Your health insurance premium is an insurance contribution that you must pay to your health insurer every month.
The level of this premium depends on the health insurance company you are with. Other factors are your insurance model, which deductible you choose and where you live. Premiums are lower for children and young adults under the age of 25.
The deductible is the amount that you have to pay out of your own pocket towards your health-related costs every year. The health insurer will not cover costs until this deductible has been used up.
Example: You have chosen a deductible of CHF 300 and have to go to the doctor once or twice a year. Your doctor charges you CHF 200 for each appointment. You will pay all of the first bill and CHF 100 of the second yourself. Your health insurer will cover CHF 100 of the second bill, less the retention fee of CHF 10 that you also have to pay (see next section). It will also cover all other medical bills that you incur in the same year.
The lowest deductible for adults is CHF 300, the highest CHF 2,500. Deductibles of between CHF 0 and CHF 600 apply for children.
When the deductible has been used up you will still pay ten percent of your healthcare costs. However, this retention fee is limited to CHF 700 per year (CHF 350 for children). Your annual share of your healthcare costs is therefore capped at your chosen deductible, plus CHF 700.
You must pay the contribution to hospital costs if you are hospitalised. It is CHF 15 per day. The reasoning behind it is that, in hospital, you save costs that you would otherwise incur at home, such as food and power. Children, young adults in education and training and pregnant women do not pay any contribution to hospital costs.
Anyone who is a low earner or has a large number of children may be eligible to have their premiums subsidised by their canton. Many cantons notify those concerned automatically. In others, you must apply for the reduction yourself every year. For details, please contact the competent agency in your canton (web page available in German, French and Italian).
There are a number of ways to save on your premiums (web page available in German, French and Italian):
Choose a low-premium health insurer
Choose a family doctor or other insurance model with a low premium
Choose a high deductible and pay lower premiums in return
If you are employed for more than eight hours per week you are covered by compulsory accident insurance. You do not need to include accident cover additionally in your compulsory health insurance