health insurance premium reductions subsidies switzerland

How to Get Premium Reductions for Your Swiss Health Insurance

August 31, 2022 - Daniel Dreier

Premium reduction subsidies can save you thousands of Swiss francs on health insurance in Switzerland. Find useful information in this guide.

Anyone who lives in Switzerland, or has in the past, can confirm that Swiss health insurance premiums are high! Premiums can easily add up to several thousand francs per year and take a serious bite out of your wallet. This is especially true if you do not have a very high income.

To help residents cope with the high cost of compulsory health insurance, cantonal governments offer health insurance premium subsidies to individuals and families whose incomes and wealth fall beneath certain thresholds. These subsidies are known as premium reductions. The sizes of premium reductions and eligibility requirements are set by each canton individually.

Individual premium reductions are widely used in Switzerland. Around 2.2 million Swiss policyholders – approximately 26% of the population – received premium reductions in 2017. In many cantons, every third resident receives premium reductions. In some cantons every second resident receives these subsidies. The sizes of premium reductions vary broadly. In the canton of Appenzell-Innerrhoden, the average annual premium reduction was 1127 francs in 2014. In the canton of Basel-Stadt, the average reduction was 3109 francs in the same year – almost three times as high.

In some cantons, reductions are automatically paid out based on your tax declaration. In other cantons you are automatically sent a premium reduction application after your tax returns are processed if you are eligible, but you must complete and submit the application to claim premium reductions. Some cantons do not automate the process at all, and you must apply of your own initiative if you meet eligibility requirements for premium reductions.

Premium reduction subsidies are paid directly to your compulsory health insurance provider by the government of the canton which you reside in. As a general rule, the actual compulsory health insurance premiums you pay have no effect on the size of your premium reductions. You generally will not receive higher premium reductions if you use a more expensive health insurance policy. If you use a very affordable health insurance provider and/or a very high deductible, your health insurance premiums may be lower than the subsidies paid to your health insurance provider. In many cantons your health insurance provider will pay out the positive difference to your bank account.

Premium reduction eligibility requirements with regards to taxable income and wealth also varies between cantons. You can find basic eligibility information for your canton of residence below. If you are not completely sure whether or not you are eligible, consider contacting the relevant cantonal authority and requesting information using the contact details provided below.

Contact information for cantonal premium reductions:

  1. Aargau
    Gemeindezweigstelle der Sozialversicherungsanstalt (SVA) des Kantons Aargau in der Wohngemeinde
    Telefon: +41 62 836 81 81
  2. Appenzell Innerrhoden
    Gesundheitsamt des Kantons Appenzell Innerrhoden
    Telefon: +41 71 788 94 52
  3. Appenzell Ausserrhoden
    Ausgleichskasse des Kantons Appenzell Ausserrhoden
    Telefon: +41 71 354 51 51
  4. Bern
    Amt für Sozialversicherungen
    Telefon: +41 844 800 884
  5. Basel-Landschaft
    Sozialversicherungsanstalt des Kantons Basel-Landschaft
    Telefon: 061 425 25 25
  6. Basel-Stadt
    Amt für Sozialbeiträge
    Telefon: +41 61 267 87 11
  7. Fribourg
    Caisse de compensation du canton de Fribourg
    Telefon: +41 26 305 45 01
  8. Geneva
    Service de l’assurance-maladie
    Telefon: +41 22 546 19 00
  9. Glarus
    Kantonale Steuerverwaltung
    Abteilung IPV
    Telefon: +41 55 646 61 65
  10. Grisons
    Sozialversicherungsanstalt des Kantons Graubünden
    Telefon: +41 81 257 41 11
  11. Jura
    Caisse de compensation du canton du Jura
    Telefon: +41 32 952 11 11
  12. Lucerne
    Ausgleichskasse Luzern
    Telefon: +41 41 375 05 05
  13. Neuchâtel
    Office cantonal de l'assurance maladie OCAM
    Telefon: +41 32 889 66 30
  14. Nidwalden
    Ausgleichskasse Nidwalden
    Telefon: +41 41 618 51 00
  15. Obwalden
    Telefon: +41 41 666 63 05
  16. St. Gallen
    SVA St. Gallen
    Telefon: +41 71 282 61 91
  17. Schaffhausen
    Sozialversicherungsamt Schaffhausen
    Telefon: +41 52 632 61 11
  18. Solothurn
    Ausgleichskasse des Kantons Solothurn
    Telefon: +41 32 686 22 00
  19. Schwyz
    Ausgleichskasse Schwyz
    Telefon: +41 41 819 04 25
  20. Thurgau
    Individual municipal health insurance control offices
    Telefon: +41 58 345 68 40
  21. Ticino
    Ufficio delle prestazioni
    Servizio sussidi assicurazione malattia
    Telefon: +41 91 821 93 11
  22. Uri
    Amt für Gesundheit
    Telefon: +41 41 875 22 42
  23. Vaud
    Office vaudois de l'assurance-maladie
    Telefon: +41 21 557 47 47
  24. Valais
    Caisse de compensation du canton du Valais
    Section Subvention
    Telefon: +41 27 324 91 11
  25. Zug
    Individual municipal offices
    Telefon: +41 41 560 47 00 (City of Zug)
  26. Zurich
    Sozialversicherungsanstalt des Kantons Zürich
    Telefon: +41 44 448 50 00

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Editor Daniel Dreier
Daniel Dreier is editor and personal finance expert at
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