Hebrew source: בחירת קופת חולים
From All Rights (Kol-Zchut) (www.kolzchut.org.il)
An Israeli resident that is not a member of a health plan (קופת חולים) must sign up for the health plan of his choosing
The health plans are required to accept any resident requesting to join
A person must be a member of one health plan for 6 months before he/she is permitted to switch plans.
For questions and clarifications contact the health registrar at 02-6462000
- The health plans are required to accept any Israeli resident requesting to join without any conditions.
The health plan is not allowed to limit or condition enrollment to a member because of his/her age or medical condition.
Who is Eligible?
- Israeli residents who have not yet enrolled in a health plan.
- When born, every child automatically becomes a member of the health plan to which the parent who received the child allowance belongs to (after the health plan receives notification of the birth from the Interior Ministry).
- If the parents belong to two 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 register the child.
- Switching newborns is permitted on condition that the baby's name is updated in the Interior Ministry and that the baby is older than 2 weeks.
- Registration can be done in one of the following ways:
- On the National Insurance Institute's website. The service is free of charge but for identification purposes a personal credit card from each parent is necessary.
- By going to a post office branch (this service has a fee - see more information on the Israel Post website). Both parents must be present at the time of registration.
- Switching a child who is younger than 6 months old from one health plan to another will take place immediately (without a wait period).
Youth Age 18
- A youth who turns 18 and who is interested in becoming a member of a different health plan than he/she had as a child is permitted to sign up to the health plan of his/her choosing within 6 months of turning 18.
- The switch will take place immediately (without a wait period).
- One who doesn't request to sign up for a different health plan during the 6 months from turning 18, will continue to be a member of the health plan he/she was enrolled in as a youth.
- If he/she wants to switch health plans at a later point, it can be done according to the regular timeline set out for such changes. For more information see Switching Health Plans.
- Soldiers (career and mandatory services) 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 Health Registration Division at 02-6462000.
- 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.
New Immigrants (Olim)
- New immigrants must enroll in a health plan within the first three months after moving to Israel.
How to Claim It?
- Registration at an Israel Post Branch:
- A person should bring his/her have their national identification card (תעודת זהות) to one of the Israel Post branches and complete registration there.
- Registration at the post office involves an enrollment fee (for details see the Israel Post website
- After enrolling at the post office a copy of the registration form will be given to the registrants and it is recommended that you hold on to this copy.
- Registration on the National Insurance Institute Website:
- In some cases health plan registration can be done through the National Insurance Institute website
- The service is given free of charge but personal credit card details are taken for identification purposes and in order to prevent forgery.
- It is recommended to print the registration confirmation.
- Registration at the Local National Insurance Branch is done in the following circumstances when one is unable to sign up online or at the post office.
- One who needs to check his/her status as a resident
- One who renewed his/her residency
- One who has been granted the status of temporary resident
- A new immigrant for whom 90 days have passed since he/she arrived in Israel
- A released soldier for whom 90 days have passed since his release from mandatory service.
- A released prisoner for whom 90 days have passed since his/her release
- For questions and clarifications contact the health registration division at tel: 02-6462000 or fax: 02-646-2029
Continuing the Process
- One must take the registration form to the health plan branch to which he/she wants to become a member of in order to complete the registration process, be issued a magnetic card, and to sign up for other medical services (supplemental insurance, long-term care)
Switching Health Plans
- Policyholders may only switch health plans after having been a member in the previous health plan for at least six months.
- For more information see Switching Health Plans.
- Employers are not allowed to make employment conditional on membership in any specific health plan or require employees to join a specific health plan.
- For a comprehensive categorized listing of healthcare organizations offering assistance and support, click here.
- The Ministry of Health
- The Ministry of Health's Health Voice Call Center: *5400
- The National Insurance Institute
- The National Health Insurance Law Ombudsman
- The Israel Postal Company
Laws and Regulations
- The National Health Insurance Law, 5754-1994, Sections 4, 4a, 5, 5a, 5b, 21
- National Health Insurance Regulations (Procedures for Health Plan Registration and Change), 5755-1995
- Information about enrolling in a health plan and paying health insurance contributions on the Society for Patients Rights in Israel's English website
- Original information provided by The Mazor Clinical Center - Providing legal advice regarding patients rights in Israel.
- Original translation by AACI's Shira Pransky Project.