hospital doctors health 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)
For the first time since the National Health Insurance Law went into effect 15 years ago, one of the four health funds – Maccabi Health Services – has gained members, while all the others have suffered net losses.
Maccabi, the second-largest public health insurer, has gained 9,508 members so far in 2010, according to data it released Wednesday in conjunction with the National Insurance Institute.
Clalit Health Services, the largest health fund with about half of all members, lost 4,062 members this year, compared to 2,508 for Kupat Holim Leumit and 2,938 for Kupat Holim Meuhedet. Maccabi is almost twice the size of Meuhedet and three times the size of Leumit.
Some 16,000 residents switched health funds during the past two months.
Maccabi director-general Dr. Ehud Kokia said he was pleased by the record and encouraged competition among the health funds.
“I urge every resident to examine the data where the most advanced
health services are,” he said. “It is important that the state supervise
and enforce the laws and regulations that allow and encourage
competition among the health insurers to prevent illegal means of
attracting new members.”
In the past, there have been cases of illegal gifts, bus services and other inducements to move from one insurer to another.
The number of members is important, because since 2006, the NII – which
collects health taxes from residents – has recalculated monthly the
amount each insurer should receive; previously, the calculation was made
just once a quarter.