Save on health insurance – here’s how to do it

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Healthcare costs keep going up in Switzerland, which also drives up health insurance premiums. So how can you save money on health insurance? There are actually several ways to do it. Our blog will give you the lowdown on deductibles, insurance plans and switching health insurers.

How can I save on health insurance?

If you want to save on health insurance, you should check your deductibles and insurance plans – and potentially even switch health insurers. And don’t be afraid of using one company for your basic health insurance and a different one for your supplemental insurance – having two different health insurers is perfectly fine. 

Depending on your household and your policy, you could save several hundred francs a year by switching every year. In 2024, AXA customers lowered their health insurance premiums by a total of CHF 23 million by switching to a cheaper health insurer (see AXA Switching Report, in German). So it is well worth your while to regularly compare premiums and choose the health insurer with the best rates. The reason this works is because all basic health insurance in Switzerland is required by law to offer the same benefits.

Supplemental insurance, on the other hand, works differently. The premiums for this type of insurance often remain the same price for a long time. In other words, switching your health insurer is not normally necessary. If you have found supplemental insurance that you’re happy with, then just stick with it.

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Which is the cheapest basic health insurance plan? 

In general, Telmed has the cheapest plan and Standard has the most expensive one. But depending on the health insurer, even an HMO or general practitioner plan could be your best option. We recommend checking alternative basic health insurance plans, such as those that direct you to the right doctor using an app. 

Important: make sure to check first whether the plan you choose actually meets your needs. Where is your first point of contact? Can you choose your own doctor or will your treatment take place at an HMO practice? Is your plan valid throughout Switzerland or at least in your region? You can switch insurance plans at the start of a new year.

What deductible should you choose?

The deductible you choose has a direct impact on your premium. A higher deductible means lower premiums, but you pay more of the healthcare costs. The opposite applies if you have a lower deductible.

If you're healthy, rarely go to the doctor and have the financial resources, the highest deductible (generally CHF 2,500) is probably your best choice. Otherwise you would do better to choose the lowest deductible (CHF 300). It is not normally worth choosing a deductible that is in between these two amounts.

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Are there discounts on health insurance?

Not usually. But some insurers give you a discount of up to 2 percent if you pay your premium in advance. If you can afford it, consider whether paying your premium annually or semi-annually instead of monthly is an option for you. Then contact your health insurer to see whether they will offer you a discount. 

Am I entitled to reduced premiums?

Almost 30 percent of insureds in Switzerland, mainly children, young adults and the elderly, are entitled to a reduction on their premium. The cantons determine who receives a reduction on their premium. Each canton decides for itself who will receive a reduction, how much it should be and how the process for granting reductions works. Some cantons grant reduced premiums automatically, while in others they must be applied for. This is why you should check to see whether you meet the requirements and contact your municipal office if you’re not sure.

Did you know?

The average monthly premium (in German) for basic health insurance in 2024 was CHF 359.50.

When can I switch my health insurance provider?

Basic health insurance

Every fall you should compare the offers from health insurers and decide whether you want to remain with yours or switch. Basic health insurance premiums for the coming year are communicated by the end of October at the latest, as soon as the insurers have received the approval decision by the Federal Office of Public Health (in German). You can choose any health insurer you like – they must accept you, no matter what your state of health.

Deadline for switching health insurers

  • November 30: Cancellation of current basic health insurance at the end of the year
  • December 31: Sign up with the new basic health insurer at the start of the year

Deadline for adjustments (without switching health insurer)

  • November 30: Lower your deductible and/or switch to a standard plan at the start of the year
  • December 31: Raise your deductible at the start of the year
  • On the first of each month: Switch from the standard basic health insurance plan (choose your own doctor and deductible of CHF 300) to an economy plan

Supplemental health insurance

Be careful when switching your supplemental insurance: Your new provider will assess your health. They are permitted to exclude pre-existing conditions from your policy or turn down your application entirely. For this reason, you should not cancel your existing policy until you have a written confirmation from your new supplemental insurer. The provider has 14 days’ time to complete your health assessment. In order to make the switch as seamless as possible, you should apply for the new supplemental insurance as soon as you can.

Supplemental insurance deadlines

  • August 30 (recommended): Apply to the supplemental insurer you have chosen at the beginning of the year 
  • September 30: Cancel your current supplemental insurance at the end of the year
  • On the first of any month: Apply for supplemental insurance products (new health assessment)

Communication with your health insurer

Please note that your correspondence must reach your insurer by no later than the last business day of the month if the 30th/31st falls on a weekend or a holiday. To make sure it reaches your insurer, send the cancellation by certified mail or by A Post Plus. Some health insurers allow you to cancel by email (printed out, signed and then scanned/photographed). 

Switching without any hassle? You bet!

The quickest and easiest way to save on your health insurance is to have two separate insurance companies for your basic and supplemental policies. But most insured people fail to take advantage of this method. They don’t want the hassle of all the extra paperwork.

This is why AXA offers you a convenient solution: Our exclusive service package from our supplemental health insurer means saving money on your health insurance is easier than ever. Thanks to the AXA switching service, every year finding the best basic health insurer for your needs is only a few clicks away. And the best part is that we take care of all the paperwork – from the cancellation to your registration. So you save both time and money.

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