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Health insurance premiums hit young hard

The average premium for obligatory health insurance will rise by 6.5 per cent next year, with young people paying an average 11.8 per cent more, it has been announced.

The Swiss Federal Health Office said on Friday that those between 19 and 25 years old would have to pay on average SFr328 ($335) a year more for basic coverage.

The Health Office added that between 1996 and 2011, the average annual rise had been 5.3 per cent. This meant that basic health insurance premiums had risen over this period by 93 per cent with inflation taken into account.

Interior Minister Didier Burkhalter told a news conference in Bern that the government would be introducing revised legislation to keep a closer eye on health insurers in Switzerland, in particular concerning their reserves for unexpected events, for example a pandemic.

The new legislation is expected to come into force on July 1 next year.

Health insurers are obliged to announce their premiums for 2011 by the end of October, giving a month for those insured to consider changing to another insurance company offering cheaper premiums.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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