Insurance News

Swiss Mandatory Health Insurance: Policyholders Could Collectively Save 3.5 Billion Swiss Francs in Premiums

October 16, 2018 - Benjamin Manz

Switzerland’s independent online comparison service,, conducted a study of premium savings potential among Swiss compulsory health insurance policyholders. The results show that policyholders could save an average of around 425 Swiss francs per person in 2019 by moving to different insurance policies. Policyholders could save even more by adopting managed care insurance models, with the average per-capita savings potential increasing to 675 francs when insurance models are accounted for.

Swiss compulsory health insurance premiums are increasing by 1.3% in 2019, according to calculations by That is a relatively low premium increase compared to those we have witnessed in many recent years.

That relatively low increase has led many residents to believe that changing their health insurance for 2019 is hardly worth it. But a new study by clearly shows that is not the case. “Many policyholders could save significant amounts on premiums by migrating to different insurance providers,” states analyst Felix Oeschger.

Savings potential of 425 francs per capita

In its analysis of health insurance savings potential, accounted for the entire population of Switzerland, all compulsory health insurance providers, all age groups, all cantons and all compulsory health insurance models. In total, more than 250,000 pieces of data were evaluated during the study. The verdict: Policyholders can collectively save more than 3.5 billion francs in premiums by simply changing health insurance providers – without changing insurance models.

That means that policyholders could save an average of 425 francs per capita on compulsory health insurance in 2019. If policyholders also switched to the most affordable managed care model (GP/family doctor, HMO or telemedicine) in addition to switching insurance providers, they could save more than 5.6 billion francs in premiums collectively – an average per-capita saving of 675 francs over 2019. These figures do not even account for additional savings which could be achieved if policyholders were to adopt optimal deductible models or terminate unnecessary accident insurance coverage.

Savings potential is greater than premium increases

Compulsory health insurance premiums will increase by a weighted average of 4 francs per month and person – of 48 francs over the year – in 2019. On the other hand, policyholders could save 425 francs over the year, on average, by migrating to the most affordable health insurance. The average savings potential, without changing insurance models, is almost 9 times higher than the average premium increase.

Savings potential by age group

Children up to 18 years old can, on average, save 188 francs per person by using the most affordable health insurance providers available to them. Collectively, all resident children could save 295 million francs on insurance premiums. Adult policyholders (26 years old or older) can save an average of 462 francs per person in 2019, or 2.8 billion francs combined. Both groups could save even more by switching insurance models as well.

Interestingly, savings potential is highest in the young adult age group (19 to 25 years old), which is benefiting from notable premium decreases in 2019. Young adults can save an average of 631 francs per person, or 420 million francs collectively. “Young adults should definitely compare health insurance premiums, even if their current health insurance providers reduce premiums in 2019,” says Felix Oeschger.

Savings potential by canton

The highest savings potential in the adult age group is found in the canton of Geneva, where adults could save 735 francs over the coming year by changing their insurance providers. Adults in the canton of Basel-Stadt could save 706 francs. The lowest saving potential (243 francs) is found in the canton of Zug. In the young adult age group, savings potential is highest in the canton of Bern, where young adults can save up to 779 francs over the coming year by changing insurance providers. In the child age group, the highest savings potential (250 francs) is found in the canton of Geneva. If policyholders were to change insurance models as well as insurance providers, potential savings would be even higher.

Lower premiums without changing insurance provider

An increasing number of policyholders opt for managed care insurance models. This makes a lot of sense in many cases because many insurers charge much lower premiums for their general practitioner/family doctor, HMO, telemedicine or pharmacy model policies than they charge for standard policies without limitations. Policyholders could collectively save 2.8 billion francs – or 330 francs per person – over 2019 simply by switching to the managed care models offered by their current insurance providers.

Savings can reach thousands of francs

Overall savings potential provides a general overview of the total savings which could be achieved by the population of Switzerland as a whole. However, actual savings potential varies broadly between individual situations. Some policyholders can save thousands of francs simply by migrating to the most affordable insurance provider.

For example, adults living in the city of Zurich who have standard health insurance policies from Supra (with accident insurance) could save 2000 francs in the coming year by moving to the most affordable standard policy available in Zurich. If the same adults were to take out the most affordable managed care policy available, they would save more than 2600 francs in 2019.

The canton of Basel-Stadt, where premium differences typically even higher, provides another interesting example: Adult Kolping customers holding standard health insurance policies with accident insurance and the lowest deductible will pay over 4500 francs more than those holding the most affordable telemedicine policy available.

The verdict: “Comparing health insurance premiums based on your individual needs is worth it because premium differences and potential savings are still high in 2019,” concludes CEO Benjamin Manz.

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Expert Benjamin Manz
Benjamin Manz is CEO of and an independent expert on banking and finance.