Swiss health insurance premiums will rise by 6,6 percent on average in 2023
In a press conference on Tuesday, Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset announced that the cost of basic and supplemental health insurance will rise by 6,6 percent on average when premiums are renewed for 2023. The government blamed the effects of the COVID pandemic for the significant price rises.
Average Swiss health insurance premium to rise to 334,70 francs a month
After rising by an average of 1,5 percent a year since 2018, the average premium for health insurance in Switzerland will rise to 334,70 Swiss francs a month in 2023, a rise of 6,6 percent or 22,09 francs compared to 2022. While it is one of the largest price rises ever seen in Swiss health insurance, it is lower than many of the previous predictions made by health insurers and industry associations.
The government said that increases will be felt nationwide, but prices will vary by canton and age group. New data released at the conference showed that residents of the city of Basel will have the highest average health insurance premiums in the country at 426,40 Swiss francs a month.
Appenzell Innerrhoden will have the cheapest at 233,20 francs a month, even though prices in the canton will rise by 9,3 percent on average. Average premiums will also rise significantly in Neuchâtel (9,5 percent) and Ticino (9,2 percent), where they will increase to 387,20 and 396 Swiss francs a month respectively.
Insurance premium rises in Switzerland blamed on COVID
At the press conference, the Director of the Federal Office of Public Health, Anne Lévy, said that the rise in premiums reflects the rising cost of healthcare. She explained that the COVID pandemic put a heavy strain on hospitals and forced the delay and cancellation of key surgeries, many of which are only being caught up with now.
Berset added that an ageing population was also increasing healthcare costs significantly. The prices are also putting pressure on insurers, with the minister noting that insurance firms have spent around 2,5 billion francs of their cash reserves in the last year alone, and also spent heavily to cushion premium rises in 2021.
Swiss government to increase health insurance deductions
To help, Berset said that the government will make an extra 170 million francs available for premium reductions for residents most in need. He also called on Swiss cantons to bear part of the insurance cost rises, claiming that many of them have not increased premium reductions in recent years.
Concluding his statement, Berset said that reducing the cost of healthcare and insurance premiums was a top priority for the Federal Council. He said that the government was already on the “hunt” for ways to make the healthcare system more efficient and called for the price of medicine in Switzerland to be better regulated. Individual providers will now have until October 31 to tell their customers how high their insurance bills will be next year.