Israel experiences a large influx of tourists and pilgrims annually. According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, approximately 2.3 million tourists visited Israel in April 2017, this indicated a 38% rise in tourism compared to the previous year in the region.
As more people travel to Israel, it should be noted that health care cost can be high for foreigners, especially when they travel without insuring their trip to Israel. Hence it is wise to purchase a suitable travel insurance policy to mitigate unpredicted expenses associated with the risk of sudden illnesses, accidents and other unforeseen events that may occur during the tourists’ trip.
General Information about insurance to Israel
While travelling to Israel, foreigners will require two major types of travel insurance policies which depends on the amount of trips required within a year. The following types of travel insurance are:
- Single Trip insurance;
- Multi Trip insurance;
- Family plan.
What options are included in the Travel insurance policy?The travel insurance policy offers the coverage of travel related expenses and it also includes other additional options which could be medical or non-medical. These options are included in accordance with the traveler’s lifestyle and envision of future events during the trip.
What are not covered by the insurance policy?
Insurance companies will deny coverage in the following cases:
- The insurance company will not be responsible for covering medical expenses or compensation associated with cases of suicide or deliberate self-inflicted injuries;
- False declaration of health status. If the insured provides wrong information about his/her health condition, the insurance company will refuse subsequent coverage. Hence, it is better to present valid information about insured’s health condition, even when these issues are confirmed after purchasing the insurance policy. For instance if the insured is diagnosed of a terminal illness that was not stated initially, the insured must inform the insurance company in order to prevent denial;
- Pre-existing conditions are not covered by several insurers, and only a handful of these insurers would cover pre-existing conditions at a high premium. Fortunately, tourists, pilgrims and other foreigners with temporary residence permit can benefit from Clalit, Leumit, Maccabi and Meuhedet, irrespective of pre-existing conditions, age and health conditions;
- Accidents caused as a result of drug abuse or alcoholic intoxication will be treated as deniable by the insurance company;
- Expenses associated with treating menstrual abnormalities, impotence and birth control and artificial insemination will not be covered by the insurance;
- Trips to regions experiencing civil unrest, state of emergency due to act of terrorism, natural disasters or epidemic outbreak;
- Travelling for the purpose of medical treatment. Such programs are covered by organization providing medical tourism;
- Your insurance coverage will fail if the accidents are experienced as a result of your fault. For example, if you don’t pay attention to risk reports and updates provided by your insurer.
Actions taken in times of distress
- During emergencies or distress, the insured is expected to dial the insurance company’s customer care number provided the insurance document;
- The insured shall narrate and explain all details and symptoms to the insurer’s customer care agent;
- The agent will direct the insured to the address of the nearest recommended hospital within the insurer’s network;
- Medical bills should not be paid without written consent of the insurance company, unless the insured is in a critical medical condition requiring immediate attention;
- The insured must provide insurance card to the proper medical staff in the hospital, and consult the recommended physician;
- The insured must go to the recommended pharmacy with the doctor’s prescription.
Keep all receipts, schedule dates and transportation documents indicating expenses on treatment, medicine, medical procedures, surgeries and transportation.
Cost of medical Services
The cost of acquiring medical services in Israel is cheaper than other medical services offered in Europe and the United States. This reduced cost of health care services in Israel is attributed to the possession of advanced health technology facilities, and the fact that the Israeli health care sector is heavily funded by revenues generated from progressive taxation and increased rate of medical tourism. Medical tourists from Europe, Russia, neighboring Cyprus and the United States leave their various countries to receive quality and affordable medical services. Reports cited in Wikipedia revealed that the Israeli health care offered health services to about 30,000 medical tourists in 2010. In fact, patients without insurance in the United States may spend approximately $120, 000 for a heart bypass surgery, compared to Israel in which similar medical procedure would cost approximately $30,000.
The following are cost of some medical procedures in Herzliya:
Emergency Contact Numbers
In times of distress, the insured in advised to call the following free numbers below:
The Center for Disease Control warns tourist and pilgrims traveling to Israel against the following diseases:
- Hepatitis A
A deadly disease transmitted through intake of contaminated food and close contact with contaminated feces, blood and body fluid of an infected person. It can be prevented by receiving Havrix (GlaxoSmithKline) vaccine.
- Hepatitis B
This disease is also deadly and it’s transmitted through unprotected sex, infected needle, and contact with body fluid of infected person. It could be prevented by the Engerix-B (GlaxoSmithKline) vaccine.
A fatal disease that is transmitted through mammal bites from dogs, cats, bats and wolves. Travelers intending to partake in lots of outdoor activities in remote area should beware of bats and wild dogs.
Another deadly disease that is caused by intake of contaminated food and water. Can be prevented by avoid the intake of contaminated food and water.
Weather, Climate and Seasons
The northern and coastal regions of Israel are characterized by Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and cool rainy winters, while the southern and eastern parts of Israel are characterized by arid climate.
The following seasons are predominant in Israel:
There are tendencies for occurrence of attacks in Israel and other occupied Palestinian territories. This could be as a result of increased tensions, due to attacks from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. Hence, such interactions between the Gaza and the Israeli security forces may increase the occurrence of retaliatory attacks by Terrorists in Israel. Tourists, Pilgrims, foreigners and other residence should be vigilant.
The table below presents a summary of terrorist activities in 2017: