Choosing a Health Plan (Right)

From All Rights (Kol-Zchut) (www.kolzchut.org.il)

הקדמה:

All Israeli residents are entitled to choose the health plan (קופת חולים) to which they would like to belong
The health plans are required to accept anyone requesting to join
  • All Israeli residents are entitled to enroll in the health plan (קופת חולים) of their choosing, without any pre-conditions or limitations based on age or health.
  • The health plans are required to accept any Israeli resident requesting to join.
  • The health plans may not make acceptance conditional in any way, including criteria based on age, health, or any other factor.

Who is Eligible?

How to Claim It?

  • Those wishing to enroll in a health plan must do so at the post office, and they must have their national identification card (תעודת זהות) with them. There is an enrollment fee.
  • After enrolling at the post office, applicants must go to a branch of their health plan with the enrollment form in order to complete the enrollment process, have a membership card issued and register for any additional services (such as supplementary insurance or long-term care insurance).
  • Children -
  • When born, every child automatically becomes a member of the health plan to which the parent who received the child allowance belongs (usually the mother).
  • If the parents belong to different health plans and they would like to switch the child to the health plan of the parent who did not receive the child allowance, they must go to the post office, fill out a health plan change request form and both sign it.
  • Switching a child who is younger than 6 months old from one health plan to another will take place immediately (without any waiting period).
  • Released soldiers -
  • Regular enlisted and career soldiers are not insured as part of the National Insurance Law, and therefore receive healthcare services through the Ministry of Defense, and not the health plans.
  • According to the law, soldiers released from the military become a member of the health plan to which they belonged prior to enlisting. Information regarding release should be transferred automatically from the IDF to the National Insurance Institute.
  • A recently released soldier for whom information regarding the release has not yet been received by his/her health plan must fax a photocopy of the certificate of release to the National Insurance Institute's Insurance and Health Division (Fax: 02-6462029), and the National Insurance Institute will send the information to the health plan. Within 24 hours of receiving the fax, membership in the health plan should be renewed.
  • Released soldiers may also switch health plans (this may also be done before release); for more information, see: Switching Health Plans.
  • Released soldiers who are not a member of a health plan must enroll in one at the post office, and they will be entitled to healthcare services immediately.
  • Soldiers who do not know to which health plan they belong may contact the National Insurance Institute's Insurance and Health Division.
  • Released prisoners become a member of the health plan to which they belonged prior to being imprisoned.
  • Information regarding release should be transferred automatically from the prison service to the National Insurance Institute.
  • A recently released prisoner for whom information regarding the release has not yet been received by his/her health plan must fax a photocopy of the certificate of release to the National Insurance Institute's Insurance and Health Division (Fax: 02-6462029), and the National Insurance Institute will send the information to the health plan. Within 24 hours of receiving the fax, membership in the health plan should be renewed.
  • Released prisoners who are not a member of a health plan must enroll in one at the post office, and they will be entitled to healthcare services immediately.
  • Released prisoners may also switch health plans (this may also be done before release); for more information, see Switching Health Plans.
  • Those who are not enrolled in a health plan -
  • Only Israeli residents may enroll in a health plan.
  • Residency status may be checked by contacting the National Insurance Institute. Click here to locate the nearest National Insurance Institute branch.
  • The following people who are not enrolled in a health plan do not need to check residency status with the National Insurance Institute and may simply enroll at the post office:
  • Minors under the age of 18 who have a parent or guardian enrolled in a health plan and living in Israel.
  • Those between the ages of 18 and 19 years old.
  • Recently released soldiers (from compulsory or professional service) within the first year after release.
  • Recently released prisoners or detainees within the first year after release.
  • New immigrants within the first three months after moving to Israel.

Please Note

  • The health plans are required to accept any Israeli resident requesting to join.
  • Employers are not allowed to make employment conditional on membership in any specific health plan or require employees to join a specific health plan.
  • Policyholders may only switch health plans after having been a member in the previous health plan for at least six months.

Aid Organizations

  • For a comprehensive categorized listing of healthcare organizations offering assistance and support, click here.

Government Agencies

  • The Israel Postal Company

Laws and Regulations

Additional Publications

Sources