The Federal Law on Sickness Insurance, which came into force in 1996, obliges every Swiss resident to take out basic health care insurance covering a range of services.
The insurance is private and the insured person can choose his/her insurer freely. The health insurer is obliged to accept anyone regardless of age and state of health.
The premiums vary from canton to canton and differ from one insurance scheme to another.
One of the guiding principles is solidarity: a sick elderly person pays the same premium as someone who is young and healthy.
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