Tests, examinations and screenings during pregnancy are intended to check on the mother, track the fetus's development, and detect and identify any possible birth defects or illnesses at an early stage.
- Every women who is insured under national health insurance is eligible to have pregnancy related testing included in the The Healthcare Basket.
Who is Eligible?
Anyone covered by national health insurance is entitled to all tests and examinations included in the healthcare basket.
Types of Tests, Examinations and Screenings During Pregnancy
- There are three types of tests and examinations performed during pregnancy:
- Routine Examinations - Follow-up examinations performed at every visit to a doctor/nurse. These examinations including recording the woman's weight and blood pressure, as well as blood tests.
- Screenings - Screenings include blood tests and ultrasound imaging for the purpose of identifying increased risk for a fetal disease or defect.
- Diagnostic Testing - Diagnostic testing includes amniocenteses, chorinic villus sampling (CVS), and cord blood testing. If a screening has indicated an increased risk of a medical issue with the fetus, diagnostic testing intended to refute or diagnose the issue in the mother or the fetus must be performed.
- Screenings only indicate the level of risk, whereas diagnostic tests may provide a conclusive diagnosis. Most diagnostic tests carry some inherent risk.
- All examinations, screenings and tests are performed according to the choice and consent of the expectant mother.
- Click here for a full listing of the recommended tests, examinations and screenings during pregnancy (including those that are in the healthcare basket and those that are not) on the Ministry of Health website.
Tests, Examinations and Screenings Included in the Healthcare Basket
- The following are included in the healthcare basket:
- Blood pressure
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- First Trimester
- Second Trimester
- Triple test -Fetal Protein Test(Hebrew: (חלבון עוברי (תבחין משולש) - The woman being tested must pay a symbolic co-payment
- Anomaly scan (Hebrew: סקירת מערכות). For further information see here.
- Oral Glucose Challenge Test (OGTT) (Hebrew: בדיקת העמסת סוכר)
- Amniocentesis, (Hebrew: בדיקת מי שפיר) - Included in the basket for women over the age of 35 or when the risk for Down syndrome is greater than 1:380. The test must be performed in a hospital or a surgical clinic approved to perform the procedure by the Ministry of Health. The test may only be performed after the woman on whom it will be performed has been given an explanation and genetic counseling from a certified genetic counselor, and after her written informed consent for the test has been given. The test results are provided in writing to the woman and the treating physician. The Ministry of Health only funds the test if it is performed as part of the public health system, when no additional payment from the woman is required, for example payment for choosing the doctor to perform the procedure as part of supplementary insurance. For further information see here.
- Third Trimester
- Ultrasound to estimate growth/weight
Tests, Examinations and Screenings Not Included in the Healthcare Basket
- The following tests are not included in the healthcare basket:
- Early anomaly scan (Hebrew: סקירת מערכות מוקדמת).
- Complex systems scan (Hebrew: סקירת מערכות מורחבת) - The health plans provide partial coverage; there are differences between the health plans and the amount of coverage.
- Addition of the testing of the Inhibin-A protein to the fetal protein test (making it a quadruple test).
- Prenatal Chromosomal Microarray (CMA) (Genetic Chip) Test, except in situations where the conditions warranting coverage, set by the health fund are met. For further information see here
How to Claim It?
- Before each laboratory test, the mother must receive an explanatory sheet regarding the tests being performed.
- Test results are sent by mail.
- The laboratory must inform the mother regarding abnormal results by telephone, and she will be referred to a genetic counselor. The abnormal results will also be sent by mail to the mother and her attending physician.
- The manner in which the tests, screenings and examinations are performed varies according to each health plan's procedures, so it is recommended for expectant mothers to contact their health plan for details.
- It is mandatory to record information required for follow-up in the expectant mother's pregnancy follow-up booklet.
- Laboratory tests may only be performed in laboratories that have received Ministry of Health approval.
- Employees are entitled to receive their full wages from their employer for the hours they were absent from work due to routine medical examinations related to pregnancy.
- For a comprehensive categorized listing of healthcare organizations offering assistance and support, click here.
Laws and Regulations
- The National Health Insurance Law
- Public Health Regulations (Invasive Prenatal Diagnostic Testing), 5771-2011 on the Nevo website
- Public Health Service Director Circular 24/2014 - Procedures for Treating a Pregnant Woman in Tipat Chalav - for non-high risk pregnancies
- Information on Proper Nutrition During Pregnancy on the Ministry of Health's English website
- Healthy Behavior During Pregnancy on the Ministry of Health website
- Advisory Information on Prenatal Risks - The National Center for Teratological Advice in the Ministry of Health
- Original information provided by the IMA.
- Medical Administration Circular 15/07 from 02.07.2007 regarding screenings to discover fetal Downs syndrome
- Healthcare Services Procedure 1/2001 from 01.03.2001 - Procedure for the care of pregnant women
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.