Today in Switzerland For Members

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected]
Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Federal Council will decide soon on the schedule for vaccine boosters. Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya/ Unsplash

Health insurance policyholders may receive compensation, fewer Covid infections, and other news from Switzerland this Wednesday.


CSS ordered to pay policyholders 129 million francs

Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has revealed that one of the country’s largest insurance companies, CSS, has been passing part of its distribution and management costs on to holders of its supplementary health insurance.

Between 2013 and 2019, CSS “was guilty of serious violations”, FINMA said in a press release, ordering the carrier to refund up to 129 million francs to customers who took out a supplementary health policy during this timeframe.

For its part, CSS is "astonished by the extent of [FINMA’s] criticism”, adding that there is no clear guidance in the Swiss law regarding the allocation of insurance companies’ administrative costs.

If you have a supplemental health policy from CSS, you will be informed in due time if you are entitled to a refund.


Covid infections still on downward trend

The number of reported coronavirus cases continues to decline in Switzerland, according to new weekly data published by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

Contaminations dropped in a span of one week from 21,817 recorded on July 9th to 18, 204 detected on July 16th — a decrease of 16.6 percent.

During the same period, Covid-related hospitalisations fell by 38.8 percent, FOPH figures show.

As a comparison, at the height of this summer’s outbreak in mid-July, nearly 56,000 new infections had been reported in Switzerland.

Left and right have common vision of energy policy

It is not often that business groups and left-leaning parties see eye to eye on political matters, but this is what’s happening in Switzerland right now.

In what the Swiss media calls “an unnatural alliance”, the Social Democratic Party and EconomieSuisse, which represents business interests, are asking the Federal Council  to compensate companies  for financial losses in the event gas or electricity shortage reduces their productivity.

If the government can’t ensure sufficient energy supply to enable businesses to function normally, it must pay companies to put their employees on partial unemployment, as many did during the Covid pandemic, EconomieSuisse said.

For the socialists too, the government must compensate all companies that would see their commercial activities drop by at least 15 percent.


The Federal Council returns to work

After several weeks of absence for summer holidays, the seven members of the Federal Council will be back at work today.

Among topics on its agenda will be decisions regarding second Covid boosters, such as the date when the shots will be available to the general population.

Officials have previously indicated that the announcement about the availability of the fourth dose will be made during the second half of August, with the rollout for general public expected in the fall.

READ MORE: Covid boosters not available in Switzerland until autumn

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