Switzerland: lower health care insurance premiums for refusing abortion

Publié le 31 May, 2006

Abortion in Switzerland


In 1982, abortion reimbursement was imposed to private health insurance companies on presentation of a double medical opinion. Since 1 October 2002, a mere signature of the mother allows abortion until the 12th week and further, a single medical opinion is enough until the day before birth. Moreover, minors under 16 can abort without parents’ agreement.


The real cost of abortion


Since 1988, Pro Life, an association from Switzerland, made an economical demonstration that members are real risks for health insurance companies. This way, Helvetian health insurance companies propose to reduce from 10 to 40% premiums of complementary insurance for policyholders who refuse abortion and eventually medically assisted reproduction. The demonstration is made: people attached to respect of life have behaviour that enables savings from 30 to 40% in health field. Actually, the cost of abortion does not only consist of the act itself. International scientific studies recently published deserve attention. After abortion, women’s mortality rate globally increases by 160% in the following years, high prematurity increases by 170%, other researches indicate a high recidivism rate for abortion1.


A responsible behaviour


Pro Life members are aware faced with the trivialization of abortion and the rise of health expenditures: they commit themselves to refusing their right to a possible abortion reimbursement offered by the base obligatory insurance and to promoting respect of life at every stage.

Besides savings directly linked to abortion refusal, it was observed that generally pro-life members smoke less, drink less and are less depressed. The two more important Swiss health insurance companies are interested in pro-life members with a number continuously increasing.

Since 2004, Helsana and CSS groups offer them, via their partner funds SANSAN and Auxilia, their non-obligatory complementary insurances, with a preferential price.


Conscientious objection


Josef Zisyadis, national counsellor of the Popular Worker’s Party (POP), this spring, submitted an urgent proposal aimed at banning the insurers to concede « ethical » discounts. The Federal Council (Swiss high political authority) has just declared, on 30 May 2006, that there is no way of calling the principle of conscientious objection into question; as it happens, anybody has the right to refuse for himself a benefit from base obligatory insurance. In another hand, it confirms the liberty for health insurance companies to retrocede savings coming from a more responsible behaviour at least for private complementary insurance companies. 


1. Deaths associated with Pregnancy Outcome: a Record Linkage Study of Low Income Women, Reardon et al. Southern Medical Journal, vol. 95, n°8, August 2002.

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