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Medical Insurance

The National Insurance Institute, known in Hebrew as Bituach Leumi, is the government body responsible for social security; it distributes a variety of insurance benefits and collects insurance premiums. Under Israeli Law, all Israeli residents age 18 or older (with some exceptions) must be covered by the National Insurance Institute and pay the National Insurance contributions.

New Citizens

Every Israeli citizen is entitled to health insurance. All new citizens are given an immigrant certificate, called in Hebrew “Teudat Oleh” and a health insurance form. 


Using these two documents, you can contact Bituach Leumi (the National Health Insurance Institute) to request the necessary status for obtaining health insurance. To do this, visit the branch of Bituach Leumi in charge of your residential area. Read more information on the branch nearest you, including hours and contact information (Hebrew). 


Upon arrival at the office, you will be asked to fill out forms with your background information. After  processing, Bituach Leumi will send you a form, which you can then take to a Health Maintenance Organization ( “Kupat Holim”) of your choosing. 


Note that new immigrants are exempt from Bituach Leumi payments during their first year in Israel (unless your income exceeds a set minimum).
 
The four main health maintenance organizations in Israel are Clalit, Maccabi, Leumit, and Meuhedet. For more information on HMOs in Israel please visit their individual websites:

Tourists, Students And Foreign Workers

If you are a tourist, student or foreigner working living in Israel, it is highly important that you gain access to medical services, should the need arise. 


All non-Israeli citizens seeking health insurance have a variety of options. You can choose a private policy from one of the four Health Maintenance Organizations (Clalit, Maccabi, Leumit,Meuhedet). The Harel Insurance and Finance Company provides another type of foreign insurance to tourists, students, and foreign workers.


 

  1. Tourists with travel health insurance policy from their home country will pay out of their pocket for medical services and submit a receipt for reimbursement to their health care provider.
  2. Students are usually provided with comprehensive health care policies through the university, and should contact the program’s head for further information.
  3. Foreigners should also be provided with a health insurance policy by an employer. Please contact your employer with questions about your individualized policy.
  4. Four medical insurance policies cover standard medical services from one of the four healthcare service providers in Israel.

For more information, please visit your embassy’s website.

Emergencies

In case of an emergency, please dial 101 for an ambulance or turn to one of Israel’s dozens of medical service centers and hospitals.
 
The NGO Physician for Human Rights (PHR) operates an open clinic in Tel Aviv that provides medical care free of charge. For more information, please visit their website.
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