The Coming of the Chip

Here in Switzerland there is no socialised medical coverage. No NHS, no OHIP, no Obama Care, no nothing. We pay a small fortune every month to the private health insurance company of our choice. Basic coverage is obligatory. If you want extras (such as an ambulance or a pair of glasses from time to time) you need a second “complementary” insurance. Don’t even think about dentists.

Your paperwork must be impeccable as each insurance company employs a team of mean and picky people who find all your mistakes so they don’t have to pay.

Right now is the insurance world’s exciting pre-season. In a few weeks, the companies will announce their increased rates for next year, and you have a small window of time when you can actually change companies. This takes knowledge, organisation, motivation and luck. Musical medical chairs and loads of unpleasant telemarketing. Most of us don’t bother.

I consider myself the picture of health. Of course, I take cheap generic pills for one thing and another, but this is simply to keep my hooligan doctor happy and (as I am hugely competitive) to get good scores on my annual medical exams.

I occasionally drink water and eat fruit and vegetables and strenuously vacuum at least once a month. However, the largest medical insurance company is offering an annual rebate of 146 Swiss francs if I walk 10,000 steps every single day. To qualify and prove my devoted athleticism, I must buy a device for my wrist and send the daily results to them via my smart phone.

chip implantYou also have to buy their complementary health insurance package, and I have calculated the cost of saving 146 francs to be the following:

  • 150 francs (cost of wrist step-measuring device)
  • 146 francs (cost of sending 365 sms’s)
  • 840 francs (cost of complementary insurance coverage)

TOTAL:  1,136.00 francs and this does not even count the cost of getting your device by taxi to your grand-daughter so she can do your 10,000 steps on those days when you are actually sick.

Obviously, the next logical step is a chip implant. Straight into the jugular. That way the insurance people can see it all: the smoke, the drink, the drugs, the laziness, the grease, the sugar.

Believe me, crime (cheese fondue) and punishment (ever increasing monthly medical premiums) are just around the corner.

Joy Kundig

Joy Kündig-Manning est née en Angleterre et a vécu au Canada. Spécialisée dans la littérature anglaise du XVIIIe siècle, elle a travaillé comme traductrice, enseignante, et écrivaine. Mariée à un Suisse, elle est venue à Genève en 1977. Elle est très contente de tenir le premier blog du Temps en anglais!

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