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 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!

4 thoughts on “The Coming of the Chip

  1. I lived 39 years in Switzerland where I worked for several multinational companies. At the time of the introduction of Mrs. Dreyfuss monstruous infant, LaMal, I was luckily married with an international fonctionnaire working for one of the UN agencies in Geneva. Consequently, I could be exempted of the contribution to LaMal and joined the health insurance system of my wife. Less expensive and offering much wider coverage, particularly for dental and optical care. In 2008, after retirement, we decided to move to the original country of my wife, Finland. There, I am covered by the national health system, KeLa. But we kept also our UN health coverage as complementary, particularly to be treated in private hospitals. Since I receive most of my pensions from Switzerland, the lobby of the Swiss LaMal “Caisses Maladies” then started to harass me, pretending that I have to join one of their caisses “By law” on the basis of an obscure agreement between the EU community and Switzerland.
    They deny any value to my exemption during 11 years before moving. They are the very same crooks who stole 1.7 billion CHF from the insured, particularly Swiss Romands and violated the very
    same LaMal law by making illegal transfers between the cantons. The EU-Switzerland agreements are anyway invalid since the Feb 9th 2014 referendum repelling the “Libre-Circulation” and its corollary agreements concerning any health coverage. These crooks, labelled Fondation Commune
    LaMal, based in Solothurn, present themselves as an official Swiss administration, which they are not, being a private lobby. The official bodies, as I know, are the OFSP ( Office Féféral de la Santé Publique ) and OFAS ( Office Fédéral des Assurances Sociales) at the federal level and their equivalent at the cantonal level. Several of the managers of the “Caisses-Maladie” have been put under enquiry by the FINMA for illegal financial transactions. But they are politically very well protected, since many members of the Swiss parlement are also members of the boards of directors of these caisses. The scandal of the Swiss “Caisses-Maladie” is soon equalling the past scandal of the Swiss banks. I am soon going to sue this so-called Fondation, specialized in black-mailing in front of an EU court in Luxemburg where I have also part of my family. Basics for :
    * Escroquerie en bande organisée
    * Faux et usage de faux
    * Usurpation d’identité.


  2. “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.”

    To the best of my knowledge there is no way an insurance company can refuse to pay what is covered by the “Assurance de base”, which functions as a social insurance, as stated on the Confederation site

    I agree that we have to pay outrageous amounts and that the system does not seem to work – a problem not restricted to Switzerland

    1. Hello!
      There can be problems with dates on the prescription.
      The pharmacy can fill your prescription after its expiry date (legally) but the insurance company does not have to pay for this.
      They check like hawks.

    2. “I agree that we have to pay outrageous amounts and that the system does not seem to work – a problem not restricted to Switzerland”

      But what it is particualr in Switzerland is that Health Insurances are placed in private hands. Governements (Federal and cantonal) have very limited means to control/check usage of swiss residents money collected by the private insurances. Recently it appears that 1.8 Billion CHF had been stolen by the private insurance . What a scandal could we say, but, after a long fight, governement agree that only half of this astronomic sum would have to be returned to the insured, and private insurance participation has been limited to 40% if I remember well. We are in Switzerland, often I wonder what would have been happen if same scandal had been revealed in France …

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