Premium Relief Initiative

On 9 June Swiss voters rejected the federal popular initiative ‘Keep health insurance premiums to no more than 10% of income (Premium Relief Initiative)’.

In brief

Starting position

Everyone in Switzerland receives the medical treatment they need. The costs are covered by compulsory health insurance. These costs have risen sharply in recent decades and so have health insurance premiums. Premiums are a growing burden for some people. Around a quarter of the population receives a premium reduction, which is financed by the federal government and the cantons. The federal government automatically increases its contribution if costs rise. The cantons only do this in some cases.

The initiative

The initiative proposes that no one should pay more than 10 per cent of their disposable income on health insurance premiums. The Confederation and cantons should increase the premium reduction, with the Confederation paying at least two thirds of the reduction. This would require several billion francs of additional funding each year.

Indirect counter-proposal

The Federal Council and Parliament reject the initiative. Nevertheless, they have drawn up an indirect counter-proposal. Currently, the federal government automatically increases its contribution to premium reductions when the costs of compulsory health insurance rise. The cantons should do the same. The indirect counter-proposal requires them to make a minimum contribution to the premium reduction. This would result in additional costs of at least CHF 360 million for the cantons, but none for the federal government. A counter-proposal comes into force if the initiative is rejected and no referendum is requested.

Last modification 09.06.2024

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