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InsuranceHealth insuranceHelp, my health insurance premium is too high. What can I do?

Help, my health insurance premium is too high. What can I do?


Mr and Mrs Jones and their two children. How can the young family save money on their health insurance? Source: iStock

The Jones family paid a total of 15,208.80 francs for their health insurance in 2017. The Joneses would like to save some money in 2018, so they are now checking all the different options. We have four tips for the family on how they can optimize their premiums.

No worries – with just a few tips, almost all policyholders will be able to save on their health insurance premiums. If you do it right, you could save several hundred francs. There is a vast difference between the most and least expensive premiums.

We take you through four steps and show you how to reduce your premiums.

  1. Increase your deductible
  2. Change your health insurer
  3. Select a cheaper insurance model
  4. Save as much as possible

Let’s do a sample calculation for a family:

Robert Jones is 40 years old and married to Claudia (38). They have a son (7) and a daughter (9). Both parents work, and therefore do not require accident cover. They both have a deductible of 300 francs. The two children have no deductible, and also have accident cover. The family lives in Köniz in the canton of Bern. The family is insured by Helsana, using the standard model.

For this level of cover, Helsana charges the Jones family 1,267.40 francs per month. For the whole of 2017, this amounts to exactly 15,208.80 francs.

Premium per year for the whole family: 15,208.80 francs

The Jones family would like to save some money in 2018, so they are now checking all the different options.

1. Increase your deductible

If Mr and Mrs Jones raise their deductible from 300 to 2,500 francs, they could save a lot of money. It is not quite as much for the children’s premium.

But is it worth it? For Mr and Mrs Jones – yes, since neither of the couple have chronic illnesses, they tend not to pay much for doctor’s visits and medicines, and they have saved enough money to pay the 2,500-franc deductible if they do fall ill.

However, when it comes to the children, things look a little different. Firstly, the potential for savings is only modest, and secondly, children generally need to visit the doctor a lot. Increasing their deductible would probably not pay off.

In this situation, Mr and Mrs Jones should take advantage of the discount available for choosing a high deductible on their premium.

Savings per year: 2,865.60 francs

2. Change your health insurer

When it comes to basic insurance, all insurance companies provide the same benefits. Where things differ is the premium. To lower your premium, it may be beneficial to compare premiums and switch to a cheaper health insurance company if desired.

But don’t forget about the notice period: 30 November is the deadline by which your letter, sent by registered mail, must be received by the health insurance company. If the whole Jones family switched to Assura, for example, while keeping their current deductible the same, they would save 1,670.40 francs per year.

Savings per year: 1,670.40 francs

3. Select a cheaper insurance model

Not all insurance models cost the same. For greater discounts on premiums, consider selecting a family doctor, HMO or Telmed model. Depending on their needs, the Jones family could save a lot of money by choosing one of these models. Of course, the advantages and disadvantages of each model should not be ignored. However, those insured under a standard model always pay more.

If the Jones family switched to the Telmed model, for instance, while staying with their current health insurance company and keeping their original deductible of 300 francs, they would save 2,284.80 francs.

Savings per year: 2,284.80 francs

4. Save as much as possible

The Jones family is surprised at the huge savings they could enjoy with only a few adjustments. They decide they want to save as much as possible by combining all the different ways to save. They switch to a cheaper health insurer, increase their deductible to 2,500 francs for the two adults, and to 500 francs for their children. They also decide to select the family doctor model, which allows for the greatest premium discount. The Jones family are amazed at how much they are now saving per year...

Savings per year: 7,396.80 francs

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