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Second opinion

Some health insurance providers offer a 10 to 15 percent premium discount for semi-private and private supplemental insurance to policyholders who agree to consult their provider's medical examiner for a second opinion before undergoing certain operations. The patient is still free to decide whether to have the operation or not, even if this second physician advises against the procedure. Obtaining a second opinion is required for the following kinds of intervention:

  • Removal of the uterus (hysterectomy)
  • Elective caesarean section
  • Bunion surgery (hallux valgus)
  • Joint replacement
  • Joint endoscopy
  • Ligament reconstruction on the knee or ankle
  • Intervertebral disc operation
  • Removal of the prostate (prostatectomy)
  • Tonsillectomy
  • Removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy)
  • Cataract surgery
  • Cornea transplant
  • Varicose vein surgery

This list may vary slightly depending on your insurer. However, all listed surgical interventions are often performed without medical necessity and dates for such interventions may – to a certain extent – be determined in advance. They are therefore referred to as elective surgery. If a holder who has bought an insurance policy requiring a second opinion fails to consult a second doctor prior to the operation, he/she will usually have to cover 10 percent of the costs him/herself up to CHF 3,000.

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