«We have got into financial difficulties and cannot afford our insurance premiums at the moment. We're really embarrassed. What should we do? Is there a possibility we'll face debt enforcement?»
Financial difficulties can befall any family, and should not be a cause of embarrassment. If the intentions of those concerned are good, there's almost always an amicable solution to be found.
A premium subsidy can offer a ray of light in this situation. In Switzerland, people with modest financial means receive support in paying for their health insurance premiums. Entitlements are regulated on a cantonal basis and apply only to basic insurance. The amount of the subsidy depends on the family's taxable income and number of children. In some cantons, the administrative authorities notify eligible parties automatically based on the information provided in their tax declaration. In other cantons, you have to be proactive and reapply for the premium subsidy each year with your municipality. The payment is generally made directly to the health insurer. You do not receive the money yourself.
Parents can apply for family allowances depending on the regulations applicable in their canton. These usually take the form of child allowances or education allowances. Some cantons also award childbirth allowances and adoption allowances. The child allowance amounts to at least CHF 200 per child and per month for children up to the age of 16 and disabled children who are unable to work up to the age of 20. For young people in education up to the age of 20, it is at least CHF 250 per child and per month. You can find answers to numerous questions on the topic of family allowances on the website of the Federal Social Insurance Office.
If you are employed, you employer will submit the application for a family allowance, which will be paid out to you together with your salary. If you are not employed, you have to apply for the family allowance with your local family compensation office. You can find the address of the offices in the various cantons on the AHVI/IV website under Cantonal compensation offices. If you are unemployed, please contact the administrative authorities in your municipality.
The Swiss social security system provides additional benefits for AHVI/IV recipients. An entitlement exists if a family's income does not cover their basic living costs. Additional benefits are a legal right and do not fall under welfare or social security.
Additional benefits may also apply if you have close family members past retirement age who are financially disadvantaged but who you yourself are not in a position to support financially.
|Help from the social security office|
|The Swiss Constitution guarantees people living in Switzerland the right to obtain assistance in situations of need. The relevant article in the Constitution reads: "Persons in need and unable to provide for themselves have the right to assistance and care, and to the financial means required for a decent standard of living." Contact the social security office in your municipality or canton if you no longer see a way out of your situation.|
What can Helsana do for you?
If premium payments are outstanding, a reminder process is triggered automatically. Debt enforcement is only instigated if a third reminder is issued without effect. Don't let things get this far. You can avoid receiving even a first reminder. Let us know if you are facing financial difficulties. Together we can find a solution.
At Helsana, there are various ways you can reduce the premiums you owe. Exploit this savings potential to the fullest so that you can make your financial situation that little bit easier.
How you can reduce your premium
With a family discount
A family insurance policy can reduce your supplementary insurance premium by 5% to 10% for everyone living in the same household. Cohabiting couples and other communal living arrangements can also benefit. Further information
With an alternative insurance model under basic insurance
BeneFit PLUS Telemedicine, BeneFitPLUS General Practitioner and PREMED-24 give you attractive premium discounts. Further information
By avoiding double insurance
Check whether the same benefits are insured multiple times and have the corresponding policies amended accordingly. Further information
With multi-year policies for supplementary insurance
If you conclude a policy for five years, for example, you receive a premium discount of 5%. Further information
By joining a collective agreement
Many organisations, associations and companies have concluded collective agreements with Helsana. As a member or employee, you (and, where applicable, your dependants) benefit from preferential conditions for supplementary insurance. Ask your association or employer if they have a collective insurance policy such as this.
Optimal insurance cover
Does your insurance match your current living situation? Do you have any other questions about the saving tips? Simply contact our Customer Service on 0844 80 81 82.