The Kupat Cholim is permitted to offer supplemental health service plans (“Shaban” – Sherutei Briut Nosafim, which literally means “Additional Health Services”) that offer additional medical services beyond those included in the Health Basket. These plans are optional and require additional payment to the Kupat Cholim beyond the basic health insurance contributions that all residents pay to Bituach Leumi.

A health fund is forbidden to make the provision of services included in the basket of services conditional on enrollment or membership in its supplementary health services plan, and they are not permitted to include components related to those that are in the basic healthcare basket, such as a discount on co-payments for medications included in the healthcare basket, or shortened waiting periods for specific services.

The price for joining an additional health services plan is the same for all policyholders in the same age group in the same plan. 

Differences between Kupot

There are differences in the supplementary plans offered by the different health funds. Each fund is free to choose which services it will offer its members under its supplementary plan, providing that these services are not included in the basic “basket of services.”  All policyholders are entitled to receive a copy of the additional health services plan offered by the health plan to which they belong. For information in English on your specific plan, check out English Websites and Publications for Each Kupat Cholim and Form and Files.

Waiting period

The health fund may set a reasonable “qualification period” (waiting period), i.e. a certain period between the date when the member joined the supplementary plan and the date when he will be entitled to rights under the plan. When switching health plans, the rights provided by an additional health services plan, including waiting period requirements, are retained in the new health plan and at the same level.

Comparison to Private Insurance Policies

The supplemental plans can be compared to private insurance policies that also cover additional medical services beyond those included in the Health Basket, but with some important differences, including:

  • The health fund is obligated to accept any member requesting to join the plan, regardless of his state of health, and the rights of an enrolling member may not be made conditional or restricted in any way.
  • The price of the plan must be uniform for each age group, regardless of the number of years of membership in the plan or the member’s state of health or finances.

 

In addition, a health fund may introduce changes in its supplementary plan (e.g. payments, addition or removal of medical services, etc.) only after it received the approval of the Ministry of Health. Private insurance policies, on the other hand, are regulated by the Finance Ministry. It is important to understand that the only truly private insurance options offered by the kupot (meaning those in which pre-existing conditions and other personal and medical information may impact premiums) are travel insurance and long-term care insurance.

Click here for more information on the “Additional Health Services (Supplementary Insurance)” page we translated as part of our collaboration with Kol-Zchut.

7 thoughts on “Supplemental Insurance

  1. I would like supplemental insurance with maccabee so that I have a better chance of getting a specialist rather than an intern if I needed intensive treatment or an operation. I arrived in Israel approximately 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada.
    How do I proceed to do that?
    Thank you,
    Rachel

  2. If I am on Leumit and want to switch kupot to Meuchedet, will I have to start all over with Meuchedet’s supplementary insurance? Will there be a new waiting period for certain services or will the time I waited for Leumit supplementary insurance be counted?

    Thanks,
    Moshe

    • Hi Moshe, 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 those with supplementary insurance are advised to clarify such details before switching health plans. You can read more on the “Additional Health Services (Supplementary Insurance)” page we translated as part of our collaboration with Kol-Zchut: http://www.kolzchut.org.il/en/Switching_Health_Plans.

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  5. iM NOT A NEW IMMIGRANT YET. WE LIVE IN ISREAL FOR 6 MONTHS
    CAN I BUY SUPPLEMENTAL INSURANCE IN ISRAEL FOR IS REAL STAY??
    I CURRENTLY HAVE MEDICARE AND AARP IN THE STATE AGE 66
    ANY SUGGESTIONS
    THANKS

    • If you are a resident of the state of Israel you are eligible for Kupah Health Care cover and supplemental Insurance. You can purchase a Foreign Members plan from Meuhedet http://lang.meuhedet.co.il/en/foreign-members-plan/target-audience-and-joining-terms.aspx for more information. However this policy is the same as buying any private travel insurance policy for non-residents, we recommend using a English speaking Insurance agent as it is easier to make claims – two such agents we can recommend are Egert & Cohen and Goldfus insurance agents.
      Good luck,
      Esther

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