The recent tragedy in Nepal really brought home the importance of having a comprehensive travel insurance plan. Two of the insurance companies that we work with (Harel and Clal) had extensive “search-and-rescue” teams on the ground within hours of the earthquake.
One of our clients was a student with whom contact was lost after the first quake. When we checked the policy details, we found to our dismay that the policy had already ended, due to a human error on the part of the parent who took out the policy! We immediately contacted the insurance company to explain the mistake, and she was added on to the list of missing Israelis. Baruch Hashem, the next day she managed to contact her worried parents and soon after that returned home.
A few lessons to learn:
- Never, ever travel overseas without comprehensive travel insurance. For a reasonable amount of money, you cover yourself for up to $1,000,000 with options for pre-existing conditions, maternity, medical evacuation, extreme sport, etc.
- Make sure you have an insurance agent whom you can call in the middle of the night in case of emergency! Even though you can purchase travel insurance through your Kupat Cholim or travel agent, only your devoted insurance office (that’s us) will:
- Issue a last-minute policy as you board the plane in the event that you completely forgot in all the rush.
- Extend your policy if you need to stay on unexpectedly.
- Issue a policy even if you only realize two weeks into your stay that you forgot.
- Make sure that your Saba’s heart condition and your daughter’s maternity is properly covered.
- Deal with your claims personally and professionally when you return.
- Even with the best planning and effort everything is essentially in G-d’s hands!
Supplementary Health Insurance
After months of rumors and misinformation from various government offices there seems to finally be some clarity with regards to the following questions which people are asking.
1) I already have Meuchedet Si or Maccabi Zahav. Do I really need another private supplementary health policy?
2) If I do decide to take out a policy, what’s the big rush davka now?
And now… the answers!
Answer 1) Israel has a wonderful health system, but like all national health systems, it has its deficiencies. The main problems are also those that cost the most money, such as complicated operations which are best done overseas, transplants and expensive medicines that are not in the general “basket of services”.
These are the medical conditions that are the subject of the heart-breaking appeals all of us hear in shul, on the radio etc. – the life-saving operations that must be done in Boston, the experimental cancer drugs that cost 50,000 NIS per month. We therefore recommend most strongly that every family should “top up” their Kupat Cholim with this inexpensive cover.
Answer 2) Why now? Because the law regarding private health insurance is changing on Jan. 1st 2016. Up until now, once you had a policy, you were guaranteed cover for life. The new policies will be 2-year renewable policies. This means that companies will be able to change premiums, stop offering certain coverage and cancel policies completely. In other words, there will be no more guaranteed coverage or cost. The logic behind doing this is so that the client should not ‘forget’ about his/her coverage and theoretically end up with double coverage.
We feel strongly that every family should have the lifetime basic coverage in place and then you can always decide to cancel if necessary. In other words, you still have all options open. If, however, you miss the deadline you will no longer have the option of long-term, guaranteed coverage!
Table of Prices for Health Insurance Policies: (monthly premium in shekels)
For a family policy, the fourth child and onwards is free.