Complementary medicine: a natural alternative

Complementary or alternative medicine is used to treat people holistically. A number of complaints can, for example, be alleviated through acupuncture in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), herbal medicine of traditional European naturopathy or osteopathy.

Complementary medicine encompasses various diagnostic processes, healing methods and remedies.  It is used by a wide range of specialists such as doctors and naturopaths.

Conventional medicine and complementary medicine follow two different approaches. Traditional doctors search for symptoms and organic changes. Practitioners of complementary medicine, by contrast, are interested in what triggers the disorder. They also base their analysis on factors such as the patient's biography, environment, strengths and weaknesses.

If the medically prescribed therapy for an illness is not having the desired effect, complementary medicine can offer a natural alternative. It can supplement an ongoing course of treatment or in some cases even replace it completely.  Examples are the treatment of hayfever, rheumatic complaints and other chronic diseases.

Acupuncture, for example, is a possible method of treatment to alleviate the symptoms of hayfever for those suffering from allergies. Besides the treatment of allergies, acupuncture is also suitable for achieving relief from pain in the musculoskeletal system. Another area of complementary medicine is phytotherapy, also called herbal medicine. Medicinal plants are effective in supporting treatments and therapies for a wide variety of diseases. Learn more about the most popular techniques in complementary medicine.

Find out here how you can use herbal medicine to effectively combat inflammation or pain, for example.

Read how one of the most important treatment methods of traditional Chinese medicine can cure ailments.

Learn about traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and its healing methods: from acupuncture to moxibustion through to Tai Chi.

Insurance benefits for complementary medicine

In addition to contributions towards the cost of alternative forms of treatment and remedies, you can also make use of the complementary medicine advice line.

BASIS

You will receive generous contributions towards the cost of various outpatient treatments.

COMPLETA

You receive contributions (75% outpatient, 100% inpatient) towards the cost of treatments and remedies.

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Frequently asked questions about complementary medicine

We will reimburse you for the cost of complementary medicine where medical necessity has been established. Preventative treatment is not considered medically necessary and will therefore not be reimbursed. Treatment provided for many impairments of well-being, such as stress, tension or fatigue, is not considered medically necessary either.

Outpatient treatment

With SANA or COMPLETA supplementary insurance, you receive 75 percent of the costs for coverage for remedies and therapy methods provided by complementary medicine, such as osteopathy, kinesiology, acupuncture massage and Bach flower remedies, etc.

Inpatient treatment

With SANA and COMPLETA supplementary insurance, you receive 100% of the costs of complementary medicines and therapies up to CHF 5,000 per calendar year.

Requirements
  • There is an established medical necessity.
  • Your doctor, naturopath or complementary therapist is recognised by us.
  • The therapy method is recognised by us.
  • Medicines are handed out or prescribed by a doctor or recognised naturopath and are approved by the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products Swissmedic for the treatment of the existing illness. (Medicines on the list of medicines not covered by statutory health insurance (LPPV) are excluded).
  • The inpatient treatment is prescribed by a doctor and is performed in a medical institution or convalescent facility recognised by us.

You receive contributions towards the costs of the following types of complementary medicine:

  • Anthroposophic medicine
  • Classical homoeopathy
  • Phytotherapy
  • Pharmacotherapy within traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
  • Acupuncture

Please ensure that your doctor holds a recognised certificate of competence awarded by the Swiss Medical Association (FMH) for these treatment methods.

The costs are refunded according to the tariff in the canton where you live or the tariff for your work location.

No. However, in debatable cases we may ask you for information in order to review the medical necessity of the treatment.

It is important to us that we can offer you the benefits for complementary medicine at an attractive price. To ensure that this remains so in the future, we are refraining from expanding the scope of our benefits.

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Liability exclusion

The health information provided here is of a general nature and is intended exclusively for information purposes. It is not a substitute for medical advice. In the event of a health problem, you should always consult a doctor or medical specialist.

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