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Old 29.06.2017, 19:37
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Changes to Health Insurance subsidies

People earning less than Sfr 5'000 per month might be eligible for a subsidy on their health insurance premiums, see the sticky https://www.englishforum.ch/insuranc...e-subsidy.html

The government will be changing the subsidy amounts for health insurance premiums. The bad news is that people choosing a higher franchise will lose some discount, the good news is those choosing a lower franchise will see a slightly larger subsidy, and therefore lower insurance premiums.

http://www.derbund.ch/schweiz/standa...story/13134913

(A tidied up Google translation follows...)

Approximately 1.4 million insured persons must expect a premium increase of up to 36 francs per month for 2019. One-fifth of the adult insured who chose the maximum franchise of 2500 francs are affected. In future, they will receive a significantly lower premium discount. With the franchise of 2500 francs, the funds can only grant a maximum of CHF 1100 a year instead of 1540 francs. This increases the annual premium by up to CHF 440.

This corresponds to a premium increase of more than 10 percent. Because with the current discount, the ordinary premium (franchise of 300 francs) is reduced by a monthly rate of up to 130 francs. Instead of a Swiss franchise of around CHF 400, insured persons with a maximum franchise pay only CHF 270 a month.

Angry reactions

Also the discounts for the franchises of 2000 and 1500 francs are reduced, by 255 and 120 francs respectively. This results in a premium premium of around 20 and 10 francs per month, respectively. The Federal Council justifies the measure with the solidarity between the healthy and the sick. The discounts for high franchises are now higher than the cost savings of the funds due to franchises. With the premium increase for high franchises, insured persons would be relieved with deep franchises. These are usually those who claim more benefits because of their health.

In the case of health insurance companies, the prescribed discount reduction triggers responses. The Santť Suisse cash office speaks "of a blow to the face of cost-conscious premium-payers". In addition to healthy people, especially families, chose higher franchises for budget reasons, says Santť Suisse Director Verena Nold. For a family of four with a maximum franchise, the premium increase is around CHF 1,000 per year. For not only the parents' discounts are reduced but also those for the children. If the parents have the highest children's choice franchise of 600 francs for their offspring, the annual discount falls by 60 francs.

No real choice

Criticism also comes from the cash office Curafutura. The discount reduction weakens the effect of franchises, says director Pius Zšngerle. It is proved that insured persons with high franchises take more responsibility by paying health costs themselves. If these insured persons had less incentives to save money, this would lead to higher costs. "With the fatal effect that the premiums of the insured with basic franchise continue to rise," warns Zšngerle. According to a report by the Federal Council, half of the insured with franchise 2500 francs have no health costs, with one-fifth they are below 300 francs a year. A quarter has costs between 300 and 3000 francs, at 8 per cent they are higher.

Helga Portmann counters the Federal Office of Public Health criticism, today's discounts do not offer the insured a real choice in the franchises. The highest franchise of 2500 francs is very often chosen by healthy people. Their behavior cannot be influenced by an additional discount, since they generally do not require health care. The goal must be that even insured with moderate health costs would have an incentive to choose a higher franchise. Therefore, the Federal Council now rewards the franchise of 500 francs with a slightly higher discount. The franchise does not change at 1000 francs.

Originally the Federal Council wanted to abolish the franchises 2000 and 1000 francs. To this end, it received massive criticism in the consultation in 2015. However, the reduction of discounts was also largely rejected. The fact that the Federal Council now approves the project of health minister Alain Berset is a scandal, says Felix Schneuwly, cash experts of Comparis. Berset's goal was to level the differences in premiums until they were no longer far to the Unity Fund.

Higher franchises for all

On the positive side, however, health insurers are reacting to the planned adjustment of franchises to the rising health costs. The Federal Council proposes a corresponding amendment to the law in the performance of an order from the Parliament. According to Portmann, the new mechanism is expected to increase all franchises by 50 francs every three to four years. If Parliament approves the mechanism, the first mark-up will probably be in 2020. The minimum franchise then increases from 300 to 350 francs. Today, 44 percent of adults have the minimum franchise of 300 francs. Since the introduction of the Health Insurance Act of 1996, this franchise has been increased twice, the last time in 2004 by 70 francs.
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Old 30.06.2017, 00:32
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Re: Changes to Health Insurance subsidies

Interesting, but your title & explanation is a little confusing: the discounts offered on premiums for choosing a high deductible have nothing to do with health insurance subsidies for lower income households. This change will effect everyone, not only people eligible for subsidies. People choosing low deductibles and therefore paying higher premiums will be paying less (or at least won't see their premiums increase), people choosing the highest deductibles who are rewarded for this with lower premiums will be paying more.

Last edited by mgosia; 30.06.2017 at 00:43.
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