Choosing Your Kupah’s “Higher Level” Plans

Is it worth it to pay my kupat cholim for their additional “levels”? What am I getting? Which level should I choose? Is there a straightforward comparison of each kupah’s offering?

These are very common questions for anyone who makes Aliyah. The answers are extremely subjective, and many personal researchers have tried and failed to compile an objective comparison.

However, let’s review some important decision criteria and examples of benefits offered by these plans (known as Supplemental Plans, Additional Health Services or Shaban) to assist anyone taking the time to think about these choices. The following information cannot be comprehensive or account for all the variation between plans!

Firstly, know your specific needs:

Many of the benefits of the supplemental insurance from the kupot cholim is catered to specific populations. For example, there are many added benefits for expectant mother’s and the elderly population. 


Examples of offerings (remember, not comprehensive or universal!):

More personal choice of advanced medical care:

  • Additional private diagnostic consultations (second opinions) with medical specialists in Israel and abroad
  • Choice of specific surgeons and/or private healthcare facilities
  • Treatment, transplants and surgery abroad (Expanding the reimbursements and instances already established by the Health Insurance Law)

Services in fields not covered by the basic Health Basket:

  • Genetic testing
  • Kupah dental clinics
  • Kupah complementary medicine clinics
  • Orthopedic devices
  • Vaccinations for traveling abroad
  • Cosmetic treatments

Fields covered by the basic Health Basket, but expanded with additional treatments/benefits

  • Additional child development treatments in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychotherapy
  • Educational or psycho-educational assessments
  • More fertility treatment benefits
  • Additional testing during pregnancy
  • Discounts on hundreds of medications not included in the “Drug Basket” or medication in the basket for indications not included in the list (Note: this benefit is commonly used by people particular about their medications and/or options in treatment, and it has the potential to cover the cost of a premium plan in savings to the consumer)

Miscelaneous bonus benefits

  • Laboratory services at home (like blood tests)
  • Private nurse during hospital stay
  • Discounted prescription glasses for children
  • Fittness and nutrition benefits
  • Subscription to Private Emergency Cardiac Services
  • All kinds of other hard-to-categorize boons.
  • Some Important Caveats

    • Most benefits offered still have associated costs, like requiring partial payment by the member, partial reimbursement for private services after the member pays in full, and/or enumerated limits to how much the kupah will pay. These co-payments are often nominal, but in certain situations can still be costly.
    • Private services offered may depend on specific agreement with specific providers, not any provider that you choose.
    • There are rules and regulations that you will have to fulfill for entitlement to many benefits, so claiming them may take further effort.
    • Besides variation in benefits offered by each kupah, within the kupah there are multiple “levels” with distinct offerings.
    • When a person first joins a supplemental plan, the specified benefits can have various waiting periods before they are available to them. Qualification periods can range up to 2 years from sign-up. (When switching kupat cholim, you retain the time you have waited with your previous kupah  if you sign up for an equivalent plan within three months.)


Your choice about which plan is good for you will come down to a new set of personal questions. How much do you value increased, though still limited, choices? Do you consider the “Basic Health Basket” inadequate coverage of your needs? Do you feel confident that you will make sure to know and claim your benefits? Answer those questions and the choice about your kupah plans may not be obvious, but it will be more informed.

Also See:


Choosing a Kupat Cholim

Among the questions we are frequently asked here at SPP are: I am making Aliyah, which Kupat Cholim (health fund) do I choose? How do I know which Kupah is the best for me and my family?

Here’s some tips  tips and tricks in how to choose your Kupat Cholim:

Israel has four health funds: Clalit, Leumit, Maccabi, and Meuchedet. It is important to remember that, in terms of coverage, all health funds are obligated to provide the same basic basket of health care services, and even their supplemental plans are highly comparable.  The criteria described here to assist with your decision are about convenience and experience.

When you make Aliyah you can register for health coverage and choose your Kupat Cholim at the airport. You are not obligated to register at this time. If you are unsure for which  plan to register, you can do so later at your local post office.

When choosing a  Kupah it always comes down to the following criteria: Geography/Accessibility, Recommendations, Particular services/doctors.

Geography and Accessibility:

It is important that your local Clinic is close to, and accessible, from your home. For example, there are some towns that only have one health fund clinic within, or near it.  Even in dense cities, sometimes small details can make a difference in how easily you can access  your clinic. You may want to find out which kupah has the closest branch to your residence, or a branch in a commercial center that you will be frequenting.


Those with personal experience in the local kupot and specific doctors are truly your best resource. If you have English speaking friends or family already living in a particular area, it is recommended to ask them about the different health funds. .

As a generalization, most Anglos living in the Jerusalem & Gush Etzion areas register with Meuhedet or Maccabi.  Many in Beit Shemesh and Ramat Beit Shemesh sing the praises of their Leumit clinic. Clalit is the largest and oldest kupah, and therefore has the most extensive infrastucrure in the Merkaz and the periphery. .


We recommend getting involved in different community groups, and asking the locals about their experiences with the kupot in that area.  Facebook groups are also an amazing crowdsourcing resource. Some excellent groups include  Israel Medical Inquiries and Navigate the Israeli Healthcare System, as well as the Facebook groups of your destination community.

Particular Services/Doctors:

If you have been referred to a particular specialist, or have a specific condition, then it’s worth exploring if they work with a specific Kupah.  It is also important to ascertain if your prospective Kupah has special arrangements with a hospital that you know will be a regular resource for you. Generally, all of the kupot offer adequate support for any condition you might need to deal with, but if you come in with specific preferences, then you can narrow down which kupah you want.

You’re Not Stuck

Remember you can always  change your Kupat Cholim if you are unhappy with your first choice. See Switching Health Plans for general instructions for how to make the switch.

More Choices

There is also the option to upgrade to supplementary insurance. Please note that you do not need to elect to upgrade upon making aliyah. You can opt for supplementary insurance at a later date, however a wait period for some additional services may apply.

As always, The Shira Pransky Project is here to assist with your navigational questions..

Whether you are a new Oleh, or have been here for years, we wish you a Mazel Tov, and Labriut, to your health!

Further Reading:

To find out more about what your Kupah is offering you please read here.

For all of the most up-to-date Kupah brochures in English, check out: Forms and Files.

For other related information we have translated as part of our collaboration with Kol-Zchut: Choosing a Health Plan



Therapy Through the Kupat Cholim

As of July 2015, the responsibility for providing mental health services to the public was transferred from the Ministry of Health to the Kupot Cholim. For the average Kupah member (in non-acute and non-critical situations) this means figuring out how to receive therapy, possibly preceded by a psychological assessment or diagnosis.

For all mental health services you should start with your primary care doctor for referral. Once you find out where you need to go, check with the Kupah secretary or information service to see if you will need a Hitchayvut

Outpatient Clinics

There are therapists available in outpatient clinics of general and psychiatric hospitals, or community clinics run by, (or by agreement with), the Kupat Cholim. These options are the cheapest (ranging from free to around 32 shekels, once per quarter), and you may be able to find one close to home. On the other hand, it may take a lot of time to get started, and your flexibility in choosing the right therapist for you may be limited.

Independent Therapist

The way that many people consider ideal, is choosing an independent therapist. This option is more expensive (around 55 shekels for the first visit and 132 for each subsequent session), and still does not mean unlimited choice. The Kupah has a listing of independent therapists from which to choose (links below). The listing will include location and may also include the languages in which the therapist will work. You can contact these therapists directly until you find the right one and make an appointment.  At the Kupah, you will have to pay the co-payment and get a Hitchayvut to bring to the therapists’ office.

Useful Links:


Payment and Choice in the Kupah [Basics Review]

As I read through Leumit’s Passport to Healthcare in Israel brochure from 2010 (available for download here) I thought it was a good opportunity to highlight some points that they felt were essential information about what a Kupat Cholim has to offer its clientele. I will not be referring to anything unique to Leumit, so members of Meuhedet, Maccabi and Clalit can also follow along to learn or recall just what you are entitled to receive, and what options you have in the Israeli public health system.

You Do Not Pay The Kupah for the Basic Basket

We’ve summarized the Basket of Health Services here, but these points bear repeating:

  • The Kupot Cholim provide the government’s package of basic healthcare services, which include: doctor visits, laboratory services, imaging, hospitalization, rehabilitation, paramedical (speech, occupational and other therapies), prescriptions and medical equipment.
  • You do not pay your Kupat Cholim for this insurance coverage (except for co-pays). The basic coverage is automatic when you sign up as a member to any kupat cholim. The funding comes out of your payments to Bituach Leumi (National Insurance Institute), not the kupot.

You Do Pay for Supplementary Health Insurance (Shaban)

Kupat Cholim Level 1 Level 2
Clalit Mushlam Zahav Mushlam Platinum
Maccabi Gold Sheli
Meuhedet Adif
Leumit Kessef Zahav


Your monthly fees to the kupah are for additional policies that add benefits on top of the basic basket entitlements. Since you are paying extra for additional coverage, you should be familiar with the added benefits and how to use them. Some supplemental benefits:

  • Private doctors, or private medical procedures at hospitals or other facilities. These options can be limited in the expense covered, the number of times used in a year, or to whom or where you can go. Explore the arrangements directly with your kupah to find out how to exercise these private options, or get reimbursements. 
  • Additional or expanded categories of services, such as genetic testing, dental treatment discounts, orthopedic products and travel vaccinations.
  • Extending coverage on treatments included in the basic basket, such as additional paramedical treatments in child development services.
  • Some surgery, transplant or treatment abroad options.
  • Additional pre- and post-natal services and tests, such as fertility treatments, genetic testing, scans, private obstetrician, preparation classes and convalescence.
  • Additional pediatric services, such as testing for learning disabilities and bedwetting treatments.
  • Discounts on drugs not included in the basic basket.
  • More preventative care.
  • Expansion of mental health coverage.
  • Discounted alternative medicine options.

Your Kupah Has Doctor and Facility Choices Without Going Private

  • Your Kupah has a directory of physicians that are considered “within the kupah”. This directory is on the kupah website (in Hebrew) and is accessible through the 24-hour hotline representative, or your local branch secretary. Occasionally you may even be able to get a print version that looks like a small phone book.

  • You can use this directory to find a primary care physician, the center of your galaxy in the Kupah system, and to find specialists. 

  • Many primary care physicians can see you on the same day you call, or the next. 

  • Specialists can have longer wait times, but if you find multiple options from the kupah directory, you can “shop” for the best appointment.

  • Finding a facility or clinic that is not “within the Kupah” is still an option even without using your private appointment supplemental benefits, especially if the Kupah does not have a good alternative (within a reasonable time and distance). Request a hitchayvut from the kupah, and see what happens.

Further Reading

Videos: Using Your Kupat Cholim Online

This page contains videos from two out of the four national health funds about how to use their online resources, such as scheduling appointments and finding services. Even if you are a member of one of the other kupot cholim similar tools are usually available for all.

The original videos are in Hebrew and we have added English subtitles, so please make sure that you have the captions enabled. The online tools from each kupat cholim are only available via their Hebrew websites or apps, but we hope that with familiarity and courage you will consider taking advantage of these useful tools!

(We have also added another useful English video produced independently by a Maccabi Clinic.)

Booking a Doctor’s Appointment Online – Without a Password (Maccabi)

Booking an Appointment from your Cellphone – Without a Password (Maccabi)

Ordering Prescriptions Online (Maccabi)

How To Request Prescriptions From Your Doctor Online (Maccabi)

Update Personal Details Online (Clalit)

Send Requests to Your Clinic (Clalit)

Finding Your Lab Results Online (Clalit)

Check your Kupah Entitlements Online (Clalit)

Accident Insurance and What to Do When a Child Gets Hurt

By Aviva Yoselis
Our strict contributed content guidelines ensure useful, informative and non-solicitous submitted content. Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own.

Active Children Get Hurt

kid scraped kneeThe other day, I realized that there are actually people living in Israel who’ve never been to the Emergency Room, who’ve never had to take a bleeding child to the extended hours clinic to be stitched up, who’ve never looked at the chip in their child’s tooth after a fall from a slide and said, ‘yep, that tooth is gonna have to be fixed’. Now, before you stop reading in horror and say, my goodness what a negligent mother, let me just inform you that I have active boys. Three of them. Really active. And active girls who play with the active boys. We’ve been stitched, glued, x-rayed, bandaged…

So here are some important facts to know if your child, grandchild, niece, nephew or little neighbor gets hurt:

Accident Insurance for School Aged Children


If a school age child (pre-K through 12th grade) has any type of tooth injury, chipped, knocked out, cracked,…treatment is covered by the school insurance, even if it didn’t happen on school property or during school hours. This means, that yes, the eight year old girl who was chasing her brother around the house, tripped, and cracked her two newly grown front teeth in half, can get full reconstruction of those teeth for free.

To go about this, you need to call the national insurance company (not connected to your kupah): 1-800-44-33-44 [in Hebrew only], give them your child’s information and they will call you back with a number and a list of eligible dental clinics. With that number and a letter from the school secretary saying your child is a student, you can make an appointment and go to one of the approved clinics.

Accident Injury

The insurance that you purchase at the beginning of each school year (mandatory~75 NIS), covers your school age child for all kinds of accidents (except for car and terrorist events-that’s through Bituach Leumi). If your child is hurt falling out of a tree, falling off a bike, injured on the playground, even if it didn’t happen on school property or during school hours, your child is eligible for insurance coverage. If they have a temporary disability, they may also receive coverage for that. Contact the secretary of the school for relevant phone numbers of the insurance.

Things to Remember

Head/facial wounds bleed, a lot

If the child comes in from the outside with blood running down their cheek, take a deep breath and wash the wound off first. Sometimes even small cuts look massive in the beginning.

If the injury looks deep, take the child to the nearest extended hours clinic of your kupah (not the ER unless it’s after midnight). Make sure you know where this clinic is before there’s an accident, so you don’t have to call around in the moment of panic. Put the number and address up on your fridge so it’s accessible. If there is an injury around the eye, or the cut is especially deep, know that the extended hours clinic or Terem may end up sending you to the ER to be stitched; you still need to go to the kupah clinic first, and then go to the ER with a referral, in order for the ER fee to be covered by the kupah.

[Editor’s note: If the situation is truly urgent, and wasted time contributes to the danger, do not pause for preliminary concerns. Click here to read more about Medical Attention Any Time and in Emergencies.]

Possible concussions

If the child is unconscious or loses consciousness, feels dizzy or vomits after a falling injury, take the child to the ER immediately.

Aviva Yoselis, MPH, founder and director of Health Advize and Viva Research Institute, is an expert in the field of health research, health behavior modification and shared medical decision making. She has over 20 years of experience facilitating seminars and teaching classes on health behavior and health system navigation. Aviva is skilled in identifying key points in complex situations, and looking at a range of possible solutions. Feel free to download her free guide on navigating the Israel Health Care system at

Medical Attention Any Time and in Emergencies

Your Kupat Cholim is required to have options and procedures in place for you to receive medical attention within a reasonable time 24 hours a day. Your local clinic is available daytime hours, and there are other options available during “off hours” that are subsidized by the kupat cholim. These other options include: urgent care centers, contracted private clinics and house-call companies. 

Click here for a description of alternative medical services during “off hours”.

What about the emergency room?

Even if you walk into the emergency room during off-hours, you will have to pay unless you have a referral or one of the conditions listed for exemption (see below). You should only go to the emergency room in a true emergency, not just because you need to see a doctor on short notice. 

Click here for a description and listing of exemptions from Emergency Room costs.

In contrast to the emergency room, other options are covered by the Kupat Cholim (with a co-pay) provided you use them at the correct time. If you have the time and presence of mind in your condition, you should call your kupat cholim’s 24-hour number for directions (listed below). The operator can tell you where there are urgent care centers or other clinics you can go to in the area, and you can find out the hours and cost for the house call option. If the best option is to go to an emergency room, the operator’s referral is enough to guarantee coverage by the kupat cholim.

Kupat Cholim’s 24-hour telephone information centers:

  • Clalit:          *2700
  • Maccabi:     *3555
  • Meuhedet:   *3833
  • Leumit:         1-700-507-507


But… Emergencies?!

Of course, if the situation is truly urgent, and wasted time contributes to the danger, then you should not pause for these preliminaries. If you need an emergency room, that is where you should go without delay. If you are hospitalized from there, or if your condition matches any of those listed for automatic exemption, all fees will be covered by the Kupat Cholim, and if not, you can establish that the visit was “medically justified” after the fact and receive at least partial coverage.

What if you need an ambulance?

It is also possible to face the expense of using an ambulance to get to the hospital, unless you are exempt. In this case too the gold standard for establishing that the ambulance evacuation was an emergency is if the patient was then hospitalized. Once again, one should not hesitate to call an ambulance when it is necessary, as an emergency situation should not be delayed. 

Click here for a description and listing of exemptions from ambulance evacuation costs.

So remember…

  • Your kupat cholim is responsible for providing medical attention at any time of day.
  • The emergency room can cost you plenty if you use it when it is not a true emergency.
  • An ambulance should not be considered a convenient form of transportation to the hospital if it is not necessary.
  • Do not hesitate to use emergency services in urgent situations!


Kupat Cholim Discounts on Glasses

You may be eligible to receive discounts on purchasing glasses from your kupat cholim if you are a member of their additional health service plans. All of the kupot cholim have agreements with specific stores, or their own stores, where the discounts they offer are available. Be sure to ask the secretary at your local clinic, or the information hotline to locate a participating store. You will also have to fulfill the eligibility requirements to get your discount. We have summarized the discounts and conditions below, but be sure to check your eligibility directly with the kupat cholim.


Gold Members

Adults with the following diagnosed vision problems are entitled to partial coverage for the cost of plastic glasses lenses or contact lenses. Children are eligible for these same benefits, or a blanket discount of up to 600 NIS for one pair of frames and lenses per year without specific diagnosis requirements.

  • Shortsightedness or farsightedness of 7 or higher (5 up to age 10): 83% discount up to a ceiling of 510 NIS on one pair of glasses lenses or one pair of contact lenses per year, or a discount of 83% up to a ceiling 225 NIS on the purchase of a single contact lens 
  • Astigmatism or a cylinder of number 7 or higher: 83% discount up to a ceiling of 1,995 NIS on one pair of glasses lenses per year
  • Keratoconus: 83% discount up to a ceiling of 1,995 NIS on one pair of glasses lenses per year, or 998 NIS off the purchase of a single lens or 1,995 NIS off the purchase of one pair of contact lenses per year
  • After a corneal transplant or corneal therapy: 83% discount up to a ceiling of 1,995 NIS on the purchase of one pair of contact lenses or an 83% discount up to a ceiling of 998 NIS on the purchase of a single lens per year

Sheli Members

Members are eligible for any discounts available to gold members. In addition, Sheli members who need glasses are entitled to a 50% discount on the purchase of eyeglasses, sunglasses and contact lenses at participating stores. This discount can be used on multiple purchases over 3 years until reaching a ceiling of 1,002 NIS discounted (total purchase cost of  2,004 NIS). The full discount credit is renewed every 3 years. This discount cannot be combined with the discount on plastic glasses lenses available for the specific conditions listed above, but the member may choose which benefit to receive. 

Click here for full details in Hebrew on the Maccabi website.


Si Members

Children up to age 18 are entitled to purchase prescription glasses once a year costing up to NIS 700 with a co-payment of 10%. When the glasses cost more than NIS 700, members pay the difference plus 70 shekels.

Adults 70 years and older are eligible for the same discount as children for regular glasses or a discount on multifocal or bifocal glasses up to a ceiling of 1,200 NIS with a co-payment of 10% once every two years. When the multifocals or bifocals cost more than 1,200 NIS, members pay the difference plus 120 NIS. 

Click here for full details in Hebrew on the Meuhedet website.


Gold and Silver Members

Adults are are eligible for up to 70% total discounts on frames and lenses on purchases made at participating stores. Prices are determined based on the specific frame and lens choice. Children are eligible for free glasses ((frame, optical lenses and anti-reflex coating) up to 650 NIS ceiling with a 21 NIS co-payment. 

Click here for full details in Hebrew on the Meuhedet website.


Mushlam Platinum members

Children up to age 18 are entitled to a discount on glasses up to 600 NIS once per calendar year. If the cost exceeds 600 NIS the member pays the difference. The benefit includes checking eyesight and glasses (frame, optical lenses and anti-reflex coating). Alternatively, you can use this benefit for the purchase of contact lenses.

Click here for full details in Hebrew on the Clalit website.

See Also:


Survey to Help Make Healthcare More English Accessible

The organization Emun Hatzibur (Public Trust) has been fighting for years to have Israeli medical institutions conform to the requirements of linguistic accessibility required by the Ministry of Health. Add your voice to the following survey to assist their efforts for this profoundly important cause. Emun Hatzibur can also intercede on the behalf of individuals with specific active complaints. They can be reached directly at 03-560-6069 or

Note: AACI’s Shira Pransky Project has no access to responses. This is a third-party survey that we are sharing in solidarity with the cause.

“Fast Track” for Submitting a General Disability Pension Claim

Those submitting any type of health-related claim in Israel whether it be to the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi), the kupot cholim, or the Ministry of Health, unfortunately often have to wait a long time for the claim to be processed and approved.

Fortunately, at least with regard to General Disability Pension claims, there is some relief available in the form of a “Fast Track” process for those suffering from serious conditions.

As part of our on-going collaboration with Kol-Zchut, we are proud to have translated and published this easy-to-read, critical and unique resource that was not previously available in English. You can either view the information below or click here to follow an external link. 


Related information:


Not familiar with The Shira Pransky Project?

 The Shira Pransky Project was founded to help English speakers in Israel better navigate the Israeli healthcare system and make use of the rights and services that are out there.


If this information was helpful to you, please enable us to help others by supporting the project:
Donate Now!



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Legal Issues in the Healthcare System 1, 2, 3

Legal issues, rights and obligations are just as much an integral part of the healthcare system as the insurance and treatment options available within it. 

Many people might be quick to pursue legal action if they think their rights have been violated, but this is almost never the best course of action. It is recommended that you 1) Understand your rights, 2) Submit formal complaints to the relevant parties, 3) Seek out legal aid and advice if necessary.

Step 1: Understanding Your Rights

Many of the resources we offer provide information on health-related rights and entitlements. You should check out our All Rights Index for a comprehensive collection of this information.

  • Information about the most basic healthcare rights can be found on our “General Healthcare Rights” page. Health-related employment rights can be found here.
  • Social workers in the kupot cholim, hospitals and other institutions and organizations are invaluable resources for getting basic advice related to rights and services.
  • Assistance and support organizations catering to specific population and focusing on specific illnesses or disorders are also great resources for more specialized expertise on rights. If you have diabetes, for example, an organization focusing on providing support for diabetes patients should be consulted. Check out our Organizations Directory where you can search and browse hundreds of health-related assistance and support organizations in Israel, by clicking here.

Step 2: Where to Complain

Every public healthcare institution and organization in Israel is required to have an ombudsman – the address for complaints within that institution or organization. For more information on complaints and appeals, check out the following pages:

Step 3: Legal Aid and Advice

If you think your rights have been violated and legal action might be necessary, there are a number of sources of free and subsidized legal aid and advice. The Shira Pransky Project does not provide any direct legal aid or advice and aims to provide the most comprehensive resources available to better understand your legal health-related rights, claim them, and know who to contact in order to request free or subsidized legal aid when necessary.


Not familiar with The Shira Pransky Project?

The Shira Pransky Project was founded to help English speakers in Israel better navigate the Israeli healthcare system and make use of the rights and services that are out there.


If this information was helpful to you, please enable us to help others by supporting the project:
Donate Now!



To your health ! לבריאות

Special Services Benefit (Attendance Allowance)

Information about the Special Services Benefit (Attendance Allowance) in English! 

A Special Services Benefit (Attendance Allowance) is paid to certain adults with medical disability who require significant assistance from another person in performing daily activities, or who need constant supervision to prevent them from posing a risk to their own lives or the lives of others.

Please note: The National Insurance Institute refers to the Special Services Benefit (a direct translation of the Hebrew קצבת שירותים מיוחדים) as an “Attendance Allowance”. 

As part of our on-going collaboration with Kol-Zchut, we are proud to have translated and published this easy-to-read, critical and unique resource of information that was not previously available in English. You can either view the guide below or click here to follow an external link. 

Related information:


Not familiar with The Shira Pransky Project?

The Shira Pransky Project was founded to help English speakers in Israel better navigate the Israeli healthcare system and make use of the rights and services that are out there.


If this information was helpful to you, please enable us to help others by supporting the project:
Donate Now!



To your health ! לבריאות

Switching Health Plans

People switch their kupat cholim for various reasons.

Why would I switch?

You may want to consider switching if:

  • You have moved and one kupah offers better treatment options in your new community.
  • You got married and want your new family to all have the same kupat cholim to make it more convenient.
  • You’ve done your research and found that a supplemental insurance option offered by another kupah covers services or treatments that are more relevant to your needs.


For some things to consider when choosing a kupat cholim or considering a switch, check out “Question: Changing Your Kupat Cholim?”.

What should I know about switching?

  • Anyone who is a member of a kupat cholim has the right to switch in accordance with the relevant procedures and regulations (see below).
  • When switching health plans, the coverage provided by an additional health services plan (supplemental insurance) is generally retained in the new health plan and at the same level without requiring a waiting period, though this should always be verified before actually making the switch.
  • Switching may be done simply by going to the post office, paying a nominal fee, filling out the required form and handing it in there. There is also an online option through the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi) website.


As part of our on-going collaboration with Kol-Zchut, we provide you with the following essential information on switching kupot cholim. See below or click here to go to the Kol-Zchut site.

Related information:

Mobility Benefit

Mobility Benefit information in English!

The “Mobility Benefit” is a collective term used for various benefits to which individuals with limited mobility may be entitled, which are aimed at helping them integrate into the community and live more independently. Each benefit has its own eligibility requirements.

Did you know that individuals with limited mobility may be entitled to…

As part of our on-going
collaboration with Kol-Zchut, we are proud to have translated and published a comprehensive portal in English about the Mobility Benefit. For more information including details about the relevant entitlements, related benefits and more, check out:

The Mobility Benefit Portal



We offer these resources, along with hundreds of pages of other Israeli healthcare-related content for free to Israel’s English-speaking population.

Click here to donate now and please consider an on-going donation as everyone contributing their little part helps us do ours!

You can also help by:

  1. Spreading the word: Tell anyone and everyone you know who might be helped by our site and resources about us and what we have to offer.
  2. Collaborating with us by sharing your own knowledge, thoughts and experiences simply by leaving comments on our site and Facebook page (or simply “Liking” it) or, for the truly adventurous, in the form of a blog post (email us for more info:


Not familiar with The Shira Pransky Project?

The Shira Pransky Project was founded to help English speakers in Israel better navigate the Israeli healthcare system and make use of the rights and services that are out there.

What we do:


If this information was helpful to you, please enable us to help others by supporting the project:
Donate Now!



To your health ! לבריאות

Counseling Service for the Elderly from Bituach Leumi

 Senior Sign

Who? What? Where?

The National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi) operates a Counseling Service for the Elderly which is designed to assist the elderly and their families in resolving problems they may be facing.

The service is available to any elderly person in Israel who requires assistance, and is offered in all Bituach Leumi branches throughout the country. Click here for contact information.

The service is provided by retired volunteers who are trained in courses given at universities and colleges to provide counseling, guidance and practical assistance to the elderly.



Call Center

The Counseling Service for the Elderly operates a special telephone line for the elderly and their families on aging-related issues. The service, which is provided by specially-trained volunteers, operates Sunday – Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m (you can leave a message if there is no response) and is available in the following languages:

English – 02-6463404
Hebrew – 02-6463400
Arabic – 02-6463401
Russian – 02-6463402
Amharic – 02-6463403

Counseling for the elderly and their families

The elderly and their families can obtain information, assistance, guidance and support related to claiming rights and services for the elderly from Bituach Leumi and other organizations, offices and service providers.

Regular home visits

Volunteers visit the elderly on a regular basis once a month, for about two hours. The visits are only made with the consent of the elderly person and at his/her request. Through these home visits, the volunteers forge a personal, understanding, accepting and sympathetic relationship which is so important to the elderly, to improve their emotional and economic situation. These regular visits help the elderly, reduce their loneliness and improve their lives in general.

One-time home visits

Seniors who may be at risk or in distress are identified by means of one-time home visits, which are coordinated in advance with the elderly person or his/her family. The target population includes those defined as being at risk due to impaired functioning and dependence on others, advanced age (above the age of 80) or family status (widowed). The information is obtained from the Bituach Leumi database. Those found to be in need of assistance, such as referral to a care facility, some kind of intervention or regular home visits, receive continued care and follow-up.

Support groups

The types of support groups vary from one branch to another, and are established according to the unique needs of the local population, such as the elderly blind, spouses of long-term care patients, the middle generation who are coping with the age-related crises of their elderly parents, etc.

Support groups for widows and widowers

There are support groups for widows and widowers at every branch. The main purpose of these groups is to provide emotional assistance during the crisis and support in preparing to return to their normal lives. The group facilitators are social workers and professionals in the field of elder counseling at the branches. The groups contain up to 15 participants and the meetings continue for about three months, once a week for two hours each time. Participation in the groups serves as a significant anchor for the participants – they share with other group members the process of working through their grief and coping with their personal loss, and they acquire the spiritual strength and personal validation they need to return to a normal life.


For more information on Bituach Leumi’s Counseling Service for the Elderly, click here.

For more information on rights related to seniors, check out our All Rights Index (which is searchable and browseable), especially the Old Age and Aging Portal and Senior Health Portal.


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