Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Health insurance: Swiss Socialists call for premiums to be capped at 10 percent of income

Share this article

Health insurance: Swiss Socialists call for premiums to be capped at 10 percent of income
File photo: Depositphotos
08:53 CET+01:00
Switzerland's Socialist Party on the weekend launched a popular initiative calling for health insurance premiums to be capped at 10 percent of household income.

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

This has sparked intense political debate about how to bring down spiralling healthcare costs and ease the pain for households paying high premiums.

Read also: Swiss health insurance costs set for smaller rise in Switzerland

Now, with an eye on general elections in Switzerland next year, the Socialists have launched a popular initiative calling for health insurance contributions to total not more than 10 percent of household income.

Any household paying more than this 10-percent amount would receive subsidies to help them cover the costs – a scheme introduced in the canton of Vaud earlier this year.

The Socialists' announcement came during a party congress over the weekend.

In a statement, party vice president Barbara Gysi said the initiative was necessary as cantons had, in recent years, slashed subsidies designed to assist people struggling to pay their health insurance.

Meanwhile, Socialist Party President Christian Levrat noted that premiums constituted a particular financial burden on families that earned just too a little too much to qualify for subsidies.

With its initiative, the party is also calling for health insurance subsidies to be standardized across all cantons.

The initiative would cost around 3.6 billion Swiss francs in extra costs, bringing the total cost of health insurance subsidies up to 7.5–8.3 billion francs.

The party will start collecting the 100,000 signatures necessary to trigger a referendum on the proposal in spring 2019.

Read also: How can health insurance in Switzerland be made cheaper?

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

From our sponsors

QUIZ: Which influential Icelander are you?

Iceland may have a population of just over 330,000 people (all with equally unpronounceable names) but that doesn't stop it churning out a stream of globally-renowned people. Take our quiz to discover your Icelandic spirit animal.