The health insurance cards issued by Swiss insurance providers help ease the administrational process in the event of an accident.
The cards can also be used to automatically bill medicine purchases at pharmacies directly to your health insurance provider.
In emergencies, health insurance cards enable expedited care, administration and billing. Cards can also be used as identification when you get deals at your insurance company’s partners.
The phone number on the front of the card can be used to contact your insurer’s customer service. If you use a telemedicine insurance model, this phone number serves as a telemedicine hotline within Switzerland.
Using your insurance card outside of Switzerland
The information provided on the back of your insurance card enables it to be used as a European health insurance card. This allows hospitals and doctors within European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member countries to perform necessary evaluations and administrative tasks.
A telephone number which can be used in the event of medical emergencies outside of Switzerland is also found on the back of the card. It is a good idea to always carry your health insurance card when you travel abroad.
What information is stored on the health insurance card?
The card’s microprocessor stores all of the same information which is printed on the card.
- Name, surname
- Card number
- Date of birth
- BAG number
- AHV number
The card’s expiry date is also retrievable.
All relevant service providers, meaning doctors, dentists, hospitals, pharmacies and chiropractors involved in your case, can access the information stored on the card.
Insurance cards as “medical records”
With the cardholder’s permission, additional medical data can be stored on the card and secured using a personal identification number (PIN). A PIN is not included as standard when health insurance cards are issued, but can be added at a later point. In this way, your card can serve as your medical record.
The ease of access to your health records can be beneficial in an emergency. However, you have the right to deny the addition of medical information to your card’s chip.
Possible additional personal information which can be stored on your card includes:
- Addresses of people to contact
- Blood group
- Information about transplants (organ donations)
- Inoculation data
- Patient decrees
What to do if you lose your card?
If you lose your card, contact your insurance provider. Insurers normally charge an administrative fee of between 10 and 20 francs for the issuing of a replacement card.