Every Kupah offers 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.
The kupot must provide equal access to the services, conditions, and co-payments to all of their members who purchase supplemental insurance, and can not deny for pre-existing conditions. The cost per person varies by age group, but all members of the same age group must be charged the same price, regardless of pre-existing conditions or use of the benefits.
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 email@example.com 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 kupot have set "qualification periods" (waiting period), in order to receive certain benefits. To ensure patients to not join and cancel their supplemental plans, you must consistently be on the supplemental insurance plan to receive certain benefits. 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. This is a major benefit that can save you months of time, and give you early access to many worthwhile benefits.
*Please note*: Maccabi recently began waiving the wait periods for Olim who join supplemental insurance within one year of Aliyah. Nonetheless, we still recommend joining within 90 days of Aliyah. This is because this is guaranteed standard amongst all kupot, and will ensure your benefits & waived wait times are maintained if you choose to switch kupot.
Comparison to Private Insurance Policies
We are often asked to explain the difference between the additional benefits of supplemental insurance to those of private insurance. If you are interested in purchasing private insurance, you should speak directly to an insurance agency. However, some of the differences include:
- The kupah is obligated to accept any member requesting to join the plan, regardless of his state of health, and the rights of an enrolled 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, while private insurance costs vary greatly.
- Private health insurance does offer catastrophe care (organ transplants abroad, coverage of experimental medications, and more), which is not included in the kupah's supplemental plans.
- 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, and that currently, the only place one can purchase siudi insurance is through the Kupat Cholim.
Read Choosing your Kupah's "Higher Level" Plans for more information about supplemental insurance.