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If you want your health insurance to cover services that are not part of the basic insurance cover, you will find that health insurance companies provide a wide range of supplementary insurance options. For example, you can obtain insurance for additional out-patient medical services (orthodontic treatment for children, complementary medical treatment such as osteopathy) or more comfort or a free choice of doctor when spending time in hospital.
Supplementary insurance is not a form of social security. You decide whether you want it or not, and insurance companies, in contrast to basic insurance, are not obliged to offer you the desired cover. The insurance companies can also adjust the premiums to take account of your age, state of health or gender.
Before you are offered supplementary insurance, the health insurance company will ask you to complete a health questionnaire. The terms on which the desired insurance is offered will depend on the answers to these questions about your health. Complete the questionnaire to the best of your knowledge and belief, because the health insurance company may subsequently change the terms of your insurance or even terminate your policy if the information you give proves to be wrong.
If you want supplementary insurance for your child, then it is better to apply for the insurance before the child is born. If you register your child before the birth, the health insurance company will often guarantee that the child will be insured without the need to complete a questionnaire. Commonly, children have supplementary insurance for dental treatment (orthodontics). You should also obtain this insurance as early as possible. After a certain age, the health insurance companies will require a prior dental examination.
Often supplementary insurance is not simply offered for a specific service but for a package of services. If you decide to take out supplementary insurance, make sure that you are not insured twice for the same service. When obtaining supplementary travel insurance (often worthwhile when travelling abroad), check if you are not already insured by your credit card company or under your car insurance, etc.
Think carefully before cancelling an existing supplementary insurance policy: do you really have no further need for it, because there is no guarantee that you will be offered this insurance again (e.g. if your health deteriorates). Find out about the relevant periods of notice when cancelling a policy.