Demand for Switzerland’s ‘Bread Post’ service quadruples due to coronavirus crisis

Launched just over a year ago, demand for Switzerland’s ‘Bread Post’ - which delivers fresh bread to customers daily by mail - has increased four fold due to the coronavirus.

Demand for Switzerland’s ‘Bread Post’ service quadruples due to coronavirus crisis
Photo by Bruno Thethe on Unsplash

It’s not an April Fools’ Day prank – and it might just be the most Swiss thing ever. 

Switzerland’s Bread Post (Brot Post) has been up and running for more than a year. It lets customers order bread for delivery up to five times per week, with the fresh bread delivered daily via the post. 

Unsurprisingly, it’s seen a surge in popularity since the outbreak of the virus as Switzerland put in place restrictions on certain businesses and on leaving the house. 

As reported in the Luzerner Zeitung, use of the service has quadrupled since the beginning of March. 

The goal of the service, other than providing customers with fresh bread conveniently directly to their door, is to help out smaller, independent bakeries rather than large chains – something which has become even more important during the coronavirus crisis. 

The service, run by Swiss Post, links dozens of local bakeries with local customers. Bread-hungry residents can see if deliveries are available to their zip code at the following site

The service is currently only available in German-speaking Switzerland, although Swiss Post plans to expand to western parts of the country in April. Expansion in Ticino is set to take place at a later date. 


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What to do if you haven’t yet received your Swiss health insurance card

Switzerland is late in issuing health insurance cards for new policy holders or those who have switched their providers at the end of 2022. What should you do if you need medical help before your new card arrives?

What to do if you haven’t yet received your Swiss health insurance card

When you buy a health insurance policy in Switzerland from any of the dozens of approved providers, you will receive a credit card-sized card to be used as proof of insurance. Aside from your name, date of birth, and AHV / AVS number, the card also includes the name of your insurance company, client number, and the date of validity.

You will have to present this card each time you seek medical treatment that is included under the obligatory KVG / LaMal scheme.

Residents of Switzerland are allowed to change their compulsory health insurance coverage from one provider to another by November 30th, to go into effect from January of the following year.

The sharp increase in the cost of the health insurance in 2023 — 6.6 percent on average, but higher in some cantons — has prompted many people to look for cheaper options and change their carriers.

READ MORE: Millions of Swiss residents switch health insurance amid rising costs

This massive switch has caused a backlog in the production of new insurance cards, which means that many policy holders have not yet received theirs.

The cards for all insurance carriers are issued by a subsidiary of the Santésuisse health insurance association, whose spokesperson, Manuel Ackermann, said that the delay is caused by the “extraordinarily large number” — three times as many as in an average year — of switches.

He did not specify how much longer is needed to issue and send out all the cards.

What should you do if you haven’t yet received your card?

Say you need medical help, or another situation arises where proof of health insurance is needed — for instance, if you are applying for a new job or registering in a new municipality.

In such cases, you can present the insurance certificate letter your carrier has issued when you took up your policy.

While not having an insurance card is a minor inconvenience in Switzerland, where such a certificate can be used in the interim, it could be more of a problem when travelling in the European Union.

Under normal circumstances, if you fall ill in the EU, all you have do is present your Swiss card, which is equivalent to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This way, you can be treated and the bill will go directly to your Swiss insurance company.

However, absence of the card could mean that hospitals in those countries may not recognise the insurance certificate alone, and require Swiss residents to pay for medical care on the spot.

While not an ideal situation, you can submit the bill, along with all the required documents such as details of your treatment, to your insurer in Switzerland.

READ MORE: Reader question: Can my Swiss health insurance refuse to pay my medical bills?