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Health premiums set to rise steeply next year

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Morven McLean - [email protected]
Health premiums set to rise steeply next year
Photo: homestreet.ch

Despite negative inflation in Switzerland, householders will have to pay substantially more for heath care next year, the health insurance association Santésuisse has warned.

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Santésuisse director Verena Nold told Swiss national radio SRF insurance premiums would rise by three to four per cent but could be even higher in some cantons.

Premiums in 2015 rose 3.5 per cent over 2014 levels.

“In cantons that have a lot of specialists, i.e. the urban centres of Geneva, Zurich, Basel and Bern, people should reckon on a bigger increase than in the rural cantons,” Nold told SRF.

She said the reason was the growing number of specialists who charged ever higher amounts per patient.

Specialists including urologists and radiologists were charging for consulting medical files, she said. In the past two years costs in this area had grown by 140 million francs.

Another factor driving up premiums was that hospitals were offering more treatments on an outpatient basis, meaning that overnight stays were reduced.

These costs were being transferred to insured persons, Nold said, as the cantons did not finance outpatient treatment. 

Health insurance is compulsory in Switzerland. On arrival in the country people must take out a policy within three months.

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