Health Ministry rules on insurance enrollment

Public health funds will no longer be allowed to include members automatically in their health insurance policies.

March 10, 2013 02:45
1 minute read.
Insurance call center

Insurance call center 311. (photo credit: YouTube)


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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 advance.

This was stated on Thursday by Revital Topper-Haver Tov, the Health Ministry’s acting supervisor of health funds.

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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.

The 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 at all.

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.

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