This week, less than a month before next year’s health insurance premiums are unveiled, santésuisse, a health insurance association, warned of unusually high hikes in the cost of Switzerland’s compulsory health insurance for 2023, reported RTS.
Healthcare costs rose 6.4% in 2021 and are expected to rise 4% in 2022 and 2023, said santésuisse in a press release.
The situation is very serious, said Verena Nold, a director at santésuisse. Insurers’ financial reserves are exhausted, she said. Premiums at their current level no longer cover costs and it is no longer possible to use reserves to cover shortfalls. Dipping into reserves again would risk the existence of some insurers, including some significant ones, said Nold. This means premiums would need to cover rising costs.
Santésuisse described Swiss healthcare as excessive and inefficient, citing a study by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). 20% of the care provided is not effective. In addition, the prices of medicines are excessive. On top of this the system is playing catch up after the pandemic postponed certain treatments.
Nold was critical of a political push to subsidise the premiums of those spending more than 10% of their income on them. In her view, getting taxpayers to fund excessive healthcare costs will not fix the underlying issue. Savings need to be made everywhere, she said. Concrete proposals are already on the table. According to Nold they just need to be implemented.