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Health insurance premiums in Switzerland set to rise (again) in 2025

Health insurance premiums in Switzerland set to rise (again) in 2025

Following the premium hikes of 2023 and 2024, residents of the alpine nation may have been hoping for some respite when it comes to the cost of health insurance in Switzerland. However, with a plan to cap insurance costs set to be voted on in a matter of weeks, a new forecast from Comparis has predicted that premiums should soar again by the end of the year.

Health insurance premiums set to rise again for 2025

In a statement, the price comparison website predicted that the cost of basic and supplemental health insurance in Switzerland will rise by 6 percent on average, once premiums are renewed for 2025. This is on top of the 6,6 percent rise in premiums recorded for 2023 and the 8,7 percent increase for 2024.

Writing in the report, insurance expert Felix Schneuwly predicted that policyholders in some Swiss cantons will see their premiums rise by over 10 percent when they are renewed in September. 

Healthcare costs in Switzerland continue to soar

Schneuwly argued that the rising premiums can be blamed on the rising cost of healthcare in Switzerland and fiscal policies implemented by the government. First, according to data from the KOF Economic Research Institute at ETH Zurich, the average cost of treatments at Swiss hospitals, medicine and other forms of medical care rose by 4,1 percent in 2023, and is expected to increase by 3,6 percent in 2024 and by 3,2 percent in 2025.

"The range of benefits provided by basic insurance is constantly being expanded," the expert explained. "Hospitals are demanding higher rates for their outpatient and inpatient services because more and more of them are no longer able to cover their costs,” Schneuwly noted, adding that the approval of the care initiative in 2021 - a vote to increase salaries and improve working hours, conditions and contracts for nurses - and wage increases in other roles are also pushing costs higher.

Swiss health insurers lack the financial muscle to act, expert argues

Second, Schneuwly noted that the policy enacted by the Federal Office for Public Health, which demanded health insurance firms reduce the amount of money they hold as reserves, means they now lack the financial muscle to “cushion cost fluctuations.” He argued that “without the politically enforced reduction in reserves, premiums would have risen by less than 3 percent per year.”

In all, the expert argued that the Swiss government should slow down reforms to healthcare and “clearly evaluate” what changes should be made.  He concluded by claiming that federal attempts to lower costs and maintain quality control in the healthcare system “have done more harm than good” when it comes to keeping costs low and standards high.

Switzerland soon to vote on reducing health insurance costs

The news comes just weeks before Swiss citizens are due to vote on the highly-anticipated Premium Relief Initiative. If passed, the law would mandate that no resident of Switzerland would have to spend more than 10 percent of their annual income on health insurance - the rest of the cost would be subsidised by the government.

Supporters argue that the law would help focus minds in the Swiss government on how to reduce the cost of healthcare and prevent spiralling premium costs for residents, at a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet. By contrast, the Federal Council has argued that while it would ease costs, it does not address the fundamental causes of high premiums, will cost several billion francs a year and require increases in taxes

Jan de Boer

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Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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