The same is true for Robin Birrer as it is for many young people in Switzerland: Despite the potential to save money every year, he was put off the idea of switching health insurance due to the effort involved. Why bother? He was insured, and so far everything had gone just as it should. So, he was all the more impressed when he heard about the switching service from AXA.
It was summer, and Robin Birrer had just agreed the rental on a new apartment. The perfect moment to take a look at all his insurance policies. Another key question he wanted to ask his advisor was how could he save money on health insurance?
Switching health insurance – it's a subject Robin had never quite got round to dealing with for around five years. One thing is clear: All health insurance providers offer the same benefits when it comes to basic insurance, and people who switch to cheaper health insurance have more cash at their disposal. But the fact is Robin had little time and even less desire to address the subject.
His ears pricked up when his advisor mentioned the switching service from AXA. Switching to the cheapest basic insurance every year – without lifting a finger? That sounded interesting. Fact is: "Saving money on something you need anyway was a great idea, I thought," Robin explains. When the email setting out the current premiums arrived, he didn't need long to think about it.
The phone calls from health insurers and brokers were a little suspect, in my view, so I stuck with my existing health insurance.
The switching platform showed a list of all health insurers with the relevant information as well as their premiums for 2021. After switching health insurance in just three clicks, Robin could relax.
While basic insurance services are the same from all insurers, services differ when it comes to supplementary health coverage. That makes it all the more important to identify your own personal needs.
Do you do a lot of sport? Do you like traveling abroad? Do you use complementary-medicine therapies? Or would you like more privacy during a stay in hospital? These were among the questions Robin's advisor asked during the consultation. The outcome was an insurance package that is optimally tailored to Robin and his lifestyle.
I'd already taken out supplementary insurance previously. But AXA's overall package suited me better – particularly the coverage abroad.
Why does Robin – young, healthy, and fit – need to take out supplementary insurance? There's a very good reason why: Unlike with basic insurance, supplementary insurance providers are not required to accept anyone for supplementary cover – nor do they need to disclose the grounds for any refusal. But once you've been accepted in the first instance, you can no longer have the policy canceled due to illness. That's why it's worth taking out supplementary insurance at the earliest opportunity.
Robin took the plunge, signing up for basic and supplementary insurance with different providers. The move means he saves several hundred Swiss francs every year, without economizing on quality. But the big question: Where does he send his bills?
"I send all bills to AXA; having two health insurers doesn't involve any additional effort for me," says Robin. AXA's free switching service makes this possible: Customers send all their health-related invoices to AXA, which distributes them to the basic and supplementary health insurers. "This came as a huge bonus to me – save more, same effort, comprehensive protection," says a delighted Robin.
He already knows what he's going to do with the money he's saved. "I'll be paying two thirds of it into Pillar 3; that'll give me a little nest egg in the long run. I'll put the rest aside for a rainy day, or a nice holiday."
With health insurance, there's a distinction between basic insurance and supplementary insurance.
Basic insurance can be switched every year in the autumn. The new premiums are always announced in early October. Cancellation of a current basic insurance policy must have been received by the end of November. Basic insurance is mandatory for persons resident in Switzerland; providers are not allowed to refuse anyone – and especially not for health reasons.
By switching basic insurance providers, individuals can save up to CHF 500 and families as much as CHF 2,000.
Supplementary insurance, on the other hand, is voluntary. Services and premiums vary depending on the provider and product. Most supplementary insurance policies have a notice period of three months. Please note: You should only cancel your supplementary insurance if you have definitely been accepted by your new provider.