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Initiative Proposal launched for limited health insurance coverage

Woman calculating health insurance costs

Many households are struggling to pay the mandatory health insurance premiums in Switzerland. 

(Keystone/Martin Ruetschi)

Another people's initiative has been launched aimed at reforming the Swiss health insurance system and giving citizens the choice of a system that offers limited coverage.

A committee group, made up of representatives of various political parties and organisations, argue residents in Switzerland should have the option to choose a less expensive health insurance scheme which excludes certain medical services.

The group now has 18 months to collect at least 100,000 signatures for a proposed amendment to the Swiss constitution.

A similar proposal was put forward in March by a member of the right-wing Swiss People's Party to be discussed by parliament.

Opponents argue that such a proposal undermines solidarity between the healthy and the sick, and that it creates a two-tier system for the rich and those less well-off.

Public concern

Rising health costs are a major concern for Swiss citizens, as many households struggle to pay mandatory insurance fees. The costs are expected to continue to increase in the next few years.

The left-wing Social Democrats and the centrist Christian Democrats have each launched separate initiatives in a bid to curb the steady rise in health insurance costs for patients over the past nine months.

Earlier this year, however, two other initiatives - granting cantonal authorities the right to set insurance premiums and banning parliamentarians from sitting on the boards and in top management positions of health insurance companies - failed to gain enough public support.

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