Employers of foreign workers are obligated to provide and pay for private health insurance for their employees
Employers are permitted to deduct a portion of the monthly cost of the insurance policy from the employee's wage
Insurance policies for foreign workers are only valid for one year. The policy must be renewed for an additional year three months before it is due to expire
Employers who do not purchase the legally-required insurance services for a foreign worker are committing a criminal act and may be heavily fined or imprisoned in accordance with the law
Foreign workers are entitled to basic health insurance from their employers whether they are employed legally in Israel or not.
- Foreign workers are not state residents, so they are not entitled to the health insurance rights guaranteed according to the National Health Insurance Law. Nonetheless, employers are obligated to procure and pay for private health insurance.
- The insurance must meet the conditions set forth in the Foreign Workers Ordinance. For more information see Health Insurance Policy Conditions for Foreign Workers.
- Children of foreign workers: As part of the state's arrangement with the Meuhedet health plan, foreign workers are able to register their children for a health insurance policy.
Medical treatments covered by health insurance policy
- The basic health insurance for foreign workers includes the following medical coverage: Surgeries, primary care (family doctor), prescriptions, visits to specialists, hospitals and emergency room visits, diagnostic testing, medical call center services, diagnoses, laboratory tests, vaccines, psychiatric hospitalization, walkers, chest x-rays, wheelchairs, medical imaging, Mantoux testing, surgeries, out-patient medical expenses, CT scans, emergency dental services, evacuation by ambulance, women's health, disability insurance, transport of a body in case of death, insurance in case of death, and others (in accordance with what is indicated in the policy).
- Coverage is not required to include the following: births, psychological services, genetic testing, existing medical conditions, in-patient nursing services, treatment of erectile dysfunction, infertility treatments, and sexual dysfunction.
- For details on the conditions of the policies see Health Insurance Policy Conditions for Foreign Workers.
- The policy does not cover:
- Treatments necessary as a result of a car accident - those injured in a car accident of exempt from payment for medical treatment needed as a result of the accident (see here for more information).
- Treatments required as the result of a work accident-
- In cases of work accidents, treatment is funded by the National Insurance Institute. For more information National Insurance for Foreign Workers.
- If within 3 months, the National Insurance Institute does not determine that the injury is a work injury, the employee's general medical insurance kicks in and covers the cost of the employee's treatments even if they were done in places that are not generally used by the insurance provider.
Who is Eligible?
- All foreign workers employed in Israel, meaning any employee who is not an Israeli citizen or resident.
How to Claim It?
- Employers should make sure to choose an insurer that has a valid license to give medical insurance to foreign workers, issued by the Supervisor of Insurance at the Ministry of Finance.
- In order to issue a health insurance policy for a foreign worker, employers must make sure that the employee fills out a health insurance enrollment form (written in a language the employee understands), which includes a medical questionnaire.
- After the enrollment papers are sent and received by the insurance company (by mail, e-mail or fax), insurance underwriting will be performed and a health insurance policy will be issued for the foreign worker.
- The employer is obligated to the provide the employee with a copy of the insurance policy in a language that the employee can understand.
- Unlike long-term care insurance, life insurance and manager's insurance, there is no requirement of a qualification period for the policy purchased for the foreign worker, and the insurance coverage is valid immediately when payment is transferred and the policy is issued.
- Insurance policies for foreign workers are only valid for one year, and therefore the renewal process must be started approximately three months before the policy is due to expire.
- Health insurance policies for foreign workers cost about 6-7 NIS per day (depending on the scope of the policy and the purchased additions to the policy).
- In accordance with the Foreign Workers' Regulations (Amount that can be deducted from the salary to pay for medical insurance), employers are permitted to deduct a portion of the monthly cost of the insurance policy from the employee's wage:
- For foreign workers not working in nursing care - Up to 1/3 of the amount the employer paid or is obligated to pay for medical insurance. As of January 2019, the maximum amount that can be deducted from the worker's salary is 125.09 NIS per month.
- For foreign workers working in nursing care - Up to 1/2 of the amount the employer paid or is obligated to pay for medical insurance. As of January 2019, the maximum amount that can deducted from the worker's salary is 136.24 NIS per month.
Membership in a Health Plan
- The private insurance companies offering insurance for migrant workers have an agreement with the Clalit health plan which provides medical services to their policy-holders.
- From the moment they are insured, foreign workers should receive a membership card, with which they can receive their medical services.
- Employers who do not provide their employees with health insurance meeting the requirements of the Foreign Workers Order may be fined or punished to the extent required for performing a criminal act, which includes imprisonment of up to 6 months or heavy fines.
- Foreign workers who do not have health insurance will not be covered for medical visits or hospitalization, the costs of which are extremely high.
- Anyone requiring emergency medical treatment in Israel will receive it at a hospital without preconditions; however, those without insurance coverage will be charged for the treatment afterwards.
Aid Organizations for Foreign Workers
- Kav LaOved
- Hotline for Migrant Workers (English website)
- Mesila -Information and Aid Center for Foreign Workers and Asylum Seekers in Tel Aviv
- Sachar Mitzvee - voluntarily legal assistance to people in need
- Physicians for Human Rights - Israel
- The Association of Civil Rights in Israel
Aid Organizations for Employers of Foreign Workers
- For a comprehensive categorized listing of organizations offering assistance and support to the elderly, click here.
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.
- The original information for this entry was written as part of the Mazor Clinical Center - Providing Legal Advice Regarding Patients Rights in Israel program of the College of Management.
- Additions to the information on the page were written as part of a rights accessibility project performed by the Elderly Services Department, part of the Jerusalem Municipality Social Services Department, as the result of a generous contribution from MASHOV - Citizens Involvement and Partnership for Community Advocacy.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.