Health insurance system in Switzerland

Trying to regulate every detail of a market is problematic. After all, a healthcare business is a business, and should be able to charge whichever prices it chooses. BUT a great deal can be done to counter overbilling by limiting what the insurance covers. For example, there is no reason for insurance to cover things like calls or admin. There also is no reason for insurance to pay 200 francs for a 100-franc job. So the insurance has to have clear limits. The rest should be paid out of customers’ own pockets. Watch how quickly the market will drive the prices down.

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I would rather count it as necessary infrastructure for a modern society.


That’s obviously the ideal, but in practice it can be argued that few people get into healthcare out of sheer goodwill.

Healthcare professions have to have a good income-to-work ratio in order to attract and retain profesionals. I would argue that healthcare professions have generally become much less attractive to students/graduates than they were in the past. After all, if one can make as much money doing a chilled 9-5 on a computer, what is the attraction of jobs which expose you to the risks of illness and liability claims, cannot be done remotely, and often have long and irregular work hours.

I would go as far as to argue that healthcare expenses rise proportionately to incomes across the market. To remain competitive, healthcare jobs need to offer a premium above white-collar jobs which accounts for the educational requirements, risks, odd work hours, etc.

However, I believe excessive costs can be largely eliminated by limiting insurance coverage for cost points to what could be considered a reasonable amount.

I am not sure the healthcare salaries are driving up the costs but rather medecines which are much higher priced in Switzerland than in the rest of the world (and way outpriced what would be understandable for salary reason).

Take the Corona vaccine, more than the double the price they bought it for than in the EU, if I am informed correctly (how comes that this numbers are not publicly and easily available anyway ?)

Yup. The old Lex Nivea issue. For medicines in particular, Swiss insurance companies shouldn’t pay more than what German or French companies pay. Maybe a small markup to compensate for higher pharmacist salaries, etc. could be tolerable, but current margins are ridiculous.

Interestingly, Switzerland has a fairly good system for this with regards to dentistry. The Swiss dentist association (SSO) publishes a list of recommended prices and fees for all processes. Dentist are free to charge more or less, but dental insurance companies always limit coverage to either the SSO tarriff, or a multiple of it (maximum 1.5 x the SSO tarriff, for example).

A similar system should be easily implementable across healthcare as a whole in the current information age.

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