Registering children who are not residents with health insurance-the "Meuhedet" arrangement For children who

are not residents of Israel, there is health insurance which is half private and half public. This insurance provides children with health services which are similar to the ones available to Israeli children. This arrangement covers a vast array of medical problems, and is recommended to all who qualify. Who qualifies? Almost every minor whose parents are not residents of Israel qualifies for insurance with the Meuhedet arrangement. Exceptions are: children with one parent who is a resident of the Palestinian Authority, children of diplomats, children whose parents are in Israel for educational purposes, and children who are in Israel as tourists. Is qualification immediate? The date of inception of qualification depends on a few factors. A child who was born in Israel qualifies to register immediately, as long as his/her mother was in Israel for a period of at least six months before the birth, or as long as the consecutive time the mother spent in Israel before the birth and the time the child spent in Israel after the birth adds up to six consecutive months. A child who was born outside Israel my register six months after entering Israel. The period of stay in Israel must be verified by presenting a passport, a work permit from an employer, a permit from a school or kindergarten, etc. A child who was born in Israel, but left it afterwards, is considered a child born outside Israel . What does the arrangement include? The arrangement includes all medical care available to an Israeli child registered with a Kupat Holim, apart from services unavailable in Israel. This care includes checkups by family and specialized doctors, medicine within the legal medical provisional charts, and hospitalization and surgery if needed. A child who was born in Israel and registered within six months of birth will qualify for all treatments immediately. A child who was born in Israel but registered later, or who was not born in Israel, will qualify for all treatments after a waiting period of four months. During this period the child will qualify to all medical

services within the Kupat Holim, meaning medical checkups and medicine, but will not be able to receive a referral to external care, with an external specialized doctor or hospital care. A child who was born outside Israel and entered Israel while suffering from a medical condition will not qualify for treatment for this specific condition which preceded arrival in Israel. How do I register with the arrangement? First of all, visit the Regional Ministry of Health Bureau, which will ask for proof that the minor was in Israel for six months, and then provide you with a qualification certificate. At the bureau the parents will be required to fill out a personal information form. Have no fear, the information will be used only for insurance, and will not be given to anyone else. With the qualification certificate you may visit any branch of Meuhedet. It is recommended that you visit the branch on 75 Levinski St. in Tel Aviv, where service in various languages is available Does treatment cost money? Yes. The monthly cost of insurance is 194 shekels for one child, and 388 shekels for two or more children. Meaning, no matter how many children you have, the maximum fee is 388 shekels. It is vital that you pay every month, otherwise you may lose your care privileges. If you have not paid for a few months, and you wish to renew your insurance, you will be required to pay the full price of the months you missed. Also, for some medication there is a small copay, the same fee that Israelis pay. Despite the cost which may seem high, this insurance is the cheapest and most inclusive given to non-resident children, For guidance and help you may contact Mesila by phone (03-6879727) or Tamar Nevo at the Classless division of Physicians for Human Rights (03-5133110)

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