standard rate in the canton where you live. Supplementary insurances often cover 100% of the costs without any limit – AXA policies do.

What does basic and supplementary insurance for children cost?

For the mandatory insurance, the rule of thumb is that premiums for minors are about 20% to 25% of those for adults. Voluntary supplementary insurance is considerably cheaper. AXA’s supplementary health insurance is free during the first month of your baby’s life. Families that have three or more people living in the same household can also take advantage of a 10% family discount.

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