Ministry okays rise in health fund copayments
Copayment rates to be raised by 4.4% following similar rise of medical cost-of-living index.
Doctor examines woman for heart problems Photo: Thinkstock/Imagebank
The Health Ministry has given formal permission to the four public health funds
to raise their copayment rates by 4.4 percent following a similar rise of the
medical cost-of-living index, according to a statement issued by the ministry
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel denounced the
ministry for the increase in copayments. While the health funds are entitled to
higher compensation for their services, ACRI said, state allocations for health
continue to decline and are way below average rates of the OECD.
government must cover the costs of higher copayments, ACRI said. Many low-income
patients are unable to purchase medications and vital medical services and
decide to forgo them, making them more ill, ACRI concluded.
National Health Insurance Law has allowed automatic annual increases in the
amount of out-of-pocket fees that health funds can charge
Revital Topper, the acting head of the ministry’s unit
supervising the health funds, said that copayments can be updated every April
without waiting until the new index is published in the summer.
the data on the new index is released, the insurers can use a reasonable
estimate for how much the prices of medical services will rise. The insurers
usually do not hike all types of copayments by the allowed rate, but choose to
raise some but not others.
She added that while higher copayments are
burdensome to the public, the increased rates also mean higher rebates from the
health funds to patients, such as hearing aids.