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Swiss health insurance costs set for smaller rise in 2019

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Swiss health insurance costs set for smaller rise in 2019
File photo: Depositphotos
09:39 CEST+02:00
The average health insurance premium in Switzerland is set to rise 1.2 percent in 2019, some respite after years of hefty increases.

This figure of 1.2 percent is well below the 3.5 percent average rise seen since 2008, the Federal Office of Public Health said in a statement on Monday.

But the savings will not be shared across the board. Young adults aged 19 to 25, who are generally healthier and less likely to go to the doctor, will be the biggest winners with their average premiums dropping a full 15.6 percent to 274.10 Swiss francs.

Read also: Swiss canton of Vaud to cap health insurance premiums at 10 percent

People aged 26 and over will pick up the slack, with the average premiums for this group set to rise 2.4 percent. 

In terms of the cantonal breakdown, six cantons will see the smallest rises of up to 0.5 percent: Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Fribourg, Glarus, Uri and Zug.

At the other end of the scale, Jura, Neuchâtel, Ticino and Valais are set for rises of more than 2 percent.

Premiums in all other cantons are set for rises of between 0.5 percent and 2 percent.

For children, the average increase will be 2.4 percent to 100.90 Swiss francs.

Health insurance costs have been the subject of intense political debate in Switzerland in 2018.

Swiss people fund around a third of all the country's healthcare costs though a compulsory insurance system and the cost of this obligatory insurance has shot up twice as fast as GDP and wages since 1996, causing plenty of anger.

Political jockeying

Both the Socialists and the Christian Democrats said they plan to launch initiatives aimed at bringing down healthcare costs and premiums – a development which University of Bern political scientist Marc Bühlmann said was linked to national elections in 2019.

In comments made to national broadcaster SRF, he said the party initiatives had little chance of making it as far as a referendum but were a good way of attracting voters.

Read also: Health insurer 'must pay childcare costs of blacklisted patient'

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