The costs of optional outpatient insurance and hospital insurance vary from one insurance policy to another. But aside from differences between insurance providers, a range of other factors also affect insurance premiums.
Gender-based premium differences
Many hospital insurance policies (for all ward types) come with identical premiums for women and men. Some insurers, however, charge slightly higher premiums for men than they do for women.
Outpatient insurance policies from most insurance companies have just one premium schedule for both men and women. However, some insurance providers charge higher premiums for women than they do for men.
Location-based premium differences
Your place of residence can make a major difference in the premiums you pay for supplementary insurance, just as it does with compulsory health insurance.
Ward-based premium differences
Different types of supplementary hospital insurance command very different premiums. A private-ward hospital insurance policy can be 50 times more expensive than a general-ward policy from the same insurance provider. Semi-private ward policies are roughly half the price of private-ward policies at many insurers.
Additionally, some health insurance companies provide several levels of private-ward coverage. For example, the same insurer may offer “standard” and “premium” private-ward insurance policies, with the premium version offering greater coverage (worldwide coverage or a longer list of covered private clinics, for example). The most expensive private insurance companies can cost more than 500 francs per month for elderly policyholders.
Many health insurance providers offer multiple outpatient insurance policies with different levels of coverage. While insurers generally offer a standard policy, many also offer a premium policy which provides higher coverage levels and more benefits. Premium policies are usually a lot more expensive than standard policies. Premiums for the most expensive outpatient insurance policies can be as high as 100 francs per month (for elderly policyholders).
Age-based premium differences
Premiums for supplementary hospital insurance and outpatient insurance increase in 5-year increments, based on your age. These age-based premium differences are major. While you enjoy relatively low premiums in your younger years, your premiums go up proportionately (and often exponentially) every time you enter a new age bracket.
Some more transparent insurance providers use a fixed premium schedule based on the initial premium charged when you first take out a policy. While your age at the time when you apply for the policy affects the age-based premiums specified on this schedule, once you have signed up, the premiums schedule normally remains unchanged over the life of your policy. This lets you calculate exactly how much a policy will cost you in the future.
Supplementary insurance premium discounts
Supplementary insurance policies generally come with a number of possible discounts. These include multiple-policy discounts when you take out both basic and supplementary health insurance from the same provider, as well as multiple-year policy discounts, family discounts and discounts when you exclude certain benefits (maternal benefits, for example).
Claim-free discounts are often available. These discounts let you enjoy lower premiums when you go for a predefined number of years without making a claim. When you do make a claim, you will go back to paying the regular, standard premiums again.
Premiums vs benefits
Finally, before you sign up for a supplementary health insurance policy, always take a moment to consider which insurance benefits you actually might use, both on an ongoing basis, and in the event of an emergency.
Example of premium vs benefit comparison: If you take out a supplementary insurance policy which costs you 300 francs per year, but you only actually use the 150-franc eyeglasses and contact lens benefit, you will be handing over 150 francs in premiums for benefits you never use.
On the other hand, the same policy could well be worth it if the other benefits provided by the policy – such as the peace of mind you get from additional coverage for medical care abroad, or ambulance transportation – are things that would benefit you.
The moneyland.ch team