Health insurance premiums for adults in Switzerland are set to rise by a national average of 8.7 per cent next year, the biggest increase in seven years.
The Federal Health Office said the increase would vary from canton to canton, between 3.6 per cent and 14.6 per cent.
The outgoing interior minister, Pascal Couchepin, who is responsible for health matters, described the increase as unsatisfactory and regrettable. But he added that the rise was better than had been expected earlier this year.
The president of the Conference of Cantonal Health Directors, Pierre-Yves Maillard, said he was "very angry" at the Federal Health Office whose measures to curb costs had been "derisory".
He added that the average figure of 8.7 per cent was meaningless and hid enormous disparities, with some people having to pay an increase of 40 per cent.
Increases are mostly going to be felt in the German-speaking part of the country, whereas canton Neuchâtel in French-speaking western Switzerland has the lowest increase of 3.6 per cent.
swissinfo.ch and agencies