A friend called the other day to ask if I had any useful information about switching to a different Kupat Cholim. Here’s a short summary of what I had to offer:
First, general instructions for how to make the switch are available in English on the Meuhedet website, and the process is the same for any Kupat Cholim.
Next, as far as choosing a new Kupah, every conversation about how to choose your Kupah (including one that took place a while back on our facebook page) it always comes down to three criteria: Geography, Recommendations, Particular services/doctors.
This friend lives in Jerusalem and had already asked around in his social circles for recommendations. As is usually the case with Anglos in the Jerusalem area, he was told either Meuhedet or Maccabi. Both have adequate local infrastructure and try to cater to English speakers at times. They also have most of the Anglo friendly doctors. Considering the fact that his wife was interested in a particular doctor that takes Meuhedet, he was mostly sold.
I had one thing to add for his consideration- Meuhedet has more branches than Maccabi throughout the city, whereas Maccabi works directly with both Hadassah hospitals so you usually don’t need anything more than a referral for services there. If you end up using a lot of services at Hadassah, with Meuhedet you might get sick of always needing to get a Hitchayvut. (You know what that is, right?)
He also pointed out that he plans to use Terem for much of his needs, so I sent him the link to their summary page of their agreements with each Kupat Cholim.
Finally, he was unaware of which insurance program (level) he was enrolled in his current Kupah, Clalit. This is relevant for two reasons:
1) He should know the services to which he’s entitled. So I sent him the links to Maccabi’s brochure for additional service plans silver and gold, and Meuhedet’s equivalent plans, as well as the Clalit’s brochure, for as long as he is still there.
2) Some additional services are only available after a waiting period from the time of registration for an additional services plan. However, when switching, especially if you have already fulfilled the waiting periods for these services in your original Kupah, it is worth asking a representative of the Kupah that you are switching to if they will wave a new waiting period. Clalit actually states that they will do this explicitly, while Maccabi and Meuhedet have both assured this to me over the phone, but represented it as a special promotion.
For all of the most up-to-date Kupah brochures in English, check out: Forms and Files.
For other related information we translated as part of our collaboration with Kol-Zchut, check out: Choosing a Health Plan and Switching Health Plans.
Have you ever switched to another Kupat Cholim, or considered it? Share your experience, or more things to consider in the comments!