Categorized | Lifestyle, Procedures, Residency

Swiss Residents and the Big Insurance Scam

Posted on 22 January 2007 by info

New residents in Switzerland discover that there are two cartel scams that are nearly impossible to avoid. First, residents will inevitably become victims of the TV monopoly scam (own a TV ? You pay $30/month to grease the palms of the National network, whether or not you ever dream of watching their programs).  

And second, there is the Health Insurance Scam.  It is highly unlikely you will be able to avoid it.   It works like this:  Residents must have a health insurance policy and they Must buy this health insurance from one of a number of ‘designated’ companies, which essentially form a cartel, offering exiguous, ineffectual coverage for annually increasing rates, and subject to essentially no oversight.  These companies have set up a lobby group to which they all contribute called ‘Santesuisse.’ This organization –dedicated to the financial health of these big insurance companies and their directors’ million-dollar salaries– periodically issues proclamations that health costs have skyrocketed, calling on data and statistics which they invariably refuse to submit to public scrutiny.  The various cartel members then proceed to announce their premium increases based on the ‘neutral information’ they have received from this impartial body.  Residents have no choice but to pay because it is illegal NOT to contract a basic health insurance policy with one of the cartel members.  You cannot instead contract a more comprehensive policy, which may well be half the price, from a British or French or other international insurer; you will be forced to additionally subscribe to one of the gangmember’s insurance policies.   

The Health Insurance Cartel is therefore an additional living expense of Swiss residency which newcomers need to take into consideration.  It amounts to a monthly tax of roughly CHF 400 since you may need to seek more competent coverage elsewhere.  

On March 11, the Swiss will vote on whether to set up a national health plan, thereby taking this lucratice monopoly out of the hands of the Health Insurance Cartel.    Despite the obvious intelligence of removing this essential public service from the venal claws of unscrupulous private companies, the outcome is looking very uncertain.

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