Newborn (prénatale) coverage must be subscribed to BEFORE the birth of your child and should never be overlooked.
Pregnant women are fully covered for all health care issues (not just maternity related). Coverage begins from week thirteen of pregnancy until eight weeks after birth. This coverage is, with zero deductible, and without the usual participation. Seven examinations and two ultrasounds are automatically covered by law for a normal pregnancy. These can be performed on prescription or by approved doctors or midwives. Special “automatic” conditions also apply to women over 35 and all “complicated” pregnancies will be followed on a case by case basis based on the doctor’s recommendations. Generally everything done with a medical prescription will be covered. But it is always advisable to call the health insurance company before doing any checkups and visits that exceed the legal “norms”.
As far as giving birth itself is concerned, the Swiss are open to alternative options. This includes home births, birth house, water birth, etc. Doctors and midwives are available to discuss the options. There is also a small financial contribution for a preparatory class (CHF 150). Three sessions are covered with a professional to discuss breast feeding.
Important: On the LAMal plan women must give birth in the local public hospital in the common ward. For all women who wish to give birth with their own gynecologist in the hospital or clinic of their choice they must subscribe to a private or semi-private LCA insurance plan. A nine or twelve month waiting period always applies to this option, so for those who arrive in Switzerland who are already pregnant the birth will automatically take place in the public hospital (or the mother will bear the cost of the private clinic).
For those that can follow French the Geneva midwife website has many useful tips on pregnancy in Switzerland: http://www.arcade-sages-femmes.ch/asf/
Health Insurance for Newborns – “Prénatale”
Important: A very clear distinction is made between the obligatory LAMal coverage (which the parent has three months to subscribe to after the birth) and the non-obligatory complementary coverage. As a medical questionnaire must be completed before an insurance company issues a complementary plan, it is highly recommended to subscribe to the baby’s health insurance plan before the birth. This is a particularity of the Swiss health insurance scheme. If the complementary plan is subscribed to before the birth no medical questionnaire is required, meaning that even if the baby is born with a serious medical condition it will be fully covered. This coverage is referred to as “prénatale” in French and should not be overlooked.