Insurance News

Swiss Compulsory Health Insurance 2019: Major Differences in Premium Developments

September 24, 2018 - Benjamin Manz, Switzerland’s independent online comparison service, conducted an analysis of compulsory health insurance premiums for 2019. The results show that on average, premiums will rise less drastically than in preceding years. However, premium increases and decreases can still be as high as 40 percent in some cases, depending on the health insurance provider, canton, model and deductible in question. conducted a detailed analysis of hikes in premiums across all deductible options, health insurance models and age groups. Around 500,000 pieces of data for the 2018 and 2019 insurance years were included in the detailed analysis. The study reveals that based on a weighted average and taking all health insurance models, deductible options and age groups into account, the effective increase in compulsory health insurance premiums for the coming year is 1.3 percent.

By comparison, the overall premium increase in 2018 over the previous year was significantly higher at 4.3 percent. The lower increase compared to 2018 is partly due to efforts at throttling growth in costs. “Still, the lower overall increase in premiums should not distract from the fact that many policyholders will pay significantly higher premiums,” says analyst Felix Oeschger.

Premium shock: Some premiums will climb by more than 40 percent

 “Health insurance premiums for children, adults and standard model health insurance policies show above average premium increases,” says CEO Benjamin Manz. Some health insurance premiums will climb by more than 40 percent compared to this year. An example of this is the premium for Provita’s HMO policy for children in the canton of Uri. Some adult policyholders will also be affected. For example, premiums for adult residents of the canton of Valais who hold a Provita policy with a 2500-Swiss-franc deductible are increasing by more than 20 percent.

Young adults will pay up to 40 percent less

The 2018 insurance year hit young adults between the ages of 19 and 25 particularly hard. Premiums for that age group climbed by 4.7 percent on average – steeper than the premium increases for other adults. It is not surprising that this year’s Swiss health insurance customer satisfaction survey showed particularly low levels of customer satisfaction among young adults.

Thanks to a parliamentary move, young adults will benefit from a reduction in their premium burden in the 2019 insurance year. According to the analysis, the weighted average premiums for young adults will sink by 14.9 percent. That translates into an average premium decrease of 50 francs per month, for an average premium of 286 francs per month.

In specific cases, premiums will be as much as 40 percent lower, resulting in a decrease of more than 100 francs per month. That is the case for young adults residing in a number of cantons who hold Sanitas policies with a 2500-franc deductible.

Children and adults will pay more

Health insurance premiums for children aged between 0 and 18 years old will increase by a weighted average of 2.9 percent. That translates into an average increase of 3 francs per month for child health insurance policies, bringing the average premium for a child to 104 francs per month.

Adults above the age of 26 will see premiums climb by a weighted average of 2.8 percent, resulting in the average monthly health insurance premium being 10 francs higher in 2019, at 384 francs per month.

Premium hikes differ between cantons

Residents of the canton of Valais will experience the biggest increase in weighted average premiums (3 percent), followed by residents of Neuchâtel (2.9 percent). On the other end of the scale, residents of Appenzell Innerrhoden will see their premiums decrease by 0.8 percent on average, while residents of Uri will benefit from a 0.7 percent decrease in the average health insurance premium. The weighted average health insurance premium for residents of the Canton of Zurich will increase by 1.2 percent.

Exceptionally high premium increases for standard model health insurance

Developments in premiums vary between health insurance models. Premiums for policies based on the standard model show the highest increase at an average hike of 1.8 percent for all age groups. Family doctor (general practitioner) model premiums will increase by 1.4 percent on average (3.1 percent for adults and children, and -15.2 percent for young adults). Premiums for HMO-model policies will increase by 1.3 percent on average (2.9 percent for adults, 3.5 percent for children and -13.8 percent for young adults). Telemedicine-model premiums will increase by just 0.3 percent on average (2 percent for adults, 2.1 percent for children and -14.9 percent for young adults).

Premium hikes vary between deductible models

The average health insurance premium for adults with 300-franc deductibles will increase by a weighted average of 2.7 percent to around 431 francs per month. The average premium for policies based on the 500-franc deductible model will also climb by 2.7 percent, 1000-franc-deductible policies will increase by 2.9 percent, 1500-franc-deductible policies by 3.2 percent, 2000-franc-deductible policies by 3.4 percent and 2500-franc-deductible policies by 3.7 percent.

More on this topic:
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Expert Benjamin Manz
Benjamin Manz is CEO of and an independent expert on banking and finance.