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Franchises should grow with costs

In the future, the health insurance franchise increases in an increase of 50 francs, depending on the increase in health care costs. The Council of the Council criticizes the change as anti-social.

Christoph Forster, Bern

It is possible that the minimum franchise will increase to 500 francs in a move. (Image: Christian Beutler / Keystone)

It is possible that the minimum franchise will increase to 500 francs in a move. (Image: Christian Beutler / Keystone)

Franchises should prevent insurers from consulting with a doctor for minor cases. Health insurance will only take over those that are above the selected franchise. Currently, the lowest franchise is 300 francs and the highest is 2500 francs. In the meantime, there are four more franchises.

When the Law on Health Insurance (KVG) was introduced in 1996, the minimum franchise was 150 francs. Since then, the Federal Council has increased it twice, the last time in 2004 to the present level. The government can now adjust the franchise of cost development. New, the National Council has now written a specification in the law. And this is as follows: as soon as the gross costs per insured person are more than 13 times the minimum franchise, the Federal Council must increase franchises for 50 francs. According to the latest available data (2016), gross costs per person are currently around 12 times more than 300 franchises. The Federal Council estimates that by 2020, there will be an increase, and then every four years. However, firstly, the State Council must accept the amendment. The National Council did it on Monday from 133 to 53 votes.

However, it is also possible that the minimum franchise will increase to 500 francs in a move. This implies the request of the National Council Health Committee. The council was unable to resign on Monday due to time constraints.

The bourgeois majority is hopeful that a more consistent increase will have an impact on cost growth. The mechanism strengthens self-responsibility, said Bruno Pezzatti (fdp., Zug). Health Minister Alain Berset, meanwhile, diminishes too much expectations. The federal council says in its message that in the years following the increase in franchise premiums will increase by about 0.5 percent less. The lion spoke of an anti-social measure. She is burdening premium taxpayers, and especially chronically ill, said Barbara Gysi (sp., St. Gallen). Already today, insurers in any European country should not have to pay so much out of their pocket for health care costs as in Switzerland.

Opponents also warned that in the future the insured will go for financial reasons to a lesser doctor. Last year, this percentage has increased.

On Monday, the Grand Chamber only approved another controversial innovation in franchises. Anyone who chooses Wahlfranchise may not change for three years. Such advocates want to declare war on the "franchise franchise ports". This applies to insured persons choosing lower franchise with regard to the planned intervention for next year in order to reduce their share of costs. Furthermore, health insurance is allowed every year. Compulsory health insurance is a socio-political solidarity project, not a training camp for insurance optimists, said Heinz Brand (svp., Graubünden) on behalf of the majority of the Commission. The brand is president of the health insurance company Curafutur.

Innovation met with strong criticism. It was a "pseudo-problem" and "gagging contract". Even Brand recognized that this is a small problem. As according to administration data, only 0.17 percent of insurers temporarily reduce their franchise. Opponents therefore see it in three-year contracts, punishing the vast majority of insured parties with elective franchises. In addition, they fear that this measure weakens personal responsibility. Since insurers are more uncertain, they prefer a deep franchise risk of long-term franchise retention. The National Council approved the law, which now goes to the Council of States, but from 113 to 60 votes.

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