In 2020, total reserves held by Swiss health insurance companies reached CHF 11.3 billion, a level equivalent to 203% of the minimum required, according to RTS.
Excess reserves jumped recently after the government cut the minimum reserve level by one third, part of a move designed to encourage health insurers to align premiums more closely with costs.
The government wants to reduce the chance of insurance companies dipping into reserves to support the commercial side of their businesses and has created new rules to encourage the distribution of excess reserves.
The new rules on reserves will come into force on 1 June 2021 and any possible premium repayments would materialise from 2022.
In Switzerland, healthcare is funded by a mix of taxes and compulsory health insurance. The scope of what is covered is set by the federal government and the provision of basic compulsory cover is highly regulated.
Health insurance companies offer additional complementary coverage on top of what is compulsory and there is less regulation around these products.