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Cost Sharing for Health Care: France, Germany, and Switzerland

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Publication Date: January 2009

Publisher(s): Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Topic: Health (Health care financing)

Keywords: cost-sharing; insurance; comparison

Type: Brief

Coverage: France France Germany


This background brief authored by Kaiser Family Foundation researchers examines how three European countries – France, Germany, and Switzerland – have dealt with cost sharing in their health systems. While cost sharing is required in each of these countries, each has a number of specific policies to limit the impact on people and families with significant health care needs and low incomes. The brief provides an overview of each country’s health care system, its cost-sharing policies, and the cost-sharing exemptions and limits that help protect people with low incomes, certain medical conditions or high medical costs, and other characteristics from burdensome, excessive costs.