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!

8 thoughts on “Question: Changing Your Kupat Cholim?

  1. Thanks for your page ” changing your Kuppat Cholim” i also looked at the english link on the Meuhedet website.
    I have a question though. Do all my test results, medication history etc, also get transferred to the new Kuppa computer or can I transfer old info myself.
    Thanks for the help.

    • Hi Jul, Thanks for the positive feedback, glad you found the page helpful. According to the Ministry of Health, “Upon transfer, the HMO shall transfer all vital medical data concerning the insured person – to the new HMO. The vital medical data shall be transferred free of charge.” You can read more on the MoH website here: http://www.health.gov.il/English/Topics/RightsInsured/PubComplaints/Services/Pages/HMO_switch.aspx. As most data should be in the computer system, it seems most efficient to let the kupot undertake this transfer digitally, though if you have hardcopies and want to make sure they are transferred as well, you can certainly bring them to your new kupah.

  2. Re”: switching– if a person has a pre-existing condition, will they lose their rights if they switch? Two cases came my way: 1] woman with poorly controlled diabetes, wants to switch doctors, but wonders {a} what will happen to her pump? her other supplies? {b} will she be eligible for the new kupah’s best supplementary insurance?
    second case, woman who had cancer nearly 20 yrs ago, then several years later, but BH clear since then. Will she be fully eligible in new kupah?
    Hope you can advise, so I can help them. RF

    • Hi RF, The kupot are forbidden from discriminating based on pre-existing conditions for either basic or supplementary coverage. When switching health plans, the policyholder’s seniority (ותק) is maintained with regard to additional health services (supplementary insurance) at the same level (i.e. gold, platinum, etc.); however there may be a qualifying period for new services, so she should clarify such details before switching.

  3. I have read the link but I must be missing something. Nowhere do I see a comment about Obamacare and its applicability to Olim. Please help!

  4. Bonjour Zack
    je suis a la clalit et souhaite passer a la maccabi
    est ce que le systeme de paiment vers la clalit et annuler automatiquement? Et donc je paierai que la maccabi
    merci

    • Bonjour Samuel, Unfortunately I do not speak French (nor can I respond in proper French), though from what I understood you would like to know if canceling payment to your old kupah is necessary when switching kupot. Payments should stop automatically when you are no longer a policyholder of Clalit, however it is always a good idea to check your bank statement to make sure that this is the case. To learn more about switching kupot, check out: https://shirapranskyproject.org/switching-health-plans/.

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