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, unemployment and more
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, which includes temporary residents with A-1 visas as well as students of Torah learning institutions with A-2 visas and their families with A-4 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 automatically upon completion of his Aliyah process.
An Israeli citizen who returns to settle in Israel after a period abroad (toshav or katin chozer), must be re-recognized as a toshav (resident) before becoming eligible for insurance.
To re-establish residency: Make an appointment with Misrad Haklita by calling 1-599-500-923 (for Jerusalem residents) or 03-973-3333, to finalize your Aliyah/ Chazara. They will tell you which documents to bring along to the appointment. This generally includes: proof of sale of property abroad, letter of termination from previous place of employment, letter indicating closure of foreign bank account, rental contract/home purchase agreement in Israel, Israeli utility bills in toshav chozer‘s name and Israeli bank account details.
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: A toshav chozer may be required to endure a waiting period of up to 6 months before becoming eligible for Bituach Leumi. This waiting period begins from the date one re-establishes residency with Misrad Haklita.
There is an option to “redeem” this waiting period for a fee. Regardless of which you choose, waiting six months or paying the 13,000 nis, we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you do not move to Israel until you have private health insurance coverage in place which will cover you until your Bituach Leumi benefits are set up.
A katin chozer (returning minor) must also establish residency in order to become eligible for insurance. However, they do not incur a waiting period.
If you do not yet have a teudat zehut card: make an appointment at Misrad Hapnim to receive one. You can make an appointment at govisit.gov.il at רשות האוכלוסין וההגירה for תיעוד ביומטרי. Bring your Israeli passport, foreign passport and your original birth certificate.
Once you have a teudat zehut card, make an appointment with Misrad Haklita as above to re-establish residency.
You can then register for Bituach Leumi online by sending the BL628 form.
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 nor time spent on a visa) and obtain an A-category visa (in the case of a student visa, the visa must be from a Torah learning institution only).
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. Each applicant – regardless of age – needs to provide a daf knisot v’yetziot when applying.
A daf knisot v’yetziot can be obtained at Misrad Hapnim by presenting one’s passport. Adults over 18 years must go in person to Misrad Hapnim; children do not need to be present. You do not need an appointment and 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 printed free of charge.
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, preferably 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.
- Very clear photo for each applicant (head shot). These photos should resemble the current photo in the passport.
- Proof of ownership of a bank account in Israel: either a void check or ishur nihul cheshbon from the bank. Please note: This is a requirement when registering for Bituach Leumi
Please note that it is critical that all of your documents are extremely clear including the copy of your passport and your photo. (If you have a filter which blocks out faces, upload your documents from another device).
Online Registration Process
Applications can be submitted using the online form.
Please note: When choosing that you are married or that you have children under age 18 who you would like to register, you will be given the option to enter those family members’ information into the form.
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. When applying for multiple family members including yourself choose “for myself” / עבורי and then add your family members when prompted.
- 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 whose parents are not members of Bituach Leumi, choose that the parents are ללא מעמד/ without status.
- 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 לגור מגורי קבע, choose: Yes.
- If you are a student, choose from the dropdown menu as many documents as apply. The following two are mandatory:
- A letter from your institution that states that you are a student (אישור לימודים)
- A rental contract of a home (חוזה שכירות בישראל) or a purchase contract of a home (בעלות על דירה בישראל)
- Choose which Kupat Cholim (network) you would like to join. there are four to choose from:
- Meuchedet (This appears in google translate as United)
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, which can be used to receive technical support: Save this number!
For technical assistance (with uploading documents etc.), call 1299.
After successfully submitting your form, you will receive an email confirmation with another reference number (מספר מזהה) beginning with 83.
Applications can currently take up to two months to be processed. If you have a serious medical emergency, reach out to Chaim V’Chessed for assistance.
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. This may take a few days from the time you receive the confirmation email. 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.
As of late, when applying with multiple family members, Bituach Leumi only sends the husband’s 77 number. You can receive the other family members’ numbers by calling your local kupat cholim clinic, after they are updated.
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 should 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, pay your bills, 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 expiry of your most recent visa.