Anyone living or working in Switzerland must, by law, have health insurance. The insurance is financed by premiums. The cantons are responsible for ensuring that policyholders with limited financial means receive support with paying their health insurance premiums.
How is the premium reduction paid?
The individual premium reduction is paid via health insurance policies. In other words, the cantons transfer the money to the health insurers. The health insurers then deduct the premium reduction from the premium. The reduction cannot be shown on the policy, but it is listed on the premium invoice.
Sympany cannot apply the premium reduction to the invoice until it has received the relevant notification from the canton. Health insurers cannot independently register premium reductions; this is the preserve of the cantons. A period of up two months may elapse between the canton notifying you of the decision and us receiving notification.
Who is eligible for a premium reduction?
The level of income at which policyholders are entitled to support varies from canton to canton. Usually, the cantonal administration informs eligible people directly, based on their tax assessment. The key criteria are income, assets and number of children.
In some cantons, such as Basel-Stadt, there is an obligation to apply for the premium reduction. If this is the case, policyholders are only entitled to the reduction if they independently apply for it each year. To find out whether you are eligible for financial support, please enquire at the relevant office for your canton of residence.
Why the need for a premium reduction?
Premiums for basic insurance have been rising for years. The reasons for this are explained here. This is placing financial strain on more and more people – and families in particular. To make things easier for the people affected, in 1996 the individual premium reduction was introduced.