Research - 13.11.2013 - 00:00 

Solidarity between young and old

The Institute of Insurance Economics at the HSG has examined the redistribution effects between young and old in Swiss health insurance. According to this study, demographic aging will intensify the imbalances between young and old even more. <br/>


13 November 2013. The study sheds light on the redistribution effects between young and old in Swiss health insurance now and in 2030. Martin Eling, a professor at the Institute of Insurance Economics at the University of St.Gallen, has computed forecasts for compulsory basic health insurance and drawn up cost scenarios for the health system in 2030. “Today, we can already see a redistribution of CHF 6bn,” says Eling. In 2030, the forecasts point to CHF 20bn.

Premium hikes to be expected
The backdrop is provided by the principle of a single premium practised in compulsory basic health insurance, through which the overall per capita costs are redistributed. Since on a statistical average, old people cause more costs than young people, demographic aging in Switzerland entails an increase in the redistribution volume to the detriment of young people. Accordingly, substantial premium hikes will have to be expected in the years to come.

Fair redistribution between young and old
The study demonstrates how redistribution can be influenced with a variety of measures, among them premiums that are commensurate with the risk involved and a reduction in the spread of risk for young people. Which variant of system adaptation is to be preferred is a political question. Thus the publication closes with the statement that it is the responsibility of present-day society to develop approaches to possible solutions and to discuss them with an eye to fairness and justice.

picture: Photocase / Ulyssos

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