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Health costs Court rules insurance must pay for childbirth

Doctor examining a two-day old baby

Childbirths must be considered medical emergency according to an insurance court. 

(Keystone)

The costs of childbirth or a treatment against AIDS must be reimbursed to insured people even if they are in arrears with the payment of their health insurance premiums in Switzerland.

A court in St Gallen last week decided to extend the notion of urgency to include such cases.

Currently, nine of the country’s 26 cantons maintain controversial blacklists of patients who are only entitled to emergency treatments.

The verdict, reported by the SonntagsZeitung newspaper, refers to the case of a patient who gave birth at a public hospital, but her insurance company refused to reimburse the invoice because the woman was blacklisted.

The hospital sued the insurance company so they wouldn't be left with the bill.

It is not clear whether the insurance company will appeal against the decision.

An estimated 30,000 people don’t pay their mandatory insurance premiums, a fourfold increase on 2014.

Last year, an AIDS patient in Switzerland died because he couldn’t afford treatment as his insurance company refused to reimburse the costs of a therapy.

US & Swiss health series Caring for those who cannot afford health coverage

Although public assistance is available to those struggling to pay for care, in the end not everyone is able to get the treatment they need.

swissinfo.ch with SDA-ATS; urs

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