Insurance News

Huge Regional Differences in Cheapest Health Insurance Premium

November 2, 2020 - Felix Oeschger

A study by independent Swiss online comparison service analyzed the cheapest mandatory health insurance offers in each premium region in 2021. The results show that the cheapest mandatory health insurance costs more than twice as much in some parts of Switzerland than in other regions.

Where you live plays a significant role in determining the premiums you have to pay for mandatory health insurance. Switzerland is divided into 42 premium regions. The premiums you pay for mandatory health insurance are based on the healthcare costs of the region which your municipality is located in.

This system has been the topic of some discussion. Healthcare costs do vary broadly between regions. But the way in which premium regions are divided is somewhat arbitrary. A standard countrywide premium for mandatory health insurance would be a possible alternative. But a standard premium would disadvantage residents of premium regions which benefit from below-average premiums under the current system based on regional costs.

A study of mandatory health insurance premiums for adults and young adults by independent online comparison service shows just how big the regional premium differences are. The study compared the costs of the most affordable available mandatory health insurance (all models, without accident coverage) for each premium region, accounting for the lowest and highest deductible models.

The verdict: There are significant difference in the premiums which residents of different regions must pay for health insurance. This is true even when only the cheapest available offers are accounted for. “Adult policyholders with the lowest deductible and most affordable mandatory health insurance available pay around 2400 francs more in Basel-Stadt than in Appenzell-Innerrhoden,” states analyst Felix Oeschger.

Appenzell Innerrhoden the cheapest, Basel-Stadt the most expensive

An adult (26 or older) in the Canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden with a 300-franc deductible (without accident coverage) can get their mandatory health insurance from 253.10 francs per month. That is cheaper than the best available offers in all other premium regions in Switzerland.

An adult living in the Canton of Basel-Stadt would pay a minimum 452.30 francs for the same mandatory health insurance. Insurance premiums for this profile are higher than anywhere else in Switzerland. Adults in Basel-Stadt have to pay 199.20 francs more than adults in Appenzell Innerrhoden for the cheapest available mandatory health insurance with a 300-franc deductible. The difference comes to nearly 2400 francs per year.

The pattern is similar for offers with a 2500-franc deductible and no accident coverage. Adult residents of Appenzell Innerrhoden can get mandatory health insurance with the highest deductible from 166.40 francs per month. The cheapest available offer or adults in Basel-Stadt costs 333 francs per month. Adult residents of Basel-Stadt pay around twice as much for the cheapest available mandatory health insurance.

Differences are also significant for young adults between the ages of 19 and 25 years old. Here too, Appenzell Innerrhoden is the most affordable canton for both the 300-franc and the 2500-franc deductible models. Geneva – which is slightly more expensive than Basel-Stadt – has the highest mandatory health insurance premiums for young adults.

Neighboring municipalities – different premiums

In bordering municipalities which are part of two different premiums regions, residents are often surprised at how much more they have to pay than residents of the neighboring municipality.

In some cases, the differences are significant. For example, residents of the municipality of Oberenstringen which falls under the Canton of Zurich’s premium region 3 can get mandatory health insurance with a 2500-franc deductible from 203.60 francs per month.

Residents of Frankental (part of the City of Zurich) which falls under premium region 1 but borders Oberenstringen directly have to pay a minimum of 274.90 francs per month. The cheapest mandatory health insurance available to Frankental residents costs 856 francs more per year than that available to their neighbors in Oberenstringen.

“Residents often find premium differences like these unfair,” explains CEO Benjamin Manz. These can be traced to the differing premiums across different premium regions.

Another example can be found in the Canton of Bern, which is divided into three premium regions. Depending on the premium region, the cheapest available adult health insurance offer with the highest deductible costs between 226.10 and 287.70 francs per month. Depending on where in the Canton of Bern you live, you would have to pay nearly 740 francs more or less per year for the cheapest mandatory health insurance.

Assura is the cheapest option for adults in many regions determined which Swiss health insurance provider offers the cheapest mandatory insurance for adults (26 or older) in the most premium regions.

Results: For adults who need the lowest deductible (300 francs) and no accident coverage, budget insurance provider Assura is the cheapest option in 13 premium regions. It is followed by Swica (9 premium regions), Atupri (6 premium regions), Helsana and Progrès (4 premium regions each) and CSS (3 premium regions).

For adult residents who need the highest deductible (2500 francs) and no accident coverage, Assura offers the cheapest mandatory health insurance in 15 premium regions. It is followed by Atupri (9 premium regions), Helsana (5 premium regions), Progrès (4 premium regions), Arcosana (4 premium regions) and Swica (2 premium regions).

Sanitas and Atupri are the cheapest insurers for your adults

The cheapest health insurance providers for young adults (age 19 to 25) are different to those for adults. For young adults who need a 300-franc deductible, Atupri offers the cheapest mandatory health insurance in 9 premium regions. It is followed by Assura (6 premium regions), Sanagate (5 premium regions), and Sanitas (4 premium regions).

For young adults, the 2500-franc deductible model is more important. Sanitas is the cheapest option for young adults in a large portion of Switzerland (28 premium regions). Sanagate and Atupri follow by a wide margin (4 premium regions each). These are followed by EGK (2 premium regions). Assura is only the most affordable option for young adults who need a 2500-franc deductible in a single premium region. It is apparent that Assura is targeting the adult health insurance market more than young adults.

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Expert Felix Oeschger
Felix Oeschger is an analyst and expert at He is responsible for several core topics.