On 20 August 2021, Mauro Poggia, Geneva’s health minister, recommended unvaccinated people cover part of their own hospitalisation costs and lost earnings compensation should they end up in hospital or be unable to work after catching the virus, reported 20 Minutes.
Solidarity towards the unvaccinated has its limits, said Poggia, while pointing out that 90% of those hospitalised with Covid-19 are unvaccinated. Those who have made an effort, as modest as it is, to get vaccinated have no desire to pay for the consequences of the choices of others, he said. Nor does our economy.
Poggia, did concede that there would be a risk that some might forego treatment under such an arrangement. However, he said that there would be no question of refusing treatment. Anyone in need of treatment would get it.
Adding a surcharge to the compulsory health insurance premiums of the unvaccinated in the same way that private life insurance providers do to account for smokers’ riskier choices might be one way to cover the higher medical costs of being unvaccinated while reducing the risk of the same people forgoing treatment.
The minister clarified that there were currently no plans to implement additional charges for the unvaccinated. But the principle is something that should be discussed. I want to stimulate a debate, he said. In any case, plans of this nature would need to be formulated at a federal level. The canton of Geneva would not be able to act alone.
Mauro Poggia is not the first politician to suggest hospital costs be borne by the unvaccinated. In July 2021, Swiss parliamentarian Kurt Fluri also suggested that those failing to get vaccinated be required to pay for the costs of their hospital care.