Insurance News

Health Insurance: Young Adults Dissatisfied

August 8, 2018 - Benjamin Manz

Independent online comparison service conducted a representative survey of health insurance customer satisfaction in Switzerland. The results reveal major differences in satisfaction levels between age groups, regions and insurance providers. Young policyholders and policyholders in French-speaking Switzerland are the least content with their health insurance arrangements.

Due to the rising cost of healthcare, compulsory health insurance premiums are set to increase again in 2019 – although not as significantly as they did this year. Overall customer satisfaction with health insurance companies, on the other hand, has decreased over the past year.

 “If the skyrocketing cost of healthcare in Switzerland are not brought under control, sentiments among policyholders may finally reach the tipping point,” warns CEO Benjamin Manz. “If that happens, having friendly customer service personnel will no longer be enough to retain customers.”

Health insurance customer satisfaction analysis surveyed customer satisfaction levels among 1518 health insurance policyholders based on 11 factors. Criteria included in the analysis include the friendliness and helpfulness of insurance personnel, the availability of customer service, the time required to obtain answers to questions, value for money, tolerance with regards to delayed premium payments, the time required to reimburse covered expenses, the clarity of information provided and general customer satisfaction.

On the whole, policyholders are less satisfied with their health insurance providers than they were in 2017. “That is not surprising when you take the constantly rising premiums in to account,” says analyst Michael Burkhard. The fact that average customer satisfaction is still relatively high is worth mentioning. However, there are major differences in satisfaction levels depending on the insurance provider, age group and region in question.

Young adults are the least satisfied

Customer satisfaction levels are lowest among the youngest age group included in the survey. The average rating among participants between the ages of 19 and 25 years old is just 6.85 out of 10 points. The average rating is 7.37 points among adults aged 26 to 49 years old and 8.12 points among adults aged 50 to 74 years old.

The older the policyholders are, the more satisfied they are likely to be with their health insurance. “As a whole, young adults make use of their health insurance much less frequently than older adults,” says Benjamin Manz. “Young policyholders have a more difficult time understanding why they should pay the ever-increasing insurance premiums than their elder counterparts. Many would be happiest if health insurance were not compulsory.”

Value for money was the most poorly rated factor among all age groups, followed by tolerance for delayed premium payments and time required to reimburse covered expenses. General customer satisfaction and the friendliness and availability of customer service personnel received the highest ratings. Women are somewhat more satisfied with their health insurance providers than men – but the difference is not significant.

French-speaking Swiss less satisfied than German-speaking Swiss

Policyholders in French-speaking Switzerland are notably less satisfied with their health insurance providers than policyholders in German-speaking Switzerland. Insurance premiums – which are higher on average in French-speaking Switzerland than in German-speaking Switzerland – are partly to blame. The fact that the French-speaking population is more critical of the current health insurance system and continues to favor a unified health insurance solution also plays a role.

Health insurance providers received an average customer satisfaction rating of just 7 out of 10 points in French-speaking Switzerland, compared to an average rating of 7.83 out of 10 points in German-speaking Switzerland. Customer satisfaction levels in German-speaking Switzerland are highest in the alpine and pre-alpine region, followed by central Switzerland, the western-central region and eastern-central region. Customer satisfaction levels in French-speaking Switzerland have been comparatively low in previous years as well. However, satisfaction has fallen once again compared to the previous year.

Notable differences in satisfaction levels between insurance providers

The following health insurance providers received the highest average customer satisfaction ratings: Swica (8.4 out of 10 points), EGK (8.3 points), Agrisano (8.3 points), ÖKK (8.1 points), Sympany (8.1 points), Sanitas (8 points), KPT (8 points), Atupri (7.9 points), Helsana (7.8 points) and Concordia (7.8 points). The worst average ratings were given by customers of Groupe Mutuel (6.5 points) and Assura (6.4 points).

The lowest rating for a specific criterion was given to Assura for the time required to reimburse covered expenses. Budget insurance provider Assura is known for its long waiting periods for reimbursements.

Ratings given to health insurance providers by their customers show that the size of premiums is not the only factor which affects customer satisfaction. For example, low-cost health insurance provider Assura received the poorest customer satisfaction ratings.

You can find detailed breakdowns of customer satisfaction ratings for each health insurance provider in the health insurance comparison.

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