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Does My Health Insurance Cover The Cost Of An Ambulance?

Further to my recent blog post about how to access emergency medical care for your child, another question has arisen about ambulances and whether their cost is covered by health insurance.

As you all know, a level of basic health insurance is compulsory in Switzerland. The Federal Office of Public Health in Switzerland produces a very comprehensive document about basic health insurance and what it covers. It is well worth reading. You can find the whole document by following this link to a radio show that I did last year about hospital stays in Switzerland and clicking on ‘download PDF’:
http://worldradio.ch/wrs/programmes/health/health-matters-the-ins-and-outs-of-a-hospital-stay.shtml?24989

I have lifted what they write about ambulances:

Medical transport and rescue:

Special transport may be needed to take you for treatment (e.g. an ambulance). Your basic health insurance covers half the cost of this kind of transport up to a maximum amount of CHF 500 per year. This also applies to medical transport in other countries.

Basic health insurance also covers half the cost of rescuing you if you are in mortal danger (e.g. after a mountaineering accident or a heart attack) up to an annual maximum amount of CHF 5,000 (applies only in Switzerland).

However, most people tend to have more cover than just the basic insurance. I would encourage everyone to check with their own health insurer as to the situation with your individual/family insurance policy and particularly any difference between children and adults in your family with regards to what is covered in the case of medical transport and rescue.

Dr Michelle Wright

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