Insurance premiums are increasing steadily

Rising Health Insurance Premiums: Can Switzerland Address the Crisis?

In recent years, the costs of basic insurance have seen significant increases at CSS and Helsana, leading to concerns about even higher health insurance premiums in the future. In 2024, premiums rose by an average of 8.7%, following a 6.6% increase the previous year. Both CSS and Helsana reported losses on basic insurance in 2023, with costs rising by 8% for CSS and 4.7% for Helsana.

Health economist Heinz Locher suggests that these increases may be indicative of a new trend rather than just a catch-up effect from the pandemic. He warns of the possibility of further significant premium increases in the coming years, citing financial difficulties and rising personnel costs due to labor shortages.

Several factors contribute to the rising expenses for basic insurance, including increased costs of medications, inpatient hospital treatments, and an expanded catalog of benefits. Additionally, there is a high demand among the population for better and more expensive treatments, leading to a sense of entitlement that drives up costs.

To address the imbalance in the Swiss healthcare system, experts recommend reviewing the catalog of basic insurance benefits, utilizing Health Technology Assessments (HTA) to check costs, implementing flat rates per treatment case, and encouraging smarter medical practices. Increasing the minimum deductible for patients and making service providers more responsible for costs are also potential solutions to help curb rising health insurance premiums.

In conclusion, it is essential for policymakers to take action to address rising health insurance premiums caused by various factors such as increased costs of medications and inpatient hospital treatments. Reviewing catalogs of benefits could help identify areas where cost savings could be made while ensuring patients receive necessary care. Additionally, implementing flat rates per treatment case could make it easier for insurers to manage their expenses while encouraging smarter medical practices that reduce costs without compromising patient care.

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