Guide to Health Insurance in Israel
If you are planning on travelling to Israel, relocating there or are just looking to change your international health insurance provider, it is essential to know what options are available in terms of health insurance, and the state of the healthcare in the country in general.
Israel is a small country with a modest population of 7.5 million, and by demographic and economic measures the country is one of the most developed countries in the world, with a life expectancy of 80 for males and 83 for females, which is currently the fourth highest life-expectancy in the world. In general the country’s healthcare system is highly developed and advanced. The World Health Organisation ranked Israel in the 2000 healthcare system report at 28th in the world.
With a moderate population, productive economy and advanced infrastructure, the Israeli people enjoy a publicly funded compulsorily healthcare system. The healthcare system is provided by a number of public, private and parastatal health organisations, such as the public health organisation Clalit, who established public healthcare in Israel and provide healthcare for roughly 60% of the population. Since 1995 three other service providers were introduced to help keep costs competitive. All citizens are entitled to the same high level of care regardless of income.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities are operated by both public and private entities. Clalit is not only a healthcare insurance provider, it owns and runs 14 inpatient and specialist care and research hospitals and over a thousand clinics in all 8 districts, and other organisations operate their own hospitals, practises and clinics, usually privately. Hospitals across the country are equipped with modern technology, doctors are trained similarly to the West, and the country is a leader in medical research.
Despite the universal system, treatment for expats in Israel is never free and can often be expensive, and hospitals will usually insist that you pay them before you leave. This means that you must take out adequate health insurance and have enough to cover immediate medical costs.
Before you go
You are advised to check with your medical practitioner eight weeks prior to your trip to see if you require any vaccinations and preventatives. There are no special immunisations required nor are there endemic diseases in Israel. Always take the necessary precautions.
You can get a quote for one of our WorldCare plans to cover your stay in Israel, with WorldCare treatment access available anywhere in the world. You can purchase and manage your plan online – it's an easy and quick way to get comprehensive cover.