en
Scientific article
Open access
English

Popular initiatives in 2014-2016 call for the introduction of mandatory dental care insurance in Switzerland: the contrasting positions at stake

Published inHealth policy, vol. 121, no. 6, p. 575-581
Publication date2017-06
First online date2017-04-12
Abstract

Switzerland's mandatory health insurance system provides coverage for a standard benefits package for all residents. However, adult dental care is covered only in case of accidents and inevitable dental illnesses, while routine dental care is almost completely financed out-of-pocket. In general, unmet health needs in Switzerland are low, but unmet dental needs are significant, when compared with other countries in Europe. Recent popular initiatives in Switzerland have aimed to introduce a mandatory insurance model for dental care through a mandatory contribution of 1% of gross salaries toward dental care insurance. In three cantons, the proposals have collected the required number of signatures and a public referendum is expected to be held in 2017/2018. If implemented, the insurance system is expected to have a significant impact on the dental profession, dental care demand, and the provision of dental services. The contrasting positions of stakeholders for and against the reform reflect a rare situation in which dental care policy issues are being widely discussed at all levels. However, such a discussion is of crucial relevance not only for Switzerland, but also for the whole of Europe, which has significant levels of unmet needs for dental care, especially among vulnerable and deprived individuals, and new solutions to expand dental care coverage are required.

eng
Keywords
  • Dental care
  • Dental care costs
  • Dental care system reforms
  • Mandatory dental insurance
  • Swiss healthcare system
  • Unmet dental needs
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Dental Care / economics
  • Dental Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Dental / economics
  • Insurance, Dental / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Insurance, Dental / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
Citation (ISO format)
DI BELLA, Enrico et al. Popular initiatives in 2014-2016 call for the introduction of mandatory dental care insurance in Switzerland: the contrasting positions at stake. In: Health policy, 2017, vol. 121, n° 6, p. 575–581. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2017.04.004
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Article (Published version)
Identifiers
ISSN of the journal0168-8510
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