Why health insurance premiums are going up

Every year, health insurance premiums go up. Read here to find out which factors are driving healthcare costs upwards and where the money goes.

Very soon, health insurance companies will be announcing their premiums for 2019. Healthcare costs and the continuing rise in health insurance premiums preoccupy the Swiss like nothing else. So which factors within the Swiss healthcare system are driving costs upwards?

Key cost factors

The main factors driving the rise in health insurance premiums include:

  • medical and technological progress
  • new, expensive medicines
  • a rapidly ageing society
  • greater life expectancy
  • constantly increasing expectations of policyholders, who draw more and more benefits.

This means that the more often we go to the doctor, take medication, need care or undergo surgery, the higher the benefit costs, and this ultimately has an impact on health insurance premiums.

Here’s where your premiums are spent
  • In 2016, healthcare in Switzerland cost CHF 32.8 billion.
  • Of this, CHF 31.5 billion was intended for medical services.
  • Policyholders paid a total of CHF 28.7 billion for basic insurance.
  • Contributions paid by customers, in the form of deductibles, excesses and contributions to hospital costs, amounted to a total of CHF 4.3 billion.
  • Most of the money went into medical (doctors’) costs (22%), costs of inpatient treatment (21%), costs of outpatient treatment (17%) and medicines (17%).
Here’s how policyholders contribute to healthcare costs

Annual deductible: You can choose between different levels of deductible, ranging from CHF 300 to CHF 2,500. These are the costs that policyholders pay out of their own pocket. In return for choosing a higher deductible, you benefit from lower premiums (see premium saving tips).

Excess: after reaching the level of the chosen deductible, the excess amounts to a maximum of CHF 700 per calendar year.

Hospital cost contribution: From the age of 26, it costs CHF 15 per day for a hospital stay.


Premium development and saving tips

EB member Rudolf Bruder explains why the standard model's average premium has little meaning and how you can optimise your premium.

The four models under basic insurance

Learn more about the pros and cons of the four different models under basic insurance.

Optimally insured

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