On 4 October 2021, Assura, one of Switzerland’s largest providers of health insurance, informed 500,000 policy holders they would receive a refund. Earlier, on 28 September 2021, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), presented the company’s premiums for 2022. For many policy holders, next year’s premium increases will substantially exceed this year’s refunds.
Next year, annual premiums under one of Assura’s plans (PharMed) are set to rise by CHF 75 for an adult with a CHF 300 deductible and by CHF 62 for a child with no deductible. The annual premium increase rises to CHF 136 for an adult on the same plan with a deductible of CHF 2,500.
The refunds announced by the company on 4 October 2021 are CHF 60 per adult and CHF 30 per child.
This means a family of four could receive a CHF 180 refund this year only to face extra premium payments amounting to CHF 396 in 2022, leaving them CHF 216 worse off.
Assura, which provides some form of insurance to around 1.1 million people, nearly 1 in 12 people in Switzerland, describes itself as a company offering sustainably competitive premiums. In 2020, the company was Switzerland’s 13th largest insurer and one its four largest health insurers.
On 28 September 2021, FOPH published health insurance premiums for 2022. Despite a small average decline in premiums compared to 2021, many will see their premiums rise. The Swiss government voiced disappointment at the small average drop and said that much more must be done to rein Switzerland’s high healthcare costs.
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I wonder how much cheaper our insurance would be if we didn’t have to cover the overheads of the insurance companies, and their staff bonuses, shareholder payouts, etc. A National Health Service would work here.