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Health insurance Being spied on for a lower premium?

Nearly half (47%) of Swiss are prepared to provide data on their physical activity to their health insurance provider in exchange for a lower premium, according to a survey. 

Insured people should wear a fitness tracker or smartwatch to provide various data on their lifestyle to their health insurance provider in order to receive a discount. It's a controversial system: the long-term risk would penalise people who drink, smoke or eat too much.

The survey has startled defenders of the "principle of solidarity" – a pillar of the nation's healthcare system.

Ready to penalise others

Favouring active people is only one aspect of the survey, as 60% of Swiss are also prepared to penalise risky behaviour, such as taking drugs or participating in dangerous sports.

The study, "Sophia 2017" on healthcare systems was initiated and led by Swiss economic and social research institute M.I.S Trendexternal link (page in French) in Lausanne and Bern.

Ever-increasing premiums

If nearly half of Swiss are ready to provide data in exchange for a premium discount, it is doubtless because health care represents a larger and larger line item in household budgets.  

Each October, the health minister announces the premium increases for the following year. This scenario has repeated itself for the past 20 years, and despite the curbing of health care costs, it shows no sign of ending anytime soon.

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