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Expat Exchange - Enrolling in the Public Healthcare System in Israel
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Enrolling in the Public Healthcare System in Israel

By Joshua Wood, LPC

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: A primer on how to enroll in the public healthcare system in Israel.

Healthcare in Israel - Enrolling in the Public Healthcare System in Israel

If you're planning to enroll in the public healthcare system in Israel, this article covers the requirements for foreigners to be able enroll in the public healthcare system, the steps involved and more.

Israel's public healthcare system, known as Kupat Holim, is renowned for its high quality of care and comprehensive coverage. It is mandatory for all residents, including foreigners who have obtained residency status. The system is funded through taxes and is supplemented by optional private insurance. Most Israelis use the public healthcare system due to its accessibility and affordability.

Eligibility for Foreigners

Foreigners are eligible to enroll in the public healthcare system once they have obtained residency status. This includes new immigrants (Olim Chadashim), temporary residents (A1/A5 visa holders), and foreign workers. Tourists, however, are not eligible and should ensure they have adequate travel insurance to cover any medical needs during their stay.

Enrollment Process

The process for enrolling in the public healthcare system in Israel is straightforward. Here are the steps:

  1. Obtain residency status: Before you can enroll in the public healthcare system, you must first obtain residency status. This can be done through the Ministry of Interior.
  2. Choose a health fund: There are four health funds in Israel - Clalit, Maccabi, Meuhedet, and Leumit. Each offers a basic basket of health services, but there may be differences in additional services and coverage. Research each fund to determine which is the best fit for you.
  3. Register with your chosen health fund: Once you've chosen a health fund, you can register at one of their local branches. You will need to bring your passport, visa, and proof of address. There may also be a small registration fee.
  4. Pay the health insurance premium: The premium is calculated based on your income and is usually deducted from your salary. If you are not working, you will need to arrange payment with the National Insurance Institute.

Additional Information

It's important to note that while the public healthcare system provides comprehensive coverage, there may be some services or treatments that are not covered or have long waiting times. For this reason, many residents choose to supplement their public health insurance with private insurance. This can provide additional coverage and faster access to specialists and treatments.

Furthermore, while healthcare services are available throughout the country, there may be more limited services in rural or peripheral areas. If you require specific treatments or specialists, it's worth considering this when choosing where to live.

Overall, Israel's public healthcare system provides high-quality, affordable healthcare for all residents. By understanding the enrollment process and what is covered, you can ensure that you have access to the healthcare services you need.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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