How does the Israeli healthcare system work?
According to the health law in Israel, every resident must be insured in one of the four health insurance funds: Maccabi (מכבי), Clalit(כללית), Leumit(לאומית), and Mehuhedet(מאוחדת). The two largest health funds are Clalit, followed by Maccabi. We checked for you in which layout each fund operates, what they offer beyond the health basket(סל בריאות), what benefits await the owners of supplementary insurances, and other topics that will help you decide – Maccabi or Clalit, United or Leumi.
Four health funds operate in Israel. Every resident must be insured in one of the:
For example, Clal Health Insurance Fund operates under Clalit Health Services. The fund has existed for over 100 years and is currently the largest provider of health services in Israel, with approximately 4.5 million customers.
Maccabi HMO: operates under the name Maccabi Health Services. The fund has been offering health services for about 80 years and is the second-largest fund in Israel, with more than 2.3 million insureds.
Mehuhedet Health Insurance Fund: The third largest health insurance fund serves over a million insured. The fund was established in 1974 through a merger between two health funds that started operating in the 1930s of the last century.
Leumit Health Insurance: Leumit Health Services is Israel’s fourth largest health insurance. Established in the 1930s in the Land of Israel by a group of doctors, it provides health services to approximately 700,000 customers across the country.
Nationwide distribution of clinics in the Maccabi Health Fund, Kelalit, Mehuhedet, and Leumit:
As you would expect from the largest fund, Clalit Health Fund provides health services through a professional medical team that includes tens of thousands of doctors, brothers and sisters, pharmacists in the fund’s pharmacies, health professionals, and administrative workers. The services are provided in about 1,500 clinics, about 500 pharmacies, and hundreds of institutes and laboratories. In addition to all of these, Clalit Health Fund operates 14 hospitals, including Hamemek in Afula, Carmel in Haifa, Meir in Kfar Saba, Soroka in Beer Sheva, Kaplan in Rehovot, Rabin Medical Center (Beilinson and Sharon) and Schneider in Petah Tikva, and Yoseftal in Eilat. In addition, Clalit operates the mental health centers Gaha and Shalva and the rehabilitation and nursing hospitals Levinstein, Beit Rivka, and Herzfeld.
The Maccabi Health Insurance Fund operates on a broad national scale with hundreds of clinics all over the country, in both large and small communities. In addition, Maccabi operates more than 90 pharmacies under Maccabi Pharm, including a private brand of health products called Maccabi Care. Maccabi’s many branches also include the “Maccabi tivei” chain of complementary medicine clinics, the “Maccabidant” chain of dental clinics, and “Maccabi Mambat Rishon” – an optometry chain with about 100 branches. In addition, Maccabi operates the Assuta Medical Centers, a network that includes four hospitals and several clinics and medical institutes scattered throughout the country. Furthermore, the Beit Belev network for sheltered housing, including nursing wards, is at the disposal of senior citizens.
Meuhedat operates more than 300 clinics, most of which have an attached laboratory. About 4,000 doctors provide customer service alongside dozens of pharmacies and child development, physical therapy, women’s health, diabetes, and heart in dozens of institutes. In addition, the fund operates a chain of sheltered housing and nursing hospitals for the elderly and two hotels – Bali Tiberias and the Canaan Spa Hotel in Zefat.
Leumit operates in approximately 320 medical centers and about 150 pharmacies providing service to customers only. About 1,000,000 tests are analyzed in national laboratories every month in all fields. In addition, Leumit provides medical services in various health fields, including a primary care system of family doctors, pediatricians, nurses, and specialist doctors working with innovative medical equipment.
Online service and digital presence:
When you choose between Maccabi, Clalit, Meuhedet, or Leumi, it is essential to consider the digital presence and the services that can be used and received online without leaving the house (or even the bed!). The health funds offer advanced applications with a variety of services. Among the services that can be received on the website or in the application at the health funds: making appointments with doctors, receiving a service commitment form (Form 17), receiving test results, receiving prescriptions or illness certificates, ordering medicines at the funds’ pharmacies, consulting with doctors online, and more. Other apps include pregnancy, children, nutrition management, and calorie counting.
Clalit came out with a new app that adapts a personal plan for managing a healthy lifestyle. The bonus: if you meet the goals set for you in the form of daily steps, physical activity, drinking water, hours of sleep, and more, you will accumulate health coins that can be converted into various benefits such as training and fitness accessories, weights, a Pilates ball, a mattress, vouchers for purchasing sports products, or a smartwatch.
Meuhedat also operates a website and application that have been significantly upgraded recently. For example, at the checkout, they took the personal area of the website. They turned it into an application where you can see test results and personal medical data, schedule appointments, and ask the doctor for prescriptions, referrals, and approvals, all in an efficient, simple, and friendly manner.
Leumit allows you to manage the health of all family members on the website and in the app and keep in touch with the doctors from wherever you are. You can conduct consultations and receive referrals and prescriptions by phone or video call, and all the details will be updated on the website and in the app. Moreover, of course, you can also request refunds without leaving your home.
What do the funds offer in the field of alternative medicine?
Clalit Complementary Medicine: Clalit Health Fund offers a wide range of services that includes acupuncture by a therapist or by a doctor, acupuncture for anti-aging, shonishin therapy, osteopathy, biofeedback, Japanese acupuncture, a variety of homeopathy treatments, homotoxicology, hypnosis, Twain, naturopathy, Chiropractic, holistic medical massage, Feldenkrais, Bach flowers, reflexology, shiatsu, lymphatic massage, and more. All cash register customers can receive service at a discount from the list price. In supplementary insurances, higher discounts are given, up to 60% discount for 20 supplementary treatments per year. The cash register operates in approximately 60 branches across the country.
Maccabi Tivei: Maccabi Health Insurance offers, among others, acupuncture, shiatsu, naturopathy, biofeedback, Chiropractic, reflexology, Tuina, osteopathy, homeopathy, the Alexander method, medical massage, mindfulness, natural nutrition and herbs, Paula method, as well as a conventional doctor’s examination, Advises before adjusting the treatment plan. Insureds of the Maccabi Health Insurance Fund are entitled to treatments at the list price. Customers of Maccabi Zahav supplementary insurance are entitled to a discount of approximately 42% from the list price of each treatment, and Maccabi Sheli policyholders will receive a discount of approximately 70% from the list price. In the two supplementary insurances, eligibility is given for up to 20 treatments per year, including the consultation meeting with the doctor to build the treatment plan. From the 21st treatment onwards, a 10% discount will be given from the list price. More than 80 Maccabi Natural clinics operate throughout the country.
Meuhedet Mashlima: Meuhedet insureds can receive acupuncture treatments, Japanese acupuncture, Chi Kung, Twain treatments, Feldenkrais, aesthetic acupuncture, reflexology, hypnosis, Bach flowers, Chiropractic, homeopathy, shiatsu, naturopathy, Alexander, medical massage, and osteopathy at list price. The Meuhedet Better Insurance has an entitlement to 36 treatments per year with a reduced deductible discount of up to 27%. United Shia insureds are entitled to 54 treatments per year with a reduced deductible. First 18 treatments at a discount of up to 40%, and 36 additional treatments at a better-unified price.
“Integrated medicine”: Leumit Health Fund offers homeopathy, Chiropractic, osteopathy, reflexology, Shiatsu, Feldenkrais, biofeedback, Bach flowers, Paula method, Alexander technique, oil massage, naturopathy, tai chi, acupuncture, Albaum method, massage Limpety, Twina, yoga, and a baby massage workshop. In addition, Leumit Zahav customers enjoy a discount of between 20% and 40% of the list price, and unlike the other health insurance funds, there is no limit on the number of combined medicine treatments.
The supplementary insurance:
Regardless of which health fund you choose, Maccabi or Clalit, Meuhedet or Leumi, you can choose between two levels of supplementary insurance. The lower tier provides limited discounts and entitlements that do not exist in the primary service basket. The upper tier provides greater discounts and additional benefits that do not exist in the lower tier.
Clal Mushlam Gold and Mushlam Platinum: Both supplementary insurance levels offer discounts in various areas. Here are some examples: private surgery in Israel will be provided with a low deductible, child development treatments with reimbursement paths in addition to what is provided within the basket with 25 additional treatments provided with platinum insurance, and dental treatments at a discount (the discount is more significant with platinum), and various benefits in tests, diagnoses, and vaccinations before Travels abroad. On the other hand, cash pregnancy baskets and children’s eyeglasses are provided only within Perfect Platinum.
Maccabi Magen Zahav and Maccabi Shelli: Maccabi also offers benefits in areas similar to the general one, with more significant discounts or additional treatments as part of Maccabi Shelli. Some benefits are only provided as part of Maccabi Sheli, such as a didactic diagnosis with a reduced deductible, a private breastfeeding consultant, aesthetic surgeries, a pregnancy basket, and a workshop to preserve cognitive fitness.
Mehuedat Adif and Mehuedat sea: Among the benefits of Mehuedat’s supplementary insurances are surgeries in Israel, expert advice, discounts on medicines that are not in the basket, discounts on complementary medicine, free emergency treatments and dental first aid, treatments in the field of child development and more. In addition, Meuhedat Sea offers broader coverage in terms of the scope of services and discounts, such as surgeries abroad, doctor and laboratory services delivered to the home, emotional therapies, advanced diagnoses for attention and concentration disorders, aesthetic treatments, and more.
Leumit Silver and Leumit Gold: Silver customers benefit from a program that provides various medical services beyond what is provided in the health basket. Silver insureds can choose the surgeon, private hospital or private medical services, consultation with a specialist doctor for a second opinion, genetic tests, discounts on dental treatments, orthopedic accessories, vaccinations for travelers abroad, and a wide range of treatments in the field of child development and women’s medicine.
Pregnancy baskets in Clalit Health Services or Maccabi Health Services:
It does not matter if you pay in Maccabi, Clalit, Meuhedet, or Leumi health insurance funds. The pregnancy basket is similar in all funds. However, the benefit only exists in the top-level supplementary insurances – Klalit Perfect Platinum, Maccabi Shelly, Meuhedet Sea, and Leumit Gold. As part of the benefit, up to 75% of the actual test cost is reimbursed, and up to NIS 2,000 for the entire pregnancy. In the case of multiple pregnancies – up to NIS 4,000. In any case, you can receive up to NIS 8,000 in reimbursement for all pregnancies. You must join the supplementary insurance and be a member for at least six months to benefit from the benefit. Each fund offers additional treatments with varying amounts of discounts.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the Israeli healthcare system.
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Israeli healthcare system Maccabi website:https://www.maccabi4u.co.il/3423-he/Maccabi.aspx
Israeli healthcare system Clalit website:https://www.clalit.co.il/he/info/entitlements/Pages/englishrights.as
Israeli healthcare system Meuhedet website: https://www.meuhedet.co.il/en/
Israeli healthcare system Leumit website: https://www.leumit.co.il/eng/home/