Every year, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) gives advance warning of compulsory health insurance premiums for the coming year.
After years of rising premiums, many will be relieved by the small projected increases for 2020. Across all of Switzerland, the average premium is expected to rise 0.2% to CHF 315.40 a month. On average, adults will pay CHF 374.40 (+0.3%), young adults (19-25) CHF 265.30 (-2.0%) and children CHF 98.70 (+0.0%).
Since 1996, when Switzerland’s system of compulsory health insurance began, premiums have risen at an average annual rate of 3.8%.
Rising costs are largely driven by new treatments and an aging population, according to FOPH.
Next year average premiums are not expected to rise in AG, BE, BS, LU, SH, SO, SZ, VD, ZG and ZH. In the cantons of AI, BL, FR, GE, GL, JU, NW, OW, SG, TG and UR average premiums will rise by between 0% and 1.5%. In the cantons of AR, GR, NE, TI and VS they will rise by more than 1.5%. It is worth noting that these are averages. Some insurance companies may raise premiums by more than the average. For example a family of four in Vaud insured by Assura could pay 2.5% more in 2020 than they did in 2019.
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Switzerland has the world’s second most expensive healthcare after the United States.
The government is looking for ways to bring down costs, such as improved negotiations with healthcare providers, reference prices for generic drugs and greater price transparency.
Some in government are pushing for tighter restrictions on tobacco advertising to reduce healthcare costs by cutting the number of smokers. Tobacco’s estimated CHF 3 billion direct health cost is at least six times the CHF 300 to 500 million savings expected from the government’s recent cost cutting plans. Tobacco’s direct healthcare cost is around CHF 430 per adult per year, about 10% of an average adult health insurance premium.
Health insurance premiums for 2020 can be viewed on the government website priminfo.admin.ch.