Every Israeli resident is covered by health insurance which entitles him/her to the services established under the National Health Insurance Law
Lack of payment or delayed payment of health insurance fees does not affect the rights of a policyholder and does not exempt the health plan from providing the healthcare services included in The Healthcare Basket
For information on the rights of policyholders according to the National Health Insurance Law, see the Ministry of Health English website
Additional information on commercial health insurance can be found in the Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Authority's Guide
- The medical services to which all residents are eligible (The Healthcare Basket) are established in the law and are updated periodically. The health services basket is the same for all those who are entitled to it, and eligibility is not dependent on which health plan someone belongs to.
- By law, the health plans are responsible for providing the health services found in the second addendum to the law. The law requires the health plans to accept anyone who wishes to be a member, regardless of the economic status, age, sex, health condition, etc.
- By law, The Ministry of Health is responsible for providing the health services found in the third addendum to the law.
- The medical services will be provided in Israel subject to a professional medical opinion, reasonable level of quality, reasonable wait time and reasonable distance from the patient's residence.
- In general, the services included in the basket are provided free of charge, but the health plans may charge a co-payment for some of the medical services included in the healthcare basket, in accordance with the approval of the Knesset Finance Committee.
- A list of the services for which a co-payment is required may be found in the second addendum to the National Health Insurance Law.
Who is Eligible?
- All permanent residents of Israel who are entitled to health insurance.
How to Claim It?
- The right is granted automatically through the National Insurance Institute to all permanent residents of Israel.
- New Immigrants should sign up with a health plan in order to actualize this right. See more information below.
- Returning citizens, or someone who ceased to be an Israeli citizen, will have to wait a designated waiting period until he/she is eligible again for health insurance. See more information below.
- Health insurance contributions are collected by the National Insurance Institute.
- Medical services are provided to all policyholders by the health plans to which they chose to belong; (some services are provided by the Ministry of Health).
- Soldiers performing compulsory or career service receive medical services through the IDF and not the health plans. For career soldiers, payment for health insurance is deducted from their salary.
- Soldiers volunteering for compulsory service (i.e. due to special health reasons) are entitled to receive the health services included in the basket detailed in the law from the health plan to which they belong. In these cases, the health insurance is paid for by the IDF.
- Soldiers on temporary leave from active service are entitled to receive the health services included in the basket detailed in the law from the health plan to which they belong, and they will be required to pay the relevant insurance fees.
- Soldiers performing service without payment are entitled to receive the health services included in the basket detailed in the law from the health plan to which they belong. In these cases, the health insurance is paid for by the State Treasury, as of 2002.
- From birth, every child is automatically insured in the health plan to which the parent receiving his/her Child Allowance belongs.
- If the child's parents belong to different health plans and they want the child to belong to the health plan to which the parent who does not receive the child allowance belongs, they must go to a branch of the post office, fill out a transfer form and both sign it.
- The first transfer of a child younger than six months old from one health plan to another will be performed immediately without any waiting period.
Children of Returning Residents
- Children (under the age of 18) of returning residents are eligible to receive health services, provided that their parents were recognized as residents of Israel after returning to Israel, even if the parents are temporarily not entitled to receive medical services and are currently in the mandatory waiting period.
- Parents will be reimbursed for all paid medical services for their children, provided that a request for residency was submitted to the National Insurance Institute before the paid medical services were received.
- If the expenses were incurred before a request for residency was submitted to the National Insurance Institute, the parents will not receive any reimbursement for paid medical services.
Israeli Residents Abroad
- As long as someone considered to be an Israeli resident by the National Insurance Institute pays health insurance contributions, he/she is entitled to health services in Israel, according to the National Health Insurance Law. For more information, see: Israeli Residents Abroad.
- Returning residents who did not pay insurance contributions or ceased to be considered Israeli residents, will only be entitled to health services in Israel after a waiting period consisting of continuous residence in Israel (traveling abroad during the waiting period will extend the waiting period). The minimum waiting period is two months, and the maximum waiting period is six months. Payment may be submitted instead of undergoing the waiting period. For more information see: Health Insurance for Returning Residents.
- New immigrants register for a health plan according to personal choice.
- New immigrants can register for a health plan already at their port of entry or at a later time through the post office bank.
- After registering at the port of entry or the post office bank the person needs to go to the health plan he/she registered for with a copy of the registration forms. He/she will be given a temporary insurance card and the regular card will be sent shortly after in the mail.
- As soon as the oleh receives the temporary insurance card he/she is considered a member of the health plan and is eligible for all health insurance services.
- Important: A new immigrant is not considered a member of the health plan until he/she has registered and received a temporary insurance card.
- For more information see the New Immigrant Guide to Health Plan Registration from the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigration Absorption.
New immigrants are exempt from paying national health insurance contributions for a period of 6 months from their aliyah date. This right begins from the day the person receives his/her immigrant status and is contingent on registration for health insurance. New immigrants can also receive a health insurance payment exception for 6 additional months provided they are not working and they are receiving a living allowance from the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigration Absorption. (In order to receive the exemption for the additional 6 months, contact the National Insurance Institute.)
- 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 Health Insurance Law Ombudsman
Laws and Regulations
- The National Health Insurance Law, Sections 3, 55, 58
- The National Insurance Law (Consolidated Version), 5755-1995, Section 378
- National Health Insurance Regulations (Kupat Cholim Registration, Rights and obligations of Stay Permit recipients according to the law of citizenship and entrance to Israel (exceptional ruling), התשס"ג-2003), תשע"ד-2014 On the Nevo website
- Original information provided by The Mazor Clinical Center - Providing legal advice regarding patients rights in Israel.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.