Health insurance: The public agrees to better regulate the activities of brokers

“People feel plagued by the practice of cold door-to-door visits, and this has been going on for years,” laments Benjamin Roduit (Center / VS).

Broker activities must be better regulated in the area of ​​health insurance. The public agrees to establish this principle in the law. However, he limited the scope of the project. The State Council has not yet been decided.

The idea of ​​regulating the activities of intermediaries has not been disputed and has been declared by Commission Benjamin Roduit (Center / VS). “I feel that the inhabitants are plagued by the practice of cold door-to-door visits,” he said. And this frustration has been going on for years.

Two years ago, the insurer signed a branch agreement that regulates the framework of broker activity. However, this agreement only binds those who voluntarily subscribe to it. The project stipulates that in the future the federal council may have the power to mandate these rules for all insurers.

The restrictions are not too strict

“Most of the insurance companies have rallyed to branch contracts, but that’s not enough,” says Barbara Gysi (PS / SG). The rules must be binding on everyone. Katharina Prelicz-Huber (Vert-es / ZH) is also afraid of the “placebo law” and she leaves too much freedom for insurance companies.

“If the insurer is no longer 66% to sign a branch contract, there will be no solution,” said Pierre-Yves Maillard (PS / VD). Congress will return to the starting point, which will be very damaging to the people. For him, the insurance company must be forced to agree.

But for the sake of rights, we must not go too far. Albert Rösti (UDC / BE) argued that there was self-regulation that should work. Binding power is only a last resort. A position that greatly convinced the UDC, PLR, PVL, and the center.

Target external intermediary

The rules that the fund should submit include prohibiting cold calls, training intermediaries, limiting compensation, and reporting and signing interviews with clients. Those who do not respect these rules will be sanctioned.

The public has made changes to the draft. From 109 to 84 votes, we have restricted training obligations and compensation limits for intermediaries who are not bound by insurance companies by employment contracts. “If this provision also covers employees of the company, it would cause serious interference with staff compensation,” Benjamin Rodui argued.

On the left, you would have preferred to target the activities of cancellers rather than employees. Federal councilor Alain Berset also criticized this distinction for introducing unequal treatment.

On the other hand, the agent did not want to limit the “lead” practices related to the contact data collected under the guise of a competition, as the left prefers. She also did not comply with marketing spending restrictions.

Right-wing proposal was also rejected

That part of the SVP was unable to relax the sanctions mechanism. She would have hoped that if the penalties provided by the branch were sufficient, she would be able to waive the penalties stated in the law. According to Albert Rösti (UDC / BE), “Insurers must take responsibility.” The proposal convinced only the center. Voluntary infringement can be punished for up to CHF100,000.

PLR and UDC also wanted the new rules to apply only to compulsory health insurance, not to complementary insurance. “We need to make a clear distinction between the areas of compulsory insurance and private supplementary insurance. According to Regine Sauter (PLR / ZH), there must be competition.

From an economic point of view, it’s fair. However, Lorenz Hess (PBD / BE) argued that it was a matter of maintaining the coherence of the citizens targeted for door-to-door visits, who could not understand where the differences were. Following the discussion, 108 elected officials out of 87.

In overall voting, the project received 162 votes in favor, 12 votes against and 22 abstentions, primarily from Greens.