You will have to pay part of the treatment costs yourself in addition to the premiums. This is known as the “Franchise” (excess). You can choose how much excess you want to pay. The lowest excess is CHF 300, the highest is CHF 2,500. In the case of the highest excess this means you will have to pay all the medical expenses per year up to a value of CHF 2,500 yourself. The premiums for this are lower. In the case of a lower excess (e.g. CHF 300) the monthly premiums are higher, but the health insurance fund will start paying the costs when they exceed CHF 300. A high excess (and low premiums) are only worthwhile if you are rarely ill.
If the annual medical costs exceed the excess you must pay an additional 10% of the costs, which is known as the patient’s contribution (Selbstbehalt). By law the maximum patient’s contribution is CHF 700 per year (as of January 2016).
The health insurance fund will assume the costs of pregnancy and birth in full from the start.