Health and prevention

Free choice of hospital in Switzerland?


As of the beginning of 2012, the new hospital financing law has come into effect. Before that, different compensation systems were possible for the payment of in-patient benefits on the account of basic insurance. Now, every in-patient stay at the hospital is paid with a so-called flat rate payment, depending on diagnose, additional diagnoses and treatment procedures.  What’s new is that basic insurance and the canton of residence must pay fix - but depending on the canton varying - compensation elements also for treatments outside the canton of residence as well as in private hospitals.

You can freely choose your hospital, but should know a few facts: so that the in-patient treatment is compensated, the hospital must be on the hospital list of your canton of residence or on that of another canton. The costs for treatment outside your canton of residence are only covered up to the amount that has been stipulated as a reference flat rate by the canton of residence. If the treatment is not offered at a listed hospital of the canton of residence according to the cantonal physician, no supplementary insurance is necessary, as the treatment outside the canton of residence is medically indicated. For everything else, i.e. more expensive treatments in a public hospital, a hospital outside the canton of residence or in a private hospital which is not on a hospital list, you will still need a hospital supplementary insurance or you pay the difference to what the basic or supplementary insurance will not pay yourself.

In the case of predictable procedures, a timely request to the health insurance company or the cantonal physician can avoid financial surprises after a stay at the hospital. If you have to go to the hospital outside your canton of residence due to an emergency, financing is never a problem.