Compulsory Swiss health insurance offers a fair amount of flexibility. Not only can you choose from a long list of insurance providers and savings models, you can also choose from a number of deductible models. Adult residents can choose a deductible of either 300, 500, 1000, 1500, 2000 or 2500 Swiss francs.
A 500-franc deductible, for example, means that the policyholder has to pay the first 500 francs of their annual healthcare costs out of their own pocket.
The insurance covers amounts above what is covered by the deductible (minus coinsurance payments – find more information on deductibles here).
The rule of thumb is: the higher the franchise, the lower the health insurance premiums. Depending on anticipated health costs, getting either the lowest deductible of 300 francs (low healthcare costs, or none at all) or the highest deductible of 2500 francs (high healthcare costs) usually makes the most financial sense.
The unbiased and comprehensive health insurance comparison by moneyland.ch automatically calculates the optimal deductible for all policy models based on healthcare cost projections.
Recently, the minimum deductible, which is lowest deductible that can be used on a policy, has increasingly become the subject of discussion. Health insurance industry association Santésuisse is pushing for the raising of the minimum deductible from the current 300 francs to 500 francs.
Reason: A higher minimum deductible would bring more personal responsibility and help to keep health insurance fees low.
For the sake of comparison: In 1996, residents could opt for a minimum deductible of 150 francs. Since then, the minimum deductible has been raised twice, with the current minimum deductible of 300 francs doubling the 1996 minimum.
The decision regarding if, how and when deductibles will be adjusted rests with the Federal Council. Currently the Council is in the process of reviewing deductibles.
It is possible that the current deductible model could be done away with as early as two years from now.