The Swiss health insurer Groupe Mutuel announced that it plans to refund CHF 400 million to its policy holders, according to RTS.
The company, which started returning money to its policy holders two years ago hopes to provide further premium rebates over the next three years.
Last year the company returned CHF 101 million and plans a repay a further CHF 113 million in 2022. Over a four year period, total repayments are expected to reach CHF 400 million, unless something unexpected or unusual occurs, said CEO Thomas Boyer.
Switzerland’s health insurers have been under pressure from the government to return their excessive reserves to policy holders. A motion accepted by parliament last week aims to force insurers to make refunds.
The refunds to Groupe Mutuel policy holders will come in the form of monthly premium discounts of CHF 10 to CHF 20 per policy holder, hopefully for the next three years, said Boyer. The company is spreading the refunds over time to reduce risks. We are in the middle of a pandemic and must remain prudent, said Boyer. We also want to avoid a yo-yo effect with premiums going up and down.
After these refunds the insurer expects to still have reserves of CHF 700 million. This figure represents around 18% of annual company turnover.
Boyer doesn’t expect a significant increase in premiums in 2022. The costs of the pandemic were covered by reserves and shouldn’t impact on 2022 premiums, he said.
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I don’t know why the Swiss have such an expensive system, that caters more for the rich than the poor. A national health system would work here. Everyone pays the same percentage of their income. That’s fairer.