Every resident of Israel is insured for healthcare under the National Health Insurance Law, through payment of monthly premiums to the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi).
Anyone can choose one of the four national healthcare providers (Clalit, Leumit, Maccabi, and Meuhedet), regardless of age, pre-existing conditions, or current state of health. Each kupat cholim offers an identical basic “basket” of services, which include doctor visits, diagnostic and laboratory services, hospitalization (including births) and discounts on certain prescription medicine; however, availability of these services may differ based on geographic location.
It is also possible to purchase supplementary insurance (Bituach Mashlim) from your healthcare provider in order to receive wider coverage, such as dental care, women’s health, ophthalmology, and more. Services vary based on the different kupot cholim.
Getting Health Insurance
Signing up for health coverage is a quick process, and can be done at any of the kupat cholim office. Your coverage will begin immediately.
Olim Chadashim are entitled for up to one year of free health insurance while unemployed or retired, after which they will begin being charged via Bituach Leumi.
While you can register for health insurance at the airport, it is suggested to wait and first do research as to which health insurance provider has the best reputation and services in your area.
To register for a kupat cholim:
- Bring your health insurance voucher (received at the airport's Misrad Haklita when making Aliyah) and your Teudat Oleh to any Post Office, to be stamped. This will cost a nominal fee.
- Take your stamped voucher to the local kupat cholim office you wish to join.
Keep in mind that if you do not sign up for health insurance during your first month of Aliyah, you will need register via your local Bituach Leumi branch.
Changing Insurance Providers
After being a member of a kupat cholim for at least six months, you are eligible to switch insurance providers. To switch kupot cholim, you must fill out this online form (choose מעבר בין קופות חולים from the right-hand menu). It may take up to five months for the change to take effect.
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