From now on, the four public health funds will no longer be allowed to include
members automatically in their supplementary health insurance policies or add a
newborn baby to their ranks without getting explicit permission in
This was stated on Thursday by Revital Topper-Haver Tov, the
Health Ministry’s acting supervisor of health funds.
The insurer will be
able to solicit families with new members only once via telephone; if the family
refuses, the health fund may not call again on this subject for at least six
months. Moreover, the health funds must send tapes of phone solicitations to the
ministry every quarter, to ensure that the rules are being observed.
ministry official said that health fund members may cancel membership in
supplementary health insurance schemes up to 60 days after joining the scheme in
a phone call that is recorded by the insurer.
The action will be
retroactive, with charges paid back to the member if he did not use the service
When a health fund member agrees to join a supplementary health
insurance program, the insurer must text message him within 24 hours of joining.
Health funds that previously did not text message customers will have up to
three months to arrange for this. In addition, the insurer must send customers
with new supplementary health insurance policies an automatic, mailed letter
stating that he had joined via a telephone call and when it occurred. Every
phone call to the customer who joins the scheme must end by the representative
informing him how much it will cost.
The conversation must include
relevant details on what the policy contains and how long they must be members
until they can enjoy benefits; clarify how payment will be made; and when
members will receive their plan membership card.
The ministry expects
that implementation of the new rules will greatly reduce the number of
complaints it receives about involuntary enrollment in these plans. Health funds
that often violate the rules will face disciplinary action by the ministry.