Coronavirus: the most important facts at a glance

The situation is changing all the time. What do I need to know and who can I turn to? Answers to burning questions.

31.03.2020

Nicole Koch

If you are currently having problems making your payments to Helsana, please contact us. You can contact your personal advisory team. You can find the telephone number on your policy and benefit statement or under our contacts. You can also reach us easily and securely via your myHelsana client portal. We will find an individual solution together.

People older than 65 and those suffering from the following conditions are particularly at risk:

  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic respiratory disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Illnesses and therapy that weaken the immune system
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Cancer

If this should apply to you, please stay at home.

On 16 March 2020, the Federal Council decided that all urgent treatment measures can still be performed. For medically necessary complementary medical treatments, we will continue to pay 75% for outpatient treatments where corresponding insurance cover is in place. The condition is that the treatment measures as well as the person performing them are known to us.

These treatments may be performed by: healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics and medical practices as well as practices and facilities of healthcare professionals under federal and cantonal law. Your specialist must clarify with the cantonal authorities whether he or she is permitted to carry out complementary medical treatments.

You can order your medication from one of our partner pharmacies. Medically prescribed medication will be sent to your home and charged directly to Helsana. You can find the homepages with the contact details of our online pharmacies under partner companies.

Yes, basic insurance covers the cost of the Covid19 test, provided that the test is medically justified. This is the case for patients with severe symptoms or a higher risk of complications. As for all diseases, you remain responsible for the co-payment (deductible and excess).

Because of the limited availability of the test, the FOPH has decided to only order tests if the FOPH’s test criteria are met (these include severe symptoms and a higher risk of complications).

However, our Telmed partner Medi24 offers a digital corona check at https://www.medi24.ch/en/coronacheck. Owing to the high level of demand, there may be waiting times. Ideally, please take advantage of the less busy periods and use the latest version of your browser.

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide you with information on whether there is a supply shortage for your medication. If this is the case, your pharmacist will decide, possibly in consultation with your attending doctor, whether the medication in question can be replaced by another with the same active ingredient or same active ingredient class. Please note: medication costs are only assumed by compulsory health insurance within the scope of the medically required dosages and therapy in line with appropriate dosages.

No, don't stop using medication that was prescribed by a doctor on your own initiative. If you're worried, contact your doctor by phone.

No, in this case you should not go to your doctor's practice because you could pass the virus on to others. If you have symptoms of acute respiratory infection with fever and coughing you should stay at home, provided that your general condition allows this: for as long as the symptoms persist and for another 24 hours thereafter (self-isolation).

Call your doctor if:

  • you have a higher risk of complications (persons who are particularly at risk)
  • you are short of breath
  • the respiratory symptoms worsen

Please consult the FOPH’s website for detailed information about what to do and answers to other questions. The link is provided below.

Stay at home for five days following the diagnosis of the confirmed case and avoid all contact with other people (self-quarantine).

Please consult the FOPH’s website for detailed information about what to do and answers to other questions. The link is provided below.

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) publishes recommendations for travellers that are updated on an ongoing basis. In addition to behaviour abroad, the recommendations also relate to possible measures after returning to Switzerland. Please note that a number of countries have announced restrictions and entry bans.

The FOPH also recommends not using public transport, if possible.

The provisions of our supplementary insurance solutions specify certain benefits that can be applied to travel in the context of the coronavirus problem:

  • Cancellations of hotel bookings and travelling costs, e.g. before leaving for a high-risk country are not covered.
  • Doctor's visits and hospital costs are covered under the usual conditions for the basic and supplementary insurance solutions TOP/OMNIA/COMPLETA/HOSPITAL/WORLD.
  • Early returns owing to an epidemic are covered by the TOP/OMNIA and COMPLETA supplementary insurance, up to an amount of CHF 500. The return flight must start in a country which is affected by the coronavirus. WORLD supplementary insurance does not cover any contributions in this regard.
  • Extensions of hotel stays and travel rebooking costs owing to quarantine abroad are not insured.
  • If the public transport booked or used for the trip is cancelled and the continuation of the trip in accordance with the programme is thus not assured, the WORLD supplementary insurance plan will organise and pay for the insured person's extra return journey or delayed onward journey. Costs owing to breakdowns or accidents of private vehicles or due to changes to or the cancellation of the travel programme by the tour operator are not insured.
  • Medically required repatriations to an insured person’s country of residence are insured under the TOP/OMNIA/COMPLETA/HOSPITAL/WORLD supplementary insurance plans*.

*PLEASE NOTE: Should an insured person become infected with the coronavirus, a return journey to Switzerland can only be organised after complete recovery. If the medical facilities abroad aren't sufficient, our customers are transferred to a hospital in the vicinity that has the required infrastructure. Repatriation to Switzerland is also investigated for severely ill patients. However, the entry and exit regulations of the country in question apply here. The return trip can only be carried out after a two-week quarantine abroad. At present, transport is only arranged by REGA. This causes bottlenecks and long waiting periods.

The virus is primarily transmitted by droplet infection. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, viruses pass directly to the mucous membranes in the nose, mouth and eyes of another person. As a rule, close contact with an infected person is needed. In other words: for at least 15 minutes, at a distance of less than 2 metres between you.

However, the virus also survives for several hours in minute droplets on hands or doorknobs. The virus is passed on to your mucous membranes when you touch your face.

It usually takes three to seven days from the day of infection with the coronavirus for the first signs of sickness to appear. It can, however, also take up to 14 days.

  • Wash your hands regularly and well.
  • Cough or sneeze into a paper tissue or the crook of your elbow. Immediately dispose of the paper tissue after use.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Stay at home if you have a fever or cough.
  • Keep your distance.
  • Don’t shake hands.
  • Only go to the doctor or emergency department after you've made an appointment by phone.

Please consult the FOPH’s website for detailed information about what to do and answers to other questions. The link is provided below.

The most common symptoms are fever, coughing and breathing difficulties. In most cases, the disease is mild and in some people there are even no symptoms.

A severe course is predominantly observed in elderly people and in people with a chronic pre-existing condition such as high blood pressure, heart and lung diseases, diabetes or diseases that adversely affect the immune system. In more severe cases, shortness of breath can occur after a week or so, which can at worst lead to pneumonia with respiratory distress and the infection of other organs.

At present, the treatment options are limited to treating and relieving the symptoms. Milder cases that last for less than seven days can be effectively treated like an uncomplicated attack of flu: rest, drink enough fluids, bring down fever, if necessary.

This information comes from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the Robert Koch Institute.

Exclusion of liability

The information on health topics listed here is general advice and is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended to replace any medical advice. If you have health problems, you should always seek advice from a doctor or health care professional.

My contacts

Medical advice line

For questions relating to medical treatment upon suspicion of the coronavirus, your attending physician is responsible.

The healthcare professionals of Medi24 are also continuing to help our customers around the clock in connection with health-related questions through the provision of specific recommendations – expert, independent and free advice for all Helsana customers..
Tel. 0800 100 008

Insurance cover and assistance in Switzerland and abroad

Should you have any questions relating to the scope of your insurance cover in Switzerland, you can contact our Customer Services.
Tel. 0844 80 81 82

Our International Customer Service will be happy to answer questions on the scope of your insurance cover abroad.
Tel. +41 58 340 18 80

Customers who have already been hospitalised or who will have to be soon as well as customers who need to return prematurely or be repatriated to their country of residence can contact our Emergency Call Centre around the clock.
Tel. +41 58 340 16 11

Emergency psychological support

For psychological support in the event of financial or social emergencies, you can make use of our free emergency psychological assistance.
Tel. +41 58 340 16 11

FOPH coronavirus infoline

The FOPH coronavirus infoline can be reached around the clock.
Tel. +41 58 463 00 00 

Important and current information can also be found on the website of the FOPH.

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