health insurance premiums sink 2022
Median Premium 0.2 Percent Lower

Health Insurance Prices Sink but Differences Are Still Huge

September 28, 2021 - Raphael Knecht

The median Swiss compulsory health insurance premiums will become 0.2 percent cheaper in 2022. If you want to save more than that, consider changing your insurance.

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) announced on Tuesday that in 2022, the median monthly premium for compulsory health insurance will go down for the first time since 2008. At 315.30 francs, the median 2022 premium will be 0.2 percent lower than the 2021 premium. Young adults will benefit the most from the downward development, with the median premium for that age group falling by 1%.

A drop in the median health insurance premium is fundamentally a positive development for consumers, says CEO Benjamin Manz. But the expert stresses that this news does not automatically mean that you will pay less for health insurance. “Although the median premium for all insurance offers will drop slightly, there is a chance that your health insurance will become more expensive.”

Big differences between cantons

That not everyone will benefit from lower premiums is clear when you look at insurance prices in individual cantons. The biggest price reductions can be seen in the canton of Basel Stadt, where the median premium is going down by 2.1 percent. It is followed by Geneva (-1.5 percent) and Grisons (-0.9 percent). But there are also cantons where the median premium is going up, such as Obwalden (+1.4 percent) and Glarus (+1.1 percent).

Even if your health insurance will become cheaper in the coming year, you may be able to save more money by changing health insurance providers, as a comparison by shows. The online comparison service used two examples to calculate the maximum amount which families could save by changing health insurance providers. Depending on the family and where they live, savings potential can reach nearly 1000 francs per month in extreme cases.

This is how much money families could save

A family with two adults and two children (born in 2002 and 2006) living in Basel could save up to 887.10 francs per month if they were to change from the most expensive insurance company to the cheapest insurer and insurance model. That savings potential applies to compulsory insurance with the smallest, 300-franc deductible, but the difference is nearly as large for insurance with the biggest deductible (2500 francs).

If the same family lived in Zurich and changed from the most expensive to the cheapest insurance company and model, they would save 625 francs per month. In Bern the monthly savings potential is 680 francs.

A couple without children could also save a lot of money – 610.40 francs per month in Basel – by changing from the most expensive compulsory insurance provider and model to the cheapest. Here too, the maximum savings potential is practically identical with both the highest and lowest deductibles.

  Location Deductible Min. premium Max. premium Savings potential
Family 1
Basel CHF 2500.00 CHF 969.80 CHF 1851.90 CHF 882.10
Basel CHF 300.00 CHF 1371.90 CHF 2259.00 CHF 887.10
Bern CHF 2500.00 CHF 880.90 CHF 1562.50 CHF 681.60
Bern CHF 300.00 CHF 1277.30 CHF 1964.40 CHF 687.10
Zurich CHF 2500.00 CHF 789.00 CHF 1406.40 CHF 617.40
Zurich CHF 300.00 CHF 1173.40 CHF 1810.80 CHF 637.40


  Location Deductible Min. premium Max. premium Savings potential
Family 2
Basel CHF 2500.00 CHF 656.80 CHF 1262.20 CHF 605.40
Basel CHF 300.00 CHF 895.60 CHF 1506.00 CHF 610.40
Bern CHF 2500.00 CHF 581.80 CHF 1041.20 CHF 459.40
Bern CHF 300.00 CHF 820.40 CHF 1279.80 CHF 459.40
Zurich CHF 2500.00 CHF 540.80 CHF 910.00 CHF 369.20
Zurich CHF 300.00 CHF 779.40 CHF 1150.00 CHF 370.60


Drawing on these examples, Manz’ message to residents is clear: “Take time to compare your health insurance even if the median price is dropping.” The 2022 premiums are already available online, so you do not have to wait until your insurer shares them with you, which can take some time. “You have until the end of November to give notice on your compulsory health insurance, and it is best to take care of it early on.”

The comparison also shows that you can save almost the same amount regardless of which deductible you use. “Adults should always use either the highest or lowest deductible,” explains Manz. Deductibles between the highest (2500 francs) and lowest (300 francs) do not make financial sense.

Dismantling of reserves in progress

Although small, the drop in the median health insurance premium is noteworthy because over the past 10 years, the median premium has gone up by an average of 2.4 percent per year. The FOPH cites the revisions to rules pertaining to health insurance companies which came into effect in May 2021 as the reason for the positive development. The new rules require compulsory health insurance providers to calculate premiums more precisely and avoid disproportionately-large reserves. The federal government believes that the dismantling of health insurance reserves should continue over the coming years, as the reserves of insurance providers still total more than 12.4 billion francs collectively.

The FOPH maintains that the role of the coronavirus pandemic with regards to health insurance premiums is difficult to determine. The current report states that deciphering the costs generated by the pandemic will only be possible once the crisis has ended. A further report is planned for the end of 2022.

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Editor Raphael Knecht
Raphael Knecht was an analyst and a specialized editor at until the end of February 2023. Since then, he is supporting the editorial team as a freelancer.