health insurance dental care for kids

Swiss Health Insurance: Dental Care For Kids

Do Swiss compulsory and optional health insurance policies cover correctional orthodontics for children and teenagers? Get the most important information in this practical guide.

Dental realignment is a reality for a surprisingly large number of Swiss children and adolescents. Experts estimate that every second to third child in Switzerland needs dental realignment (via braces, for example).

Dental realignment is almost always an expensive procedure. Treating a serious tooth or jaw misalignment can easily cost 15,000 francs. Correcting less serious dental problems can still cost 4000 to 5000 francs over a period of two to three years.

Dental care and dental corrections: What is covered by Swiss compulsory insurance?

  • The obligatory basic health insurance only covers the treatment of dental complications resulting from major, unavoidable diseases of the masticatory system (such as dental conditions brought on by leukemia or acromegaly).
  • Unfortunately, orthodontic corrections using braces are not normally covered by compulsory health insurance.
  • Tooth pulling, cavity filling and dental hygiene treatments normally are not covered by basic health insurance.

Dental treatment and corrections: what is covered by supplementary health insurance?

  • Important: Many supplementary health insurance policies only cover the costs of dental realignment if the condition is diagnosed after you become a policyholder. Some insurers only provide dental benefits after you have been a policyholder for a certain amount of time (the qualifying period may be anywhere between 6 months and 3 years).
  • Signing up for outpatient insurance early can pay off. Ideally, you should take out the policy shortly after the birth of your child. Generally, getting this coverage before your child reaches the age of 4 or 5 is still doable. After that, depending on the way their teeth and jaws develop, it may be difficult to get the right supplementary insurance coverage.
  • Coverage for dental corrections in children and adolescents is often included in outpatient insurance policies. Performing a comparison of supplementary insurance is necessary, because the benefits provided by different insurance providers differ. Depending on the policy, only 50 to 80 percent of dental alignment costs are covered.
  • Use the “tooth misalignment treatments” criteria to filter results of the supplemental health insurance comparison tool. You can sort relevant policies using the sort tool above the results.
  • Some supplemental health insurance policies limit the amount they pay out in benefits for dental corrections. On some policies, the benefit is limited to several thousand francs per year. The cost of orthodontic treatments, however, can easily cross the 5000-franc mark.
  • Currently, these supplemental insurance policies provide some of the highest coverage for children’s dental treatment and dental alignment: Visana Ambulant II & III, Innova Sanvita, Sanitas Family, Helsana Top & Helsana Completa, Concordia Diversa Plus.
  • Per-child premiums vary between 10 and 20 francs per month.
  • Some health insurance providers offer dental insurance as a stand-alone policy, rather than including it on supplementary health insurance policies. This usually works out more expensive than getting it as part of a package deal.
  • The maximum age at which you will be able to receive certain types of supplementary coverage ranges between 18 and 30 years old.
  • Whenever possible, the dentist should base their prices on the widely used dental tariff reference (the “Taxpunktwert”) by Suva, because some insurers only accept a tariff point value of 3.10 francs. If your dentist uses a higher tariff-point value, you will have to either make up the price difference yourself or use an insurance policy which accommodates higher tariff point values.

More tips for your kids’ dental care:

  • Exceptionally severe corrections and treatment can, in some cases, be covered by invalidity insurance (IV).
  • Depending on your financial situation and that of your municipality, you may be able to get part of the costs subsidized by the school dental program. Don’t be afraid to ask.

The team

More on this topic:
Swiss health insurance comparison
Supplementary outpatient insurance comparison

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The magazine provides accurate, unbiased information on topics related to finance and money. In addition to research and expert interviews, the magazine contains numerous financial guides.