Since November 2011, when Israelis have been able to change their health funds via the National Insurance Institute’s website and not only by visiting a post office, the rate of switch-over has increased significantly, especially among younger people.

Last year, of 108,216 people who changed from their own health insurer to one of the other three, 79,747 did so by filling out a form at a post office, while 28,469 went to the Internet site, the Health Ministry announced for publication on Monday.

But residents still seem happy with their health funds, as even with the easier switch-over, only 1.5% changed to a different health fund, of them 0.4% via the NII website, www.btl.gov.il.

Israeli residents can change health funds up to two times annually in any of six two-month periods a year. The older a person, the less likely he is to switch to another health fund. For example, those aged 55 or more constitute only 6% of those changing to another insurer, even though they represent a fifth of all Israelis.

More people joined Clalit via the Internet than Maccabi – 9,000 to Clalit; 8,200 to Maccabi; 6,300 to Leumit and 5,000 to Meuhedet.

Since 1995, when the National Health Insurance Law was enacted, last year was the second time in which the number of residents joining Clalit was larger than the number leaving it. Maccabi’s growth slowed, while Meuhedet and Leumit lost members.

The full figures can be seen in Hebrew at the Health Ministry’s website at www.health.gov.il

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