The Basic Basket of Services
By law, the Kupot Cholim must accept all applicants for services regardless of their age or prior medical history. In other words, pre-existing conditions and age are irrelevant when applying for basic health insurance in Israel. The basic basket of services offered by the Ministry of Health offers coverage for a multiple of services, medications, and hospitalizations, but all within a basic range of services.
The Doctors’ Channel YouTube is a non-profit initiative, approved by the Israeli Ministry of Health, and aimed at making important medical information more friendly & available to the general public. It provides objective and reliable healthcare & patients’ rights information. Over 75 leading physicians from 17 hospitals and medical centers all across Israel participate in the channel voluntarily. The videos are in Hebrew with English subtitles. Click here for more information.
The Ministry of Health has an online calculator that allows you to compare the four Kupat Cholim based on their services and fees. The calculator is currently only in Hebrew and can be accessed by clicking here. Another comprehensive comparison of the health clinic benefits and services (in Hebrew) can be found here.
It is possible to purchase supplemental insurance (Bituach Mashlim) from your health plan in order to receive wider coverage. Supplemental plans offer a wider selection of medications, consultations with professionals outside of the health plans (second opinions), dental medicine, surgery abroad and alternative medicine including chiropractics, homeopathy, and so forth. Most health plans offer several supplemental plans, and differences between health plans exist in the scope of services offered and in the cost. The cost of a supplemental plan varies based on the following factors: your age, the size of your family, and the type of plan that you select. Costs can be found on the Kuppat Cholim websites listed below. As new Olim, joining a supplemental plan within the first 90 days after your arrival will waive any waiting period for services. As with the basic basket of services, all supplemental plans are available regardless of age or pre-existing condition.
Basic medications are covered in the basket of health services but the Ministry of Health has their own specific conditions regarding the distribution of medications. You will find a listing of medications available under the Ministry of Health at their website. Please note that is to be used as a guide and not a final word regarding medications. If you would like to email with a liaison from the kuppat cholim of your choice, please contact us at [email protected]. We recommend bringing a three-month supply of your medication or whatever your present health plan allots for. In addition, we suggest bringing a medical summary to present to your new physician in Israel. Understanding how your condition will be managed in Israel is an important part of your pre-Aliyah research.
Travelers insurance is available through the Kupot Cholim any time you travel. Coverage typically includes health care needs that are not within a situation related to a pre-existing. Clarify with your Kuppot Cholim regarding how any possible pre-existing condition will be cared for while abroad. For some, keeping your foreign health care insurance may be necessary for coverage while abroad. Clarifying coverage with the Kupah of your choice is possible before your Aliyah so that you are prepared.
Residency Requirements for Kupat Cholim Coverage
In order to receive continuous Kupat Cholim coverage, an Israeli citizen’s “center of life” — as determined by Bituach Leumi — must be in Israel, not abroad. Bituach Leumi considers a number of factors in determining “center of life,” including whether you own an apartment in Israel, where you live, where the rest of your family lives, and whether you reside in Israel more than 183 days in the calendar year. For more information, see the following article on Bituach Leumi.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is available through the health plans, as well as via private insurance agents. Long-term care insurance provides financial participation in long-term care costs in a residential facility or at home for persons who cannot perform activities of daily life alone and require assistance and supervision. Different from the above listed plans, long term care insurance through the health care providers are private insurance policies. Unlike the basic and supplemental, they are subject to age (not available over the age of 70) and pre-existing conditions. The long-term care insurance offered by each health plan is identical for all participants. The premium paid is the same for each age group, and increases with age. In some health plans, the level of coverage is higher for members who joined at an earlier age.
It is important to note that there is a maximum amount of time that is covered in any given long-term care policy (generally up to 5 years). If one requires long-term care for a period of time longer than the maximum amount, one would need to pay out-of-pocket for these services.
In addition to private long term care policies offered by the kuppot, long term care is also available to all through Bituach Leumi, National Insurance Institute. Services received from Bituach Leumi may be subject to a means test. For more information, see the following link.
While dental care in Israel is not included in the basic Israeli health insurance plans (Kupot Cholim), the costs are significantly lower than they are in the U.S. Supplemental insurance plans (available through the Kupot) often cover some free treatments and/or discounts on dental care, including one free checkup with x-rays per year. Some health plans offer free restorative care (i.e., filling cavities, root canal, etc.) to children up to age six. Many services are available at a discount, including orthodontics.
Waiting periods for discounts on basic treatments such as cleanings, x-rays, fillings and root canals are variable. During these waiting periods, the insured continues to pay his/her monthly fees despite not being eligible for these services.
Please note that all free services and discounts only apply at health plan-affiliated dentists.
Many Olim choose to access dental care through private dentists, without receiving reimbursement from their health insurance plans. A dental exam, with x-rays generally costs between 200-300 NIS.
* Last updated on May 3, 3023 *