Giving birth abroad – who covers the costs?

If you want to give birth abroad – on a non-emergency basis – you should find out about the current rates for midwifery services and hospital care in the country in question. You may have to reckon with unexpectedly high costs, which will not be covered by your basic insurance in Switzerland. In the event of an unforeseeable emergency birth you can claim insurance benefits. This is subject to the emergency birth being recognised as such.

Geburt im Ausland

You'll only receive the costs from your basic insurance for emergency treatment abroad. If it's a normal birth, in other words full-term on or around the due date, it's not an emergency. Generally, expectant mothers should plan travelling abroad during pregnancy so that they can still return to Switzerland for the birth in time. Even if it's a full-term birth on or around the due date, a pregnant woman who travels abroad shortly before the due date or is abroad until the due date accepts the risk of giving birth abroad. On the other hand, there are also unforeseen premature births abroad that count as emergency births. Not every premature birth is automatically considered to be an emergency birth, however. To count as an emergency birth, several criteria must be fulfilled and these are checked in each individual case.

The question is, of course, who covers the costs for medical care during the birth. In countries such as the USA, Brazil or Australia, hospital costs can reach astronomical heights.

An emergency birth abroad

If you're temporarily abroad in a EU/EFTA country, the costs in the event of an emergency birth are charged in accordance with the statutory provisions (social tariff schedule) of the respective country. If possible, go to a public hospital and show your European Health Insurance Card (on the reverse side of your Helsana card). The bill is sent directly to your basic insurer. Your contribution to the costs (copayment/deductible) is also calculated in accordance with the provisions of the county in which you give birth and must usually be paid directly. If you're temporarily abroad outside the EU/EFTA, your basic insurance covers the costs up to a maximum of double the costs Helsana would have to pay in Switzerland. Your basic insurance doesn't cover all of the costs, depending on the country.

A planned birth abroad

Your basic insurance may cover no costs for a birth abroad unless it's an unforeseen emergency birth. Should you nevertheless decide in favour of a planned birth abroad, you'll receive a contribution from our supplementary nursing insurance.


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