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Old 28.10.2007, 13:22
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cost disparities between cantons ?

why are health insurance premiums so dramaticaly higher in, say, Geneva than in Appenzell or Zug ?
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Old 28.10.2007, 13:54
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Re: cost disparities between cantons ?

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why are health insurance premiums so dramaticaly higher in, say, Geneva than in Appenzell or Zug ?
Blonay Bear owes us a thread on this I belive .
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Old 29.10.2007, 11:36
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Re: cost disparities between cantons ?

There are several factors which affect the cost.

Firstly, if we take the canton of Vaud as an example, it has been split into 3 zones. These are not necessarily geographic zones. Approximately, zone 1 is Lausanne, zone 2 other towns (e.g. Vevey, Montreux, Yverdon) and zone 3 are all the little villages around.

In general (for all split cantons) zone 1 is the most expensive and zone 3 the least expensive.

This is because, people who live in the country tend to be less likely to actually go and see a doctor about a headache, for example. They have further to travel, which may put them off, and they tend to be more resistent (they don't have the stress of city life etc.)

Now, why does the cost change so much per canton?

This is, surprisingly, nothing to do with how much people go to the doctor, stress factors etc, but more to do with medical costs in each canton.

An operation in Geneva could quite easily cost twice as much as the same operation in Sion (Valais) therefore health insurance is twice as expensive in Geneva than in Valais.

The problem is that most Swiss residents criticise the health insurance companies or the communes for these price differences without really looking to the true root of the problem which is actually the ridiculise price of health care in Switzerland.

Health insurance will never become cheaper if something is not done about health costs.
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Old 30.10.2007, 18:25
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Re: cost disparities between cantons ?

why are costs so different ? surely, staffing cost can't explain everything. Are some cantons limiting the range of services on offer in order to cut costs ?
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Old 30.10.2007, 18:36
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Re: cost disparities between cantons ?

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surely, staffing cost can't explain everything. Are some cantons limiting the range of services on offer in order to cut costs ?
Services covered by insurance are governed by federal law, so I guess the answer you're looking for is no.
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Old 31.10.2007, 10:50
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Re: cost disparities between cantons ?

No, they're not limiting their services, it's just that the hospital costs in, say, Geneva are twice as much as in Valais. The risk for the insurance company is therefore higher, so they charge higher premiums in order to cover the risk should they have to pay out for something.

It's like car insurance.

You won't pay the same price for a 1995 Peugoet 106 as for a 2006 Audi Q7.

If you had an accident in your car, the cost of repair would be a lot higher for the Audi than for the Peugeot, therefore you have to pay higher premiums.

Unfortunately, medical (hospital) costs in Geneva are astronomical.
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Old 31.10.2007, 11:04
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Re: cost disparities between cantons ?

I am still left wondering why Geneva is almost twice as expensive as Zurich though.
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Old 31.10.2007, 15:46
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Re: cost disparities between cantons ?

I did a little research. I believe this to be a reliable source.... and really, I'm guessing on some of this

http://www.thehealthcareblog.com/the...internati.html

Comparing Swiss health care to the US where insurers dictate pricing, contracts, coverage and so on:

"Managers of public hospitals are prevented from creating such contracts in return for lower fees, as the authority to do so rests with cantonal parliaments, as they are so ‘heavily engaged in the financing of “their” hospitals’. The Revised Health Insurance Law specifies that cantons must
cover 50% of hospital costs, and requests that cantons draw up lists of hospitals with which insurers must contract. Thus hospital sector competition is stifled."

People stay in their canton for most health care (certainly if you're on compulsory/basic). The cantons determine the cost of services in public hospitals - they must if they have to fund 50% and determine which facilities, etc - and that must influence the private. I'm guessing that costs depend on labor, real estate, equipment, improvements, and patient demographics which drive the need for some of the services, as well as which researchers end up in which universities - leading to the development of specialities. (at least, that's what drives costs in the US - might be similar here) But here, the cantons make a lot of the decisions with federal oversight, and in the US, it is very much insurers at facility level.

And...the insurers here have some lattitude in their pricing, as prices can vary as much as 50% from canton to canton. (I assume for the same gender, age, franchise profile). Here's a source for that too...

http://www.civitas.org.uk/pdf/Switzerland.pdf

I wonder, are there cantonal pork barrel politcs in Switzerland?

e.

Last edited by edot; 31.10.2007 at 16:27.
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