According to the price comparison website Comparis.ch obligatory Swiss health insurance premiums are set to rise by an average of 5% in 2023, in some cases as much as 10%.
Key drivers of the rise are the impact of the pandemic and pressure by the federal government on insurance companies to refund reserves to policy holders, said Felix Schneuwly, a health insurance expert at the company.
Before the refunds a number of insurance companies had sufficient reserves to absorb unexpected cost fluctuations. In some cases rather than refunds insurers set premiums artificially low to consume their reserves.
Schneuwly is also critical of government efforts to reduce costs. Rapid complex reform has overburdened the system with administration and bureaucracy, he said. In addition, the government’s approach to improving healthcare quality is creating a headwind for cost improvements.
The expert recommends more uniform pricing of outpatient care, simplification of regulations around quality, greater competition around quality, a greater focus on effective economic treatments and greater flexibility on the rules around how healthcare is delivered and charged for.
Beyond 2023, Schneuwly expects annual price rises to level out at between 2% and 3%.