Foreign workers are entitled to basic health insurance from their employers. This entitlement exists whether they are legally employed in Israel or not
- The employer is obligated to purchase, on his account, private health insurance for his worker/s.
- The insurance must meet the conditions found in the Foreign Workers' Order detailed on this page.
Treatments and events covered by the policy
- All treatments listed in the healthcare services basket in the second appendix to the National Healthcare Law.
- Hospitalization services in a psychiatric hospital or in a psychiatric ward in a general hospital in the event of a medical emergency for a period not exceeding 60 days during the period in which the foreign worker worked for the senior citizen.
- Amniocentesis for women 35 years and older, at the beginning of pregnancy; vaccinations against tetanus, rabies and diphtheria; mantoux testing and lung imaging; wheelchairs and walking devices.
- All medications that are on the National Health Insurance law's medication basket list.
Basket of services at work
- Health services in the work framework include:
- A medical examination of the foreign worker who is a candidate for employment, at the request of the employer or in accordance with the law, in order to determine if the candidate is qualified for the job being offered to him.
- A medical examination of a worker at the request of the employer, regarding issues of health , that are related to the employment of the worker.
- Counseling and training in occupational health matters, on the request of the employer or of a Kupat Cholim doctor.
- The policy does not cover treatments required because of a workplace injury, except in exceptional cases (see the limitations section below).
- There is no obligation to have the following services covered in the health insurance policy:
- Psychological services
- Dead seas treatments for psoriasis patients
- Genetic testing
- Long term care hospitalization or other long term care services
- Services or medications to treat erectile dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, male or female infertility, fertility treatments, or artificial insemination
- Services given outside of Israel
- Medications for the treatment of Alzheimer's
- The health insurance will not restrict the worker's entitlement to the services mentioned above, except in the following cases:
- Women's Health Services connected to pregnancy, during the first nine months in total, in which the woman had employer-employee relations with one or more employers in Israel, except for in a medical emergency.
- Services that the worker requires, due to a medical condition that existed before the health insurance was arranged and for a period of three years from when the insurance period began. If the worker stays abroad for more than 90 consecutive days, or 120 days if the stay is between the periods of employment with the same employer, the period will start again, except for a medical emergency, to the point where he can receive medical treatment abroad.
- If within 90 days of starting employment, a doctor determines that the worker is unable to perform his duties, he can receive medical treatment only for a medical emergency or until his medical condition stabilizes.
- The services included in The Healthcare Basket will not be provided as part of the insurance, if the worker requires them as a result of:
- A road accident - road accident victims are exempt from medical service payments that are connected to the accident (click here for additional information).
- Hostile acts - those who are recognized as hostile act victims are entitled to medical treatment (click here for additional information).
- Workplace Injury -
- Those recognized a workplace injury victims are entitled to medical treatment on condition that the employer confirms on the National Insurance form that the injury was a workplace injury.
- However,if the National Insurance Institute does not determine that the injury is a work injury within three months, the medical insurance policy applies and medical services will be provided to the worker, even if the services were not provided by the service provider on behalf of the insurer.
- A foreign worker lifted up an elderly man from his chair. While he picked up the elderly man, the worker fell and caused damage to his back, which prevented him from continuing to work as a caregiver.
- Since the accident occurred while he was working, the worker filed a claim for National Insurance. Simultaneously, the worker received treatment for several months.
- Three months later, the National Insurance Institute still did not make a decision regarding the workplace injury, and therefore the medical insurance policy has to cover the treatments the worker received.
Costs of flying a worker out of Israel
- The medical insurance should include full payment of the expenses related to the flight of the worker from Israel due to a medical condition and the expenses of an accompanying person, in the event that his medical condition requires such and/or any other special arrangements needed during the flight. A doctor that specializes in occupational medicine will determine the work disability of the foreign worker.
Services provided in Israeli hospitals
- The services included in the healthcare services basket, provided in each of the emergency rooms in the general hospitals in Israel, including hospitalization if necessary, are as follows:
- A new fracture
- Acute dislocation of the shoulder or elbow
- Injury requiring stitches or other forms of repairing
- Aspiration of a foreign body from the respiratory tract
- The penetration of a foreign body into the eye
- Cancer treatment
- Hemophilia treatment
- Cystic Fibrosis (CF) treatment
- Evacuation by ambulance to the emergency room from the street or other public place, due to a sudden event
- A referral that ends in non-elective hospitalization
- Medical emergency
Availability and accessibility of the treatment and medication basket
- The treatment and medication basket will be given to the worker, based on medical discretion, at a reasonable quality, within a reasonable time and at a reasonable distance from the worker's place of residence.
- The service of a general practitioner, an expert family doctor, an internal medicine doctor and a gynecologist will be accessible to the worker, without the need to obtain approval from the insurance company.
- The worker's attending doctor only is required to give a referral for the worker to see a specialist.
- Access to imaging centers, diagnostic tests, gastroenterology institutes and laboratories require approval from the attending doctor and the insurance provider, on condition that the insurer's approval is given within 7 days from when the request was submitted for approval, and on condition that failure to receive approval does not endanger the worker and does not harm the treatment that the worker requires.
Guidelines for the approval or decision of a specialist doctor
- If the insurance requires the worker to undergo an examination with a specialist, the insurance will pay for the exam and submit the opinion to the worker.
- The worker is entitled to receive a medical opinion from any specialist doctor of his choice. The opinion shall be delivered to the medical insurance provider within 21 days from which it was give to the worker. The insurance shall pay the doctor at a rate assigned by the Ministry of Health's Director General.
- If two doctors who examined the worker for the same illness disagree, the sides should appoint a doctor they agree upon, financed by the insurance, and his opinion will be decisive. If the sides do not reach an agreement deciding on a doctor, a doctor will be appointed by the head of the association of the Israel Medical Association, which deals with the medical sector related to the worker's illness, within 15 days from the date on which the medical insurer approached him. If a doctor is not appointed within 15 days, he will be appointed by the Ministry of Health's Director General. Payment to the deciding doctor is determined by the Israel Medical Association and is paid by the insurance policy.
- The director of the hospital department, in which the worker is hospitalized, or his deputy in his absence, will determine whether the worker's medical condition has stabilized.
Laws and Regulations
- Foreign Workers Law, 5751-1991, Section 1D
- Foreign Workers Order (Prohibition of Unlawful Employment and Assurance of Fair Conditions) (Health Services Package to Workers), 5761-2001, Sections 3, 4
- Foreign Workers Regulations (Prohibition of Unlawful Employment and Assurance of Fair Conditions) (Rate of Deduction from the Salary for the Medical Insurance Fee), 5761-2001 On the Nevo website.
- The Patient's Rights Law, 5756-1996, Section 3
- Medical Insurance and Health Care for Populations with Special Status public information booklet from the Ministry of Health.
- Medical Insurance for a Foreign Worker on the "Reut - Caring Family" website from the Reut-Eshel Information Center
- Health Insurance Guide on the Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Authority website.
- Economic and Health Insurance branch on the Ministry of Health website.
- Original information on this page was written by the Jerusalem Municipality Welfare Department as part of a project to make elderly rights more acceptable, sponsored by Mashov.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.