• Switzerland's news in English

Health insurance rise is highest in four years

Caroline Bishop · 25 Sep 2014, 12:05

Published: 25 Sep 2014 12:05 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The rise means Swiss residents paying the obligatory health insurance will next year fork out on average 411.80 francs a month on a 300 franc deductible, 15.70 francs a month more than this year.  

The average rise is significantly higher than in recent years, with premiums rising no more than 2.2 percent in each of the previous three years.   

In 2014 premiums rose by 2.2 percent, and in 2013 by 1.5 percent.

The announcement comes ahead of a referendum this Sunday in which the Swiss public will vote on the establishment of a single national health insurer instead of the present private system which counts around 90 separate insurers.

Media commentators had suggested that a high increase in premiums could push more people towards voting yes to the proposal.

Reacting to today’s figures, the committee for the yes campaign said in a statement that the increase effectively means “a 500 franc hole in the budget of each family,” reported newspaper Tribune de Genève.

Federal councillor Stéphane Rossini, who supports the campaign, said “Health insurers are simply no longer managing premiums rises.

“The system has deteriorated year after year, and it’s gone far enough. Put an end to the explosion in prices and vote yes on Sunday to a national health insurer.”

Next year’s increases are not uniform across the country. Bern is the least affected, with an average 2.7 percent rise, while tariffs in Nidwald are set to rise by 6.8 percent, though the canton had one of the cheapest average premiums in the country in 2014.

For most cantons the rise is between 3.5 and 4.5 percent.

“Costs are rising and will continue to rise,” Berset told the press, citing the country’s ageing population as a cause.

Story continues below…

Why the rise is the highest in four years is “difficult to say,” he said.

The government has various measures in place to ensure that private insurers set their prices in line with costs, meaning they can neither excessively inflate or decrease their premiums.

While the cost of around 1,000 medicines has gone down, some unbranded products are 50 percent more expensive in Switzerland than in other European countries, so there is “still progress to be made,” said Berset.

Commenting on the variation between cantons, Pascal Strupler, head of the federal public health office, told the conference that premiums in rural areas are less expensive than in cities as people in the countryside visit the doctor less frequently.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Caroline Bishop (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swiss woman wins headscarf court battle
Photo: Jack Guez / AFP file picture

A Swiss court has ruled against a company that fired a longtime employee after she began wearing the Muslim headscarf, marking one of the first such rulings in Switzerland, media reported Sunday.

Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available