Sale of supplementary health insurance by health funds continues to grow

73.5% of Israelis pay for some form of additional coverage.

Doctor and patient (illustrative). (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Doctor and patient (illustrative).
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Nearly three-quarters (73.5 percent) of all Israeli residents have at least one level of supplementary health insurance from a public health fund, while nearly a third (32%) pay for a second level of coverage.
These statistics were provided by the Health Ministry’s deputy director-general in charge of the health funds, Revital Topper-Haver Tov and colleagues, for publication on Thursday as part of its supplementary health insurance report for 2014.
Even a majority (66%) of individuals who receive disability payments, old-age allotments or income supplements from the National Insurance Institute have supplementary health insurance policies, a 2% increase over the previous year, indicating that most Israelis feel they need extra coverage beyond what is offered in the standard basket of health services covered by regular health fund membership.
In the Arab sector, in places with more than 2,000 residents, 39% hold supplementary health insurance policies – similar to 2013 but much lower than in the Jewish sector, according to the report.
The rate of having supplementary health insurance from one of the four health funds rose consistently between 2002 (seven years after National Health Insurance began) through 2014. But from 2009, the pace of joining the first level of coverage slowed, the report says. At the same time, during that period there has been an increase in joining the second and more-expensive level of coverage, especially at Maccabi Health Services, the second-largest health insurer, followed by a rise of 8.9% in Meuhedet, 8.5% in Clalit and 1.6% in Leumit.
In 2,014, a total of 6,031 people joined a supplementary health insurance program; this was a 2.1% rise, compared to a 1.7% increase in 2013.
Supplementary health insurance programs earned NIS 90 million more than they spent paying for members, constituting 2.2% of all their income. Clalit finished 2014 with an extra income of NIS 51 million compared to only NIS 31 million in 2013; Maccabi had a profit of NIS 38 million compared to NIS 37 million in 2013; the figures for Meuhedet were a NIS 15 million deficit compared to a NIS 16.6 million deficit in 2013; and for Leumit a NIS 16 million profit compared to NIS 9.7 million in 2013.
The supplementary programs in each level vary in coverage, and health fund members can contact the Kol Habriut section of the ministry’s website at to compare the various offers.