One way to reduce the cost of compulsory Swiss health insurance is to choose a high deductible. Currently, some people do this and then postpone treatment until they’ve switched to a lower deductible the following year.
Recently, Switzerland’s parliament voted 113 against 60 in favour of locking in deductibles for three years to reduce this practice of switching deductibles from year to year. Going forward, it will be possible to switch insurers every year but not the level of deductible, which will be fixed for three years.
The change is expected to cut healthcare costs by CHF 5 million.
Those in favour of the change argue that it will encourage people to think twice before going to hospital with minor ailments, and reduce the incentive to game the system by postponing treatment and switching deductibles.
Those against the change argue it will increase costs over the long run because people will avoid early treatment, which will aggravate health problems making them costlier to treat over the long run.
In addition, deductible increases will become automatic. When the average annual health cost exceeds 13 times the basic deductible, currently CHF 300, deductibles will automatically rise by CHF 50.