What topics worry us at the end of the summer each year? Back to school, sure, but also health insurance premiums. Indeed, it is between 20 and 30 September that the new premiums are unveiled by health insurance companies and in recent years we have seen moderate increases, all cantons combined. For 2022, we were also surprised by a slight decline in some cantons. But for 2023 the branches are in panic: all analysts, in fact, expect an increase in premiums, which is close to 10%.
Why are premiums increasing every year?
There are several reasons for the sudden increase in health insurance premiums.
This may be due to the age of the insured: in fact, during the life of the contract, the premiums of the same will undergo variations and increases. If the child is over 18, a price increase will be felt: he will enter the 18-25 age group, also known as “young adults”. When the insured person turns 26, he moves up to the higher level, which is the adult rate. Again, this step is painful, as it is accompanied by an increase in the premium.
The second reason for the sudden increase in the premium is the increase in the rates charged by the health insurance company. Indeed, it can re-evaluate its premiums every year, but remaining under the control of the Confederation.
To justify this increase, health insurers make a simple calculation: the premiums they collect must cover the costs of hospitals, doctors, drugs and health services. Policyholders are increasingly using these medical services, which over time become more complex and require more resources. The cumulative costs are therefore greater than the amount of premiums collected, which leads to an increase in prices to return to equilibrium.
Another element to weigh in the balance: the reservations sickness funds. The latter must be able to guarantee their solvency by building sufficient reserves in the event of significant future losses. The payment of the premiums therefore makes it possible to finance part of these reserves and the funds will be able to cover their backs.
And it is precisely this last point that is controversial: the health insurance companies would in fact have reserves greater than the minimum threshold imposed by the Confederation (we are talking about 12 billion francs, or more than 200% of the minimum required, source), which would allow them to anticipate possible losses for many years. And despite this, they keep increasing their premiums!
In 2022, the National Council obliged health insurers to compensate their policyholders to reduce their excessively high reserves. It is therefore a subject that keeps an eye on the federal government, which seems to have heard the rumblings of policyholders.
A 10% increase announced by specialists
You get it: if health spending increases, health insurance premiums follow the same pattern. And this is what has been announced for 2023.
The various political parties are unanimous on the subject: the increase will be more than 5%, and could even reach 9-10%: very pessimistic projections that could unfortunately come true next autumn.
Health insurers announce that health care costs have exceeded the premiums they have collected, which puts them at a disadvantage. They would have no choice but to increase their premiums.
We could also read other analyzes that announced the opposite: a stability, or even a reduction in premiums, could be hypothesized, thanks to even more substantial reserves than ever in health funds.
To date, hard to say, it’s a bit early to speculate. But it’s hard not to take into account the pessimistic analyzes of the major health insurance players.
How to prepare for the rise in health insurance premiums?
Psychologically, we need to be prepared for a significant increase – no matter what health insurance we are insured with, they will all apply a raise. But not all alike, and it is this that can allow us to limit an increase that is difficult for our finances to bear.
When the premiums are announced (during the second half of September), we invite you to find out what your health insurance has in store for you, and then take a comparative directly on our site. We provide a simple and practical calculator that allows you to immediately know the amount of the new premium. Note that this is not an automatic comparator – premiums are entered manually by our employees, which guarantees a TRUE study of the different health insurance companies. We insist on this point: we want to remain a comparator with a human face and close to its users, so you will always have the opportunity to be contacted by a consultant if you want more information or be accompanied in your cash change.