Introduction:

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a non-contagious, hereditary disease which affects the body's mucus glands. As a result, a thick, viscous mucus tends to block some of the body's passageways. The thick mucus accumulates in different parts of the body, particularly the lungs and pancreas.

  • This page contains information and services for cystic fibrosis patients.
  • Please note that for many topics we recommend that you check other portals such as: Children with Special Needs.

Medications and the Healthcare System

Discount on Medications

  • CF is on the Ministry of Health's list of serious illnesses, so CF patients are entitled to an exemption from payment for various medical services, see Health Plan Fee Exemptions for the Seriously Ill.
  • Due to the fact that CF patients are defined as chronically ill, they are entitled to a payment ceiling for medications included in the healthcare basket. (It is preferable to exercise this right as a complement to the right discussed above, which may entitle an exemption from paying for medications, depending on the relevant health plan regulations.)
    • Important: The cost for disposable equipment (kangaroo pump bags, tubing, bandages, syringes, etc.) is considered when calculating the monthly limit for medications.
  • If someone with CF is referred to the emergency room for treatment of the CF, he/she will be exempt from the emergency room costs.

Fortified Foods

  • CF patients are entitled to a monetary reimbursement for the purchase of medicinal foods over the specified amount (the maximum amount is updated from time to time and patients should keep up-to-date with their health plan).
  • This agreement does not include relatively new products that are not included in the basket.
  • Different health plans have different amounts which they contribute towards the purchase of various items.
  • Important: The cost of medicinal food is not considered when calculating the payment ceiling for the purchase of medications.
  • To obtain confirmation of the necessity for medicinal food, contact the medical administration with a medical letter containing the names of formulas which are being used. It is important to make sure that the patient is marked in the computer to ensure continuous supply of the relevant products.
  • For additional information see Payment Ceiling for Medical Foods/Nutraceuticals.
  • In certain cases additional funding may be provided to populations supported by the Welfare Ministry.

Physical Therapy

  • CF patients are eligible to receive reimbursement for postural drainage (also known as chest physical therapy).
  • The reimbursement can be up to 105 NIS per day of treatment.
  • The reimbursement is provided at the end of each month after a declaration regarding the treatments is submitted to the health plan on the designated form. The form may be obtained at the CF clinic or from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Inhalation Devices

  • CF patients may purchase a Pari Turbo inhalation device through the Maccabi health plan at a significantly discounted price. This device is one of the few devices marketed in Israel which is suitable for administering medications such as Tobramycin and Pulmozyme to CF patients.

Discounted Health Insurance Rates

  • Patients receiving a General Disability Pension who have no other income, will have the minimum health insurance rate of 100 NIS/month deducted from their disability pension. If the patient has another income, they will be required to pay for health insurance from their income and not from disability pension payments.

Genetic Testing

  • Available to those born to two parents who have the gene that causes dysfunction of the protein responsible for controlling the movement of salts in the body's cells; and carriers who are not ill with CF, but who will pass the gene on to future generations. When both parents are carriers of the CF gene, there is a 25% chance that their child will be born suffering from CF, a 50% chance that their child will just be a carrier of the CF gene, and a 25% chance that their child will not be a carrier of the CF gene at all. A simple genetic test may identify carriers of the gene that causes CF or an ill fetus.
  • The testing was added to the health basket at the end of 2008.

Education

Personal Assistance from an Aide in Kindergarten

  • The option for personal assistance for children with special needs who are integrated into the regular education system is rooted in The Integration Law.
  • Parents interested in obtaining this assistance for their child may contact the office responsible for special needs in their local authority's department of education.
  • The request must include documentation from the manager of the CF clinic where the child is treated, in addition to a letter from the child's pediatrician in the community.
  • For more information, see: Integration of Children with Special Needs into the Regular Education System.

Tutoring for Sick Children

  • Students who missed school days due to illness or hospitalization, may receive in-school tutoring provided by the Ministry of Education, in order to make up missed material.
  • To request this tutoring, contact the school principal with a letter from the attending physician at the hospital or treatment facility.

Special Assistance for Students following Extended Absence

Matriculation Examination (Bagrut) Accommodations

  • Students seeking matriculation examination accommodations may contact the guidance counselor at their school. A professional diagnosis (psycho-diagnostic) is usually required, following which, the proper accommodations are recommended for each particular student. In most cases, the Ministry of Education accepts the professional staff recommendation.

Benefits

Disabled Child Benefit

  • Parents of CF patients are entitled to request a Disabled Child Benefit from the National Insurance Institute beginning from the age of 3 months.
  • To receive the benefit, parents must contact the National Insurance Institute office in their place of residence and submit a request.
  • Detailed instructions should be requested from the clinic's social worker.
  • Parents of children who fit at least 3 of the following criteria are eligible:
    • Receive daily inhalation treatment
    • Require postural drainage (also known as chest physical therapy) three times a day on a daily basis
    • Require antibiotics regularly
    • Require constant monitoring at a CF clinic
  • Remember that this benefit terminates automatically upon reaching the age of 18.
  • For more detailed information, see: Disabled Child Benefit and Related Benefits.

General Disability Pension

Vocational Rehabilitation

Special Services Benefit (Attendance Allowance)

  • A special services benefit is given to National Insurance policyholders up to retirement age who are in need of significant help from another person in the performance of daily activities (dressing, eating, bathing, mobility in the home and continence), or who need constant supervision to prevent them from endangering their own lives or the lives of others.
  • For more information, see: Special Services Benefit (Attendance Allowance).

Taxes

Other Benefits

Military and National Service

  • Most cystic fibrosis patients are given a profile of 21, which means totally unfit for military service due to health reasons (physical or mental). Only after receiving this exemption, may someone who has been given a profile of 21 request to join the military. If found to be eligible according to special accommodations, the volunteer will be given a profile of 30 and continue to serve a shortened service with a special basic training for volunteers. The process may be long and tedious and it is therefore recommended that those who are interested in volunteering should start the process at the beginning of their senior year in high school (and not at the end).
  • In some cases, and with appropriate medical documentation, CF patients receive a profile of 64 (or 45), enabling them to perform standard military service. CF patients enlisting with one of these profiles serve in a normal manner and expectations are based on common IDF requirements for soldiers with those profiles.
  • For several years there has been a national service option for those looking to contribute to Israeli society, who cannot serve in the military for various reasons (such as medical reasons). This option is open to anyone who fits this description, both men and women, religious and secular. National service provides volunteers with the opportunity to experience a strong sense of contributing to society, and at the end of their service, national service volunteers are entitled to all benefits to which military veterans are entitled according to The Absorption of Discharged Soldiers Law, 5754 (1994). Those who are interested can volunteer for national service through organizations such as The Society for Volunteering – National Service, Shlomit, Bat Ami, and others.

Specific Services from The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Assistance for Individuals

  • The Foundation helps patients having difficulties meeting the costs of health care by providing stipends for the purchase of essential medicines, medicinal food, and physical therapy. The assistance is determined according to fixed medical, social and economic criteria.
  • The Foundation also runs a special committee tasked with helping individuals, according to medical, social and economic criteria, who are struggling with medical treatments.

Employment Project

  • The Social Services Department in collaboration with the Vocational Rehabilitation and Training Center at the Levinstein Rehabilitation Hospital, give advice regarding employment placement for those who have used up all of their National Insurance Institute employment rights, or for those who feel they need assistance in addition to that to which they are entitled from the National Insurance Institute. Referral for this service is performed through the CF clinic social worker.

Additional Information

Aid organizations

Government agencies

Laws & Regulations

Additional publications

Credits