Sunday, 18 October 2009

What is National Health Insurance?

This post has been compiled for us by Tzvi Szajnbrum a lawyer who has some free services for Olim

What is National Health Insurance (“Bituach Briut”)?

The National Health Insurance Law came into effect in January 1995. The purpose of the law was to assure that every resident of Israel, including every new immigrant and temporary resident, is entitled to health insurance under the National Health Insurance Law. This insurance entitles you to membership in one of the four health funds (“Kupat Cholim”): Clalit, Maccabi, Meuchedit, and Leumit.

This law allows every citizen equal healthcare for all regardless of ones health or economic condition. This is one of the most comprehensive and liberal laws in the world. Despite any preexisting medical condition, you will be accepted without conditions.

The National Health Insurance Law allows you to receive medical care in several areas, including: preventive care, diagnostic care, mental care, medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychiatric care and hospitalization, some dental care for children, first aid including some ambulance transportation, medical care at work, and even some medical equipment.

You should be aware that this law does not include everything. There are exceptions, and not every existing medication is available through this law. Every year the parliament weighs and decides what new medication or service will be included. Unfortunately there are not enough national resources for every person to receive potentially life-saving treatment, so difficult choices are made every year.

Insurance premiums are paid to the NII, in the same manner in which National Health Insurance payments are made, either by you individually or by your employer.

The payment for the National Health Insurance (Kupat Cholim), is made through the NII.

In short, the health insurance system in Israel is very “socialist”. We are all insured and we all have rights by the National Insurance Law. You will always receive fair medical treatment, including hospitalization.

If you need more information or clarification on any subject concerning the NII, please feel completely comfortable to contact Tzvi. His contact details can be found on his web site: or

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