Insurance News

Swiss Health Insurance Premiums to Jump in 2017

September 27, 2016 - Benjamin Manz

On September 26, 2016, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) released the official compulsory health insurance premiums for the 2017 insurance term. Shortly after this, the FOPH data was fully integrated into the health insurance comparison, making the first comparison platform to include all of the new premium data.

Only 53 health insurers left

Further consolidation in the Swiss health insurance industry has left consumers with 4 less health insurance providers to choose from ahead of 2017. Sansan and Avanex are finally being integrated into Progrès and Helsana, kmu has been taken over by ÖKK and Wincare is being incorporated into Sanitas.

In total, more than 570,000 customers will automatically be shifted to a new health insurance provider if they do not voluntarily change to another insurer of their choice by the end of November. These include the 205,000 Sansan and Avanex customers, 6000 kmu customers and 160,000 Wincare customers.

Premiums climb 5.3%

A study shows that average compulsory health insurance premiums for 2017 are 5.3% higher than 2016 premiums. Unweighted averages show an even steeper climb. Without accounting for the number of policyholders insured by specific insurance providers, the increase in average premiums compared to 2016 is 6.8%.

Premium increases are most apparent on high-deductible, telmed and HMO policies. Young adults will see their premiums climb at a higher rate than other policyholders, while the difference is even larger for children.

Children among the hardest hit

The weighted average for children’s health insurance premiums will shoot up to 6.4% in 2017 (unweighted average: 7.75%). Average premiums for young adults are climbing by 5.5% (unweighted average: 6.9%) while adult premiums are going up by an average of 5.2% (unweighted average: 6.7%).

Using entirely weighted values, children’s health insurance premiums will climb by “just” 5.90 francs per month, averaging 97.30 francs per month. Young adults will pay an average of 17.20 francs more per month in 2017, with average premiums relieving them of 328.70 francs per month. The average premium of 364.10 per month for adults is up 17.90 francs from 2016 charges.

Major premium differences between cantons

Differences in premium increases between cantons are also major. In Glarus, average adult premiums are jumping by 8.2%. In Zurich, the difference is a much lower 4.1%. Young adults residing in Glarus are the hardest hit, with average premiums skyrocketing by 8.7%, while those residing in canton Zurich will experience the lowest hikes, at just 4.1%. Children residing in the Canton of Appenzell-Innerrhoden will experience the highest premium increases country-wide, while average premiums for children in Bern are “only” climbing by 4.3%.

In 2017, policyholders above the age of 26 residing in Basel-Stadt will pay the highest average health insurance premiums – an eye-watering 469.90 francs per month. In the Canton of Geneva average premiums are nearly as high at 460.60 francs per month. Meanwhile, the lowest premiums will be paid by adults residing in Appenzell-Innerrhoden (271.80 francs) and Nidwalden (285.70 francs).

Premium markups are higher for higher deductibles

While average premiums for adult policies with 300-franc deductibles are going up by a weighted average of 4.8% to 407 francs, premiums for policies with a 500-franc deductible will cost 4.9% more in 2017 and those with a 1000-franc deductible will cost 5.4% more in 2017. The average 1500-franc-deductible policy will cost 5.8% more while policies with a 2000-franc deductible will cost 5.99% more. Premiums for policies with the highest deductible of 2500 francs are being hiked by an average of 6.02%, meaning that policies with the cheapest available deductible model will cost a steep 277 francs on average.

A personal premium comparison is important

Averages provide an interesting overview of premium increases, but a health insurance comparison which accounts for your individual situation is the only sure way to understand what kind of premiums you can expect to pay. Age, premium region (canton), insurance model, accident insurance and deductibles all play a part in determining premiums.

Running a premium comparison well ahead of the policy termination deadline is a good idea because differences in premiums charged by different insurers can add up to over 1000 francs per person in 2017.

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