Health insurance: premiums should go back up, confirms Bern

After a brief lull in 2021, policyholders should return to the fund this year. Without going into figures, the Confederation confirms without surprise that the high costs of health will be reflected in health insurance premiums.

It is not yet clear how much the premiums will increase. Several factors, which will have an influence, are not yet quantifiable. This was revealed on Tuesday during a discussion with the media Thomas Christen, deputy director of the Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP).

Santésuisse, the umbrella organization of insurers, already warned in January of a rise in premiums to come. The 5.1% increase in healthcare costs per insured person observed in 2021 is the highest since 2013. And it does not take into account the costs of vaccination against Covid-19, which reached 265 million francs.

Catch-up effect

The year 2020 had been marked by the pandemic. Non-emergency operations were banned for months and patients became more cautious with procedures. This resulted in an average reduction in premiums of 0.2% at the national level.

But last year, there seems to have been a “catch-up” effect for many interventions that had been postponed, according to Thomas Christen. And to expect for 2022 also a disproportionate increase in health costs compared to wages.

Measures discussed in Parliament

At the political level, actions have already been taken to curb rising healthcare costs. Parliament adopted a first package of measures last summer. A second component is under discussion. And a third should arrive on the table in the second half of 2022.

The instruments proposed by the Federal Council are not unanimous under the Dome. For example, the reference price system for drugs whose patent has expired should not see the light of day. And the outline of an indirect counter-project to the popular initiative “For lower premiums” launched by Le Center is arousing skepticism.

On the other hand, the indirect governmental counter-project at the initiative of the PS “Maximum 10% of income for health insurance premiums” receives the support of the competent committee of the National. The cantons should participate more in reductions in health insurance premiums.

In particular, the government wants to set cost targets. “They would not endanger the supply,” said Mr. Christen. And to emphasize that the Federal Council does not provide that processing can no longer be carried out once these objectives have been exceeded.

Individual responsibility

The deputy director of the FOPH, however, insisted on individual responsibility. “Patients should only receive necessary treatments.” Admittedly, it is not up to the authorities to define which services are appropriate and which are not, but providers have a duty to draw up lists.

The Confederation wishes to put in place other measures to curb the rise in health costs. The prices in the laboratories should be analyzed and reduced during the course of the year, illustrated Mr. Christen.

The authorities have already been examining the approximately 3,000 drugs on the specialty list for a long time – about 1,000 a year. It is difficult to increase the pace of verifications, according to the deputy director of the FOPH, because this work requires a lot of resources.

This article has been published automatically. Source: ats

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