Housewives, unemployed, low-income workers get reprieve

Since 1995, salaried and self-employed residents were entitled to health services in exchange for a 4.6 percent tax of monthly income.

October 5, 2008 21:08
2 minute read.
Housewives, unemployed, low-income workers get reprieve

top health 224. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The Finance Ministry has backtracked from a plan to force the health funds to collect a regressive, NIS 90 monthly fee from housewives, low-income employees and the unemployed aged 18 to 67 in exchange for their health insurance coverage. The move had been opposed by the Health Ministry and public health experts. The Finance Ministry decision paves the way for a compromise in which only the National Insurance Institute would be allowed to collect the tax from these groups, and the health funds would be able to reduce the charges to be paid through the NII by relevant members below the NIS 90 figure. This preserves the principle carried out since 1995 that health funds provide services to members in exchange for health taxes and do not charge members directly. The progressive regular health tax is deducted from wages or self-employed income and sent to the NII. The NII in turn distributes it to the insurers according to the number of members, with extra bonuses according to the number of members and those with the most serious, expensive-to-treat diseases. The Health Ministry and other opponents worried that the proposed arrangement would serve as a precedent for returning to the pre-1995 system, in which residents received health care only if they paid membership fees. The Doctors for Human Rights-Israel, Association for Civil Rights in Israel and the Adva Center issued a joint statement last week attacking the Finance Ministry initiative, which the ministry had claimed would "increase competition" among the public health insurers. Since 1995, salaried and self-employed residents and their children have been entitled to a basket of health services in exchange for a 4.6 percent tax of monthly income. Some groups, such as students, pay a set, reduced fee, while others have been exempt. But the Finance Ministry wanted to revert to the situation before the National Health Insurance law went into effect. The opponents maintained that the arrangement would not increase competition, as no health fund could afford to provide such services for less than NIS 77 a month - just NIS 13 below what they would be charged. At present, the health funds cover at their own expense (beyond health taxes distributed by the NII and state subsidies) only 6.45% of the cost of the health basket. But the regressive proposal, said the opponents, would raise this to 20% of the cost of the basket. It was not clear after the compromise was reached how the NII would collect the money, especially from people who have no bank accounts.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town


Cookie Settings