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The health insurance provider can be changed only after all premiums and required out-of-pocket expenses have been paid. If there are unsettled bills, you will remain insured with the previous provider even if you have already signed up with another provider.
Until recently insurance companies suspended benefits when premium bills and out-of-pocket expenses were not paid. They covered new services only after outstanding payments were settled.
Since 1 January 2012 this rule no longer applies. Policyholders now receive health insurance benefits also when there are outstanding bills. This rule is not applicable for people living in cantons that maintain a black list of health insurance debtors. These include the cantons of Solothurn, Lucerne, Zug, Ticino, Thurgau and Schaffhausen. Residents of these cantons with unpaid health insurance bills will be treated only in an emergency. Starting from 2014 or later, the cantons of Aargau, St. Gallen and Graubünden also maintain a black list. The canton of Basel-Land has not yet decided whether to introduce such a list.
Those who fail to pay the premiums and out-of-pocket expenses of supplemental insurance and still use these services must pay the medical care bills themselves. Supplemental insurance does not cover services retroactively.