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What is supplementary insurance?

Supplementary insurance provides certain benefits that are not covered or only partially covered by basic insurance (compulsory health insurance). This includes, in particular, alternative medicine, treatments, dental care, rescue costs, the cost of glasses or contact lenses as well as preventive health measures.
Adjusting your coverages correctly allows you to properly target your needs. Here are a few examples:
  • Supplementary insurance can cover you if you wear glasses or contact lenses. So, big savings are possible.
  • In the same way, alternative and natural medicines are covered by supplementary insurance, allowing you to use these medicines without breaking the bank.
  • Finally, the complementary insurance offers you worldwide coverage, to follow you during your travels and enable you to benefit from the best care abroad as well as repatriation to Switzerland.
  • It's also worthwhile taking out supplementary insurance for the self-employed. Indeed, the complementary insurance ensures an income in the event of health concerns preventing the person from working.

Why take out supplementary insurance?

The benefits listed above are not offered by basic health insurance. Supplementary insurance can offer you optimal coverage and security by filling all the gaps in basic health insurance. By correctly adjusting your supplementary insurance coverage, you ensure that it corresponds as closely as possible to your present and future needs.

Am I obliged to take out supplementary insurance?

Unlike basic insurance, there is no obligation to take out supplementary insurance. Note that the health insurer may even refuse you a subscription, in the case of a medical history such as certain illnesses, or in the case of a person of a certain age.

Why is it important to take out supplementary insurance?

As said, supplementary insurance allows you to fill all the gaps in your basic health insurance, but also brings you several advantages :
  • Lower healthcare costs
  • Easier access to the care you need
  • More security
  • Assistance in case of problems

Am I necessarily accepted when taking out supplementary insurance?

You will be asked to complete a health questionnaire when taking out supplementary insurance. Acceptance by the health insurance company will depend on the answers to the health questionnaire.

How to terminate supplementary insurance?

It's important to think carefully about terminating supplementary insurance. The next health insurance fund could refuse you, leaving you without supplementary insurance. Pay attention to the cancellation deadlines indicated on your contract, or by contacting your insurer.

How to find a cheap supplementary health insurance

As we've mentioned, it is possible to pay less for supplementary health insurance. But how can I find an inexpensive complementary that suits my needs?
How? Very simply thanks to a complementary health insurance comparator. It's simple, fast and free.
Simply fill in a form linked to your needs and profile, and the comparator will give you different offers. Browse coverages, compare prices and choose the one that offers the best value for perfect protection against life's damages.

When should you take out supplementary insurance?

As mentioned above, the health insurance company offering supplementary health insurance is not forced to accept you. For this reason, it's important to take out supplementary insurance as early as possible so that you're covered in the event of a health problem. This is the case, for example, with hospitalization insurance.

What's the best supplementary insurance?

Choosing supplementary insurances binds you to a provider often for many years because :
  • Terms of termination are more restrictive than for basic insurance
  • A request to join a new insurer can be refused without justification.
Here's a list of points to compare in order to select the best supplementary insurances:
  • Benefits offered
  • Amounts covered
  • Defined limitations
  • Premium amounts
  • Termination deadlines

TOP 5 health insurers

Top 5 health insurers ranked by customer satisfaction percentage:
  • Swica - 76.7% customer satisfaction
  • Sanitas - 74.7%
  • Concordia - 65.9%
  • KPT/CPT - 64.3%
  • CSS - 63.9%
For the year 2021; Swica occupies the top spot in the ranking with over 76% customer satisfaction. During the survey, 60% of Swiss respondents said they were very satisfied with their health insurer. As for Assura, it occupies last place in the ranking, with 39% customer satisfaction.

Swica, Leader in customer satisfaction

Swica takes first place, followed by Sanitas and Concordia. These health insurers attract customers for the quality of their services, the speed of reimbursements and the quality of their customer service.

How to find the best supplementary insurance?

Finding the best supplementary insurance is no easy task. When making a choice on the comparison site, it's important to study all the offers in detail. All offers are suitable for different types of profile. To find the best supplementary insurance, proceed in two steps:
  • Identify your health needs
  • Compare offers with our online insurance comparator
To clearly identify your health needs, you must first assess your current health cover to estimate your future needs. It's also important to prioritize your needs: Are you looking more for dental coverage?Optical coverage? The precise listing of your needs will enable you to precisely identify the best complementary insurance.
If necessary, consult our complementary health insurance comparator, which can save you several hundred francs in some cases.
A complementary health insurance comparator will enable you to precisely target your needs, evaluate cover, deductibles and reimbursements in order to opt for the complementary health insurance adapted to your needs and budget.
By precisely selecting your needs on our comparator, a number of offers will be proposed to you. Then take stock of the coverage, benefits and deductibles of each to target the offer that's right for you.
Our health insurance comparator is free and without obligation. It also gives you the best value for money, backed up by dedicated customer service.

How to choose the best supplementary insurance?

Contrary to popular belief, the best complementary insurance isn't the one at the top of the rankings, but the one that matches your profile. But how do you find the complementary insurance that meets your needs?
As a first step, list your usual healthcare expenses to determine precisely which complementary insurance to turn to first.

Comparison of supplementary health insurance premiums in Switzerland

To get a clearer picture of all the offers on the market, we offer you a comparison of supplementary health insurance in Switzerland. The figures given in this article are valid for the year 2024. They will enable you, through a comparison of major groups, to get a better idea of which company is right for you.
First of all, it can be useful to compare the rates of Swiss supplementary health insurers. Most of the time, policyholders compare prices, to find a solution consistent with their budget.

Comparing supplementary health insurances according to profile

Most insurance companies adapt their rates and offers to the insured's profile. It therefore remains essential to request a tailor-made rate, depending on the cover you wish to take out, your age or even your medical history.
Almost all insurance companies now offer online quotation services. Go directly to these insurers' websites, to calculate the premium associated with your potential future contract.

Comparative table of supplementary insurance premiums in Switzerland

To compare supplementary insurance rates in Switzerland, we chose to create a typical policyholder profile. Here are the monthly rates for Julie, a 25-year-old woman living in Geneva, with a deductible of CHF 2,500. To obtain these rates, we selected the most economical options, to have complementary coverage for:
  • Hospitalization,
  • Transport,
  • Optics,
  • Dental care,
  • Access to alternative medicine.
Health insurance Julie's monthly premium Link to calculator
Helsana CHF 114,65
Visana CHF 98,40
Swica CHF 105,1
KPT CHF 138,7
Sanitas CHF 74.65
Groupe Mutuel CHF 33,60

Comparison of supplementary health insurance reimbursements in Switzerland

To compare 6 major Swiss insurers, we have chosen to base ourselves on the benefits that are most often selected by policyholders. Whether it's optical, dental or hospital co-payments, you'll find in the following lines the maximum amounts that can be covered by each organization.

Comparative amounts reimbursed in the event of hospitalization

In the event of hospitalization, basic insurance generally covers a shared room, with standard benefits. For any additional costs, such as a single room, additional coverage may be useful.
In this table comparing the amounts reimbursed for hospitalization, there is a wide disparity in the amounts covered. Some indicate a daily lump sum, while others provide for a global annual envelope.
Health insurance Maximum amount reimbursed in the event of hospitalization
Helsana Up to CHF 400 per day
Visana Up to CHF 8,000 per year
Swica Up to CHF 300 per day
KPT Up to CHF 300 per day
Sanitas -.
Groupe Mutuel Up to CHF 700 per year + CHF 200.-/ case

Comparative amounts reimbursed for transport

Transport can also be a major health expense, when you don't have a complementary health plan. It may involve an ambulance, enabling you to be transported to carry out medical examinations or receive treatment.
Here, each company is free to propose a maximum amount of cover. Most of the time, this is higher for transport abroad and repatriation, than for transport within Switzerland itself.
Health insurance Maximum amount reimbursed for transport within Switzerland Maximum amount reimbursed for transport from abroad
Helsana Up to CHF 100,000 -.
Visana Up to CHF 5,000 Up to CHF 25,000
Swica Up to CHF 5,000 Up to CHF 50,000
KPT Up to CHF 5,000 Up to CHF 20,000
Sanitas Up to CHF 5,000 Up to CHF 30,000
Groupe Mutuel Up to CHF 5,000 -

Comparative reimbursement amounts for optics

For those who need it, the insurance company's reimbursement for glasses and contact lenses can influence the choice of contract. Be sure to read the fine print in your contract. Some insurers offer an annual lump sum, allowing you to change your equipment on a regular basis. It's also possible that the sum allocated is for a 3-year period.
However, you should be aware that with most insurers, a significant change in the need for correction may justify renewal of this optical package, on a shorter timescale. Don't hesitate to ask before committing yourself, if you have eyesight problems.
Health insurance Maximum amount reimbursed for optics
Helsana Up to CHF 300.-/year
Visana Up to CHF 250.-/3 years
Swica Up to CHF 200.-/3 years
KPT Up to CHF 200 per year
Sanitas Up to CHF 300.-/3 years
Groupe Mutuel Up to CHF 200.-/3 years

Comparative amounts reimbursed for dental care

Dental care can quickly add up to substantial sums. It is therefore generally a priority for those looking for supplementary health insurance in Switzerland.
In the following table, you'll discover the maximum amounts guaranteed by the most prominent Swiss insurance companies. Please note that the maximum amounts are generally reserved for orthodontic treatment. The details of care covered should therefore attract your attention, when an insurer offers you a contract.
Health insurance Maximum amount reimbursed for dental care
Helsana Up to CHF 10,000
Visana Up to CHF 10,000
Swica Up to CHF 10,000
KPT Up to CHF 10,000
Sanitas Up to CHF 100.-/ tooth
Groupe Mutuel Up to CHF 8,000.- /case

Comparative alternative medicine reimbursements

Consultations and alternative medicine treatments are not covered by LAMal. To benefit from reimbursements, it is therefore essential to take out supplementary health insurance, providing this kind of cover. Examples include acupuncture, osteopathy and homeopathy.
Many individuals are now opting for this type of treatment, which can complement conventional medicine. The insurer may nevertheless issue certain conditions, so that you can benefit from reimbursement. In particular, there may be an exhaustive list of recognized practitioners in the canton in which you live. You should therefore read the reimbursement conditions carefully before committing yourself.
Health insurance Maximum amount reimbursed for alternative medicine
Helsana Up to CHF 750 per day
Visana Up to CHF 10,000 per year
Swica Up to CHF 80.-/h
KPT Up to CHF 2,000 per year
Sanitas Up to CHF 5,000 per year
Groupe Mutuel Up to CHF 4,000 per year

Comparison of waiting periods for supplementary health insurance in Switzerland

In writing this article, we particularly wanted to draw your attention to the waiting periods that are sometimes applied by insurers. This is the period of time that elapses between your subscription and the date on which you will actually be covered. In other words, the insurer may allow a period during which you are not yet entitled to the reimbursements provided for in the contract.
We have chosen to indicate the maximum waiting periods applied by each of the insurers compared in this guide. These periods may be reduced depending on the plans you choose. Nevertheless, a glance can help you avoid unpleasant surprises, should you need a refund.
Health insurance Waiver periods
Helsana Up to 6 months
Visana Up to 730 days
Swica Up to 12 months
KPT Up to 270 days
Sanitas Up to 9 months
Groupe Mutuel Up to 12 months

Insurers' other arguments to convince you

When it comes to choosing the insurer who will provide your complementary health insurance, other arguments than price or reimbursed amounts can influence your choice. There are, for example, some companies that make strong ecological commitments, which manage to convince customers from an ethical point of view. If for example the case of Agrisano, a mutual dedicated to supporting farmers, which takes steps to defend the environment.
Also, some insurance companies choose to offer attractive deals for new members. Don't hesitate to ask about current offers, before choosing your new insurer.

How to compare supplementary health insurance?

After reading this article, you may want to start quoting for supplementary health insurance from several insurers. As you will have understood, the amount of premiums should not be the only factor influencing your decision.

What are your needs?

One of the first steps before even comparing insurance contracts is to question yourself about your various healthcare needs. You need to draw up a list of the people likely to join you on this contract.
Whether it's you, your spouse or even your children, you'll then need to draw up a list of priorities. If you have eyesight problems, a contract with good optical reimbursements will be necessary. If your child is likely to need orthodontic care, you'll also be able to choose a suitable supplementary health insurance policy.

What are the benefits and conditions?

To compare two contracts, it is absolutely essential that the benefits offered are equivalent.
You'll also need to look at the reimbursement conditions, which can sometimes hold a few surprises when you need to call on your cover. Calling on an independent comparator can therefore be useful to guide you in choosing the best complementary health insurance based on your profile and expectations.

Rates for foreign nationals

Foreign nationals such as French frontier workers can benefit from supplementary insurance in Switzerland. As with locals, this is in addition to reimbursements from compulsory insurance. Whether one chooses the CMU or LAMal, it will therefore be possible to freely subscribe to this type of contract.
In general, the cover and rates offered by insurers are the same, whether the customer is Swiss or not. However, some coverages are more suitable for foreign nationals. We're talking in particular about the possibility of being repatriated to Switzerland, in the event of a health problem abroad.

How to change your complementary health insurance in Switzerland

This comparison may have inspired you to change your complementary health insurance in Switzerland. If you already have this type of cover, you will first need to cancel your current contract. You can choose to cancel your contract on November 30 each year. Simply send a cancellation letter to the insurer.
The steps are therefore relatively simple, if you wish to obtain a better rate for your complementary health insurance. They can also be initiated to give you access to cover more suited to your needs.

Can you take out complementary health insurance with any insurer?

As soon as a Swiss insurance company offers complementary health insurance contracts, you can turn to them for cover. However, you'll need the company to agree to cover you. Some refusals may be based on your profile, following the completion of a medical questionnaire. Your location may also influence the acceptance of your application.
You should also be aware that it is perfectly possible to take out your complementary health insurance with an organization other than the one providing your reimbursements under the basic scheme. Several complementary health insurance contracts may not, however, be combined for the same coverage with several insurers.

Our method for comparing supplementary health insurances in Switzerland

Our comparison of supplementary health insurances in Switzerland is updated for the year 2024. The rates and reimbursement amounts shown are therefore those charged by insurers for that year.
In order to offer you a comprehensive guide, free from any influence, we have chosen to emancipate ourselves from any partnership with insurance companies for its writing. For us, this is the best way to guarantee the objectivity of the information provided.
Finally, this article is based on information published by insurers. We have also carried out several series of quotations, in order to provide you with the most reliable information possible.

How to choose the right complementary insurances?

Depending on your needs

The health insurance companies all offer a variety of supplementary benefits. For this reason, before taking out any insurance, it is important to target your needs precisely in order to select the optimum insurance product.

Based on price and benefits

Once your needs have been clearly defined and in order to benefit from the best benefits, we recommend comparing complementary insurance offers so that you can optimally choose the offer that's right for you.

Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction can play a major role in the choice of supplementary insurance. For this reason, it's important to check customer satisfaction as well as the various reviews of the health insurer in question before taking out any insurance.

How much does supplementary insurance cost?

There is a wide variation in supplementary insurance costs between different health insurers. The benefits offered also vary considerably, unlike those of basic insurance.
Alexis Milon
Updated on: 22/01/2024Written by Alexis MilonHead of health insurance department at Comparea.
To learn more about our team click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Basic health insurance is compulsory for all Swiss residents. Insurers are obliged to accept all applications, regardless of age or state of health.

Supplementary insurance, on the other hand, is optional. They are designed to fill gaps in basic health insurance coverage. In the majority of cases, supplementary insurance is offered in the form of a package including various services such as dental, optical or hospitalization coverage. It should be noted that, unlike basic insurance, insurers are not obliged to accept new policyholders on the basis of their age or state of health.

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