What is Bituach Leumi, and Why Should I Have It?
Bituach Leumi is the Israeli National Insurance Institute that provides all aspects of insurance. It is critical for anyone who plans on establishing themselves in Israel even for one or two years to have access to this insurance coverage.
Benefits of Bituach Leumi include:
- Complete health insurance, including free Kupat Cholim (which is not sufficient insurance on its own; see our Kupat Cholim guide for further details)
- Coverage for hospitalizations
- Coverage for pregnancy- and birth-related hospitalizations
- Coverage for preexisting medical conditions
- Monetary benefits: maanak leidah (childbirth grant), kitzvat yeladim (monthly stipend per child), maternity leave, disability, and unemployment, just to name a few
In many cases, members earn more from Bituach Leumi than what they pay. (Learn more here.)
Who is Eligible for Bituach Leumi?
There are two categories of those who are eligible for Bituach Leumi:
- An Israeli citizen
- A-category visa holders, including students of Torah learning institutions with A-2 visas, their families with A-4 visas, and temporary residents with A-1 visas
Those who are in Israel on a B-category visa, such as a tourist or a foreign worker, are not eligible for Bituach Leumi.
Note: While the full range of Bituach Leumi benefits are available only to those who are properly registered with Bituach Leumi, employees who have Bituach Leumi payments deducted from their salaries are entitled to workplace-specific benefits (e.g. maternity leave).
Bituach Leumi Registration for an Israeli Citizen
An Israeli citizen born in Israel is automatically registered with Bituach Leumi at birth. An Oleh is registered instantly upon arrival without any waiting period. An Israeli citizen who returns to settle in Israel after a period abroad, must be re-recognized as a toshav (resident) before becoming eligible for insurance.
1. If you do not yet have a Teudat Zehut: make an appointment at Misrad Hapnim to receive one. You can make an appointment at myvisit.com at רשות האוכלוסין וההגירה for תיעוד ביומטרי. Bring your Israeli passport, foreign passport and your original birth certificate.
2. Make an appointment with Misrad Haklita by calling 1-599-500-923 (for Jerusalem residents) or 03-973-3333, to finalize your Aliya/ Chazara. They will tell you which documents to bring along to the appointment.
3. You will receive a Teudat Zaka’ut showing which benefits you are entitled to from Misrad Haklita . Misrad Haklita should activate your Bituach Leumi membership. If not, you will have to register online.
Please note that a Toshav Chozer may be required to endure a waiting period of up to 6 months before becoming eligible to re-register with Bituach Leumi. There is an option to “redeem” this waiting period for a fee.
Bituach Leumi Registration For Foreigners on an A-Category Visa
Before registering with Bituach Leumi, foreigners must live in Israel for a minimum of 183 days within the last 12 months (the days need not be consecutive) and obtain an A-category visa.
Upon acceptance, visa holders are recognized as members retroactively from the beginning of their visa or for one year, whichever is shorter. They must pay Bituach Leumi membership dues for that time. They may also be eligible for a refund on kupat cholim and medical expenses that were incurred during that time.
Do not wait until you need medical coverage to begin your registration process. The need for coverage can come up at any time. Be proactive! Nobody should ever be without sufficient coverage when they need it.
Once you have accumulated 183 days in Israel and have obtained an A-category visa, visit Misrad Hapnim for a daf knisot v’yetziot.
To obtain a daf knisot v’yetziot, every adult applying must go to Misrad Hapnim. It is only issued to an adult (age 18+) who is present. Children do not need to come. You do not need an appointment and you can go during morning or afternoon hours (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00 am-12:00 pm; Monday and Wednesday afternoons 2:30 pm–5:00 pm.) The daf knisot v’yetziot is free of charge.
Please note: if you need three or more dapei knisot v’yetziot printed at once, it is recommended that you make an appointment in advance on myvisit.com for any of the services under “teud biometry”. Tell the clerk at the information desk that you have an appointment and he will give you the appropriate number.
Now, thanks to Chaim V’Chessed’s tireless advocacy, there is no longer any need to appear in person to register or add a child to Bituach Leumi. Registration can now be done online.
Prepare the following documents:
- Daf knisot v’yetziyot (original page of entries and exits) for each applicant from Misrad Hapnim, no more than 3-4 weeks old. Make a copy for safekeeping (recommended but not required).
- Passports of all applicants with valid visas
- Chozeh (legal apartment rental/purchase contract) that is valid for one year, which includes the name and teudat zehut or passport number of your landlord.
- Marriage certificate, if applicable. If your spouse is Israeli, you will also need his/her teudat zehut that indicates his/her marital status.
- For student visa holders: letter from yeshiva/school that states that applicant is a student there. If you live in a dormitory, the letter must state that explicitly.6. When applying with children: you will also need the children’s birth certificates, form BL5025, and proof of a bank account in the mother’s name (e.g. void check). If one child is less than 18 months old and you did not receive maanak laida / the birth grant for the child’s birth, you will need form BL300 and the required attachments, as well.
Online registration process
Please note: one cannot register a child for Bituach Leumi until AFTER both parents were accepted.
Applications can be completed online here. Please note: When applying for multiple family members, a separate form must be submitted on behalf of each person. After completing each page, click on לשלב הבא to continue to the next step.
- In Step 2, you will be asked for the subject of your request: אני מגיש את הטופס עבור נושא.
Choose: תלמיד ישיבה או בן משפחתו המבקשים לקבוע תושבות וחברות בקופת חולים, מיועד לבעלי אשרות א/2/A א/4/A.
- You will then need to select on whose behalf you are submitting this application: self, spouse, child, etc. You should enter the applicant’s details and the details of the applicant’s parents. Note: When applying for a family member of an existing member of Bituach Leumi, enter the parent’s 77 number from Bituach Leumi as their ID number, and choose מספר מזהה זמני בביטוח לאומי.
- When applying for an adult, you will also need to prove that you are a current resident of Israel in Step 4.
- For the first question: -אני שוהה בישראל ל choose: למגורי קבע בישראל.
- If you are a student, choose from the following documents (you can choose as many as apply).
- A letter from your institution that states that you are a student (אישור לימודים)
- A rental contract of a home (חוזה שכירות בישראל)
- A purchase contract of a home (בעלות על דירה בישראל)
Based on the responses in your application, you will see a list of documents that need to be uploaded. After uploading all of the required documentation, you may submit the request.
Note that there is a reference number in the top right corner of your application called סימוכין: Save this number! You can save your request before it is complete by clicking on the word שמירה at the top of the page. After verifying your phone number and email address, you will be given a code with which you can access the form at a later time.
For technical assistance (with uploading documents etc.), call 1299. To inquire about the status of your request, call *6050 (Sunday through Thursday 8:00 am – 7:00 pm).
It can take 4-6 weeks to receive a response, although it may be as short as 2 weeks.
You will probably be contacted by email with confirmation of your acceptance and your new ID number which will begin with 77. Your kupat cholim will automatically be updated. Contact them to be sure they merge your old account with the new one. You should receive new kupat cholim cards bearing your 77 numbers in the mail within a few weeks.
Upon acceptance, visa holders are recognized as members retroactively for the time they held their student visas, with a maximum of one year. They must pay Bituach Leumi membership dues for that time (more information on payments here) and be sure their kupat cholim updates their accounts (learn more about reimbursements here). They may also be eligible for a refund on kupat cholim and medical expenses that were incurred during their waiting period. Children who are registered within a few months after birth will be recognized as members retroactively since their birth.
Accessing Your Account Information
We strongly recommend that all adult family members have their own four-digit phone access code, called a kod ishi, as well as an online username and password. With a kod ishi, you can use self-serve kiosks in the Bituach Leumi office or in the Iriyah to print out various certifications. With an online account, you can directly and securely upload documents and applications, view your resident status, check on various payments and more.
For Israeli citizens, phone and online access codes can be ordered by phone or online at www.btl.gov.il.
To create an online account for Bituach Leumi follow the instructions here.
Israeli citizens may open an account using their mispar zehut.
If you are a foreigner, and do not possess a mispar zehut, you may create an online account using your Bituach Leumi number instead of a mispar zehut. In lieu of תאריך הנפקת תעודת הזהות, use the date of issue of your most recent visa.