The average four percent increase applies to what is known as the basic or standard premium, the compulsory health care premium for adults aged over 18, communicated the government on Thursday September 28th. The basic premium entitles the holder to an excess of 300 francs.
Basic health insurance is compulsory in Switzerland and premiums go up each year, set by the insurance companies but with some consultation with the government.
People can choose their 'excess' – the higher the excess the lower the monthly premium, and vice versa.
The 4 percent increase for premiums in 2018 however is higher than the average increase of 3.7 percent over the last ten years.
Premiums for children are set to rise at an even higher average in 2018 than for adults, 5 percent, while young adults aged 19 to 25 will be paying 4.4 percent more in 2018 for their premiums on average.
In eight cantons the increase is only three percent but the average increase in the price of premiums in the cantons of Geneva, Neuchâtel, Vaud and Valais is 5 percent, raising the national average.
The government argued that the increases were necessary because “premiums were too low for some insurers in recent years.” The higher costs, argued the government, are needed to cover the shortfall.
“The reserves fell below the prescribed minimum. Part of this year's premium increase is to restock the reserves,” communicated the government.
“Health care costs are rising as a result of demographic development, medical and technical progress and volume growth,” added the government in its statement.
Approximately 80 percent of the cost of compulsory medical insurance (LaMal) is divided into four main areas: patients treated through GP practices, inpatient care, outpatient care and the cost of prescribed medicines that health insurance firms must cover.
In 2014, 62 percent of the electorate rejected plans in a referendum to create a public-run health insurance scheme to replace the current private system. In a 2007 referendum, 71 percent rejected similar reforms.
For more information on how to calculate how your health insurance may be affected, visit www.priminfo.admin.ch
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