As is the case with the rest of Switzerland, health insurance costs in Geneva have been climbing annually, with residents now paying the country’s second-highest premiums, averaging 485 Swiss francs per month for adult policyholders.
The Geneva section of the Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC) has now collected 6,719 signatures — more than 5,294 required by the canton — allowing it to submit this issue to a vote.
The UDC “has been calling for years for a comprehensive review of health insurance which cannot function on its current basis”, the party explained on its website.
To cut the costs, UDC proposes the introduction of a flat tax deduction set at twice the average cantonal premium for compulsory health insurance.
“This is a reasonable mechanism that will allow us to demonstrate a certain responsibility towards citizens by offering them a concrete solution to reduce the weight of health premiums in their budget”, the party said.
The UDC acknowledged that the increase in the tax deduction of health insurance premiums will, in the short term, lower cantonal revenues.
But the money saved by taxpayers will boost their purchasing power and will be reinjected into the economy, generating more government income the following year.
Switzerland has a mandatory health insurance system and an investigation conducted last year by Santésuisse, an association of Swiss health insurers, showed that the Swiss are collectively overpaying their insurance premiums by more than 1 billion francs.