“In 1991, the Federal Council proposed a new Federal Health Insurance Law (KVG/LAMal) with three main aims (Federal Council, 1991): (1) to strengthen solidarity by introducing universal coverage and ensuring that people with low incomes receive subsidies for purchasing insurance; (2) to contain the growing costs of the health system by a host of measures targeting both the demand and the supply side; and (3) to expand the benefits basket and ensure high standards of health service provision. By Swiss standards, this law completed the legislative process relatively quickly: it was passed by Parliament in March 1994 and accepted in a public referendum in August of the same year. Since 1996, when KVG/LAMal came into force, it has been the most important legislative document regulating or influencing most areas of the health care system.
“The law made the purchasing of health insurance compulsory, introduced community-rated premiums, and made significant changes to the system of subsidies. Insurance companies were mandated to accept anyone applying to them for insurance. In addition, the law defined the general conditions by which health services are assessed for reimbursement and compelled cantons to plan acute care hospital and inpatient long-term care provision.
“While the law was successful in achieving (near to) universal coverage (see section 3.3.1), it has been criticized for having been ineffective in controlling the growth of health expenditures. Several revisions of the law have been made since the year 2000, primarily with the aim of containing the growth of expenditures (see section 6.1). Further reforms are planned with the aims of improving: the use of information in the health system; planning in ambulatory care; and health care provision for people with specific needs (see section 6.2).”
Source: De Pietro C, Camenzind P, Sturny I, Crivelli L, Edwards-Garavoglia S, Spranger A, Wittenbecher F, Quentin W. Switzerland: Health system review. Health Systems in Transition, 2015; 17(4):1–288. http://www.euro.who.int/en/about-us/partners/observatory/publications/health-system-reviews-hits/full-list-of-country-hits/switzerland-hit-2015