The Kupat Cholim is permitted to offer supplemental health service plans (SHABAN/שב״ן - Sherutei Briut Nosafim,) 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
Supplemental insurance is regulated by the Ministry of Health, however, each Kupah has some freedom to determine which additional benefits they may offer. Overall, the supplemental insurance plans at each kupah are comparable, with many of the benefits being identical throughout each kupah. There are some slight variations, though. For example, Maccabi's highest level plan offers some discounts on gym memberships, and Meuhedet offers the most comprehensive coverage for egg freezing, and more. We recommend you speak to the kupot for a complete list of their supplemental benefits to compare, and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unsure of the differences between each kupah's benefits. Remember, all of the kupot must accept all members, regardless of pre-existing conditions.
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. Most benefits have a 6 months waiting period, but the time periods can vary from 3 months to up to 2 years. When switching kupot cholim, your supplemental insurance benefit, including any wait times already passed, should be honored at your new kupah. Those who join within 90 days of Aliyah are entitled to have the wait periods waived.
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. Private insurance agencies can, and will, deny for pre-existing conditions.
- The price of the plan must be uniform for each age group, regardless of how long they have been a part of the kupah or what their other medical conditions are.
- Private health insurance does offer catastrophe care, which is not included in the kupah's supplemental plans. If you are interested in private insurance, please speak directly to a private insurance agency.
- A kupah may only introduce changes in its supplementary plan (e.g. payments, addition or removal of medical services, etc.) 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 are travel insurance and long-term care (siudi) insurance.