In health insurance, the term “managed care” refers to cost-cutting insurance models. In order to drive costs down, the managed care system makes use of a “gatekeeper” which prevents policyholders from making unnecessary visits to specialists and hospitals. In exchange for the inconvenience, policyholders benefit from premium discounts when they opt for a low-cost health insurance model.
In Switzerland there at least 4 different cost-cutting insurance models to choose from (in some cases a fusion of more than one model is used):
The family doctor model
The HMO model
The telemedicine model
The pharmacy model
The premiums of all cost-cutting models are lower than those of standard-model policies which let you freely visit the medical service providers of your choice. The costs of lower premiums are typically limitations on your free choice of doctors and the obligation to get a first opinion from a gatekeeper.