All Post-doc students at the Hebrew University must have health insurance coverage for the period of their stay. HUJI has an agreement with Harel, which provides health insurance to foreigners also at other research institutions of Israel. The standard policy is the Platinum. You can buy the pregnancy or the pregnancy/childbirth separately.
As many Post-docs presented doubts regarding the policy, here we have elaborated some points in more details for deeper understanding.
When you hire the insurance, they ask for detailed previous conditions and they consider approval of the insurance accordingly. They have some exclusion according to which they may decide whether insurance can be given or not. However, if a condition like malignant tumor, heart disease, or any other condition that requires hospitalization appears during your insurance period, they do treat it.
If any special condition appears during the insurance period and the person decides to continue his stay in Israel, that person should renew the insurance before it expires, otherwise he will be considered as new applicant and will need to go over qualification again.
Traffic accidents and work accidents are excluded from policy. In Israel, traffic accidents are covered by vehicle insurance companies, but in this case it is very important to inform the police, even without any injury. If in such a case you need a lawyer, Harel can direct you to one. Work accidents are covered by Social Security of those with working visa. Lab accidents with students are not considered work accident and are covered by the policy.
Conditions like terrorism or state crisis are covered by the government, so they are excluded from insurance coverage of this policy.
Pregnancy insurance is a special condition which requires separate insurance along with general insurance. Details are provided in the policy. It requires 3 months qualification time, only after which someone reaches pregnancy will be given treatment. Again it has two options:
Option A: monitoring but no delivery in Israel. In that case it has certain exclusions, like ectopic pregnancy, which is included in Option B.
Option B: for someone that wants both monitoring and delivery in Israel. Here again there are some exclusions, like multiple fetuses (e.g. deliver of twins is not included). To clarify, twins or multiple fetuses can be monitored, but the insurance would cover the delivery of just one child, being the expenses of the other deliveries paid extra.
Exclusion in both options: the insurance do not take responsibility of worsening of conditions in case the mother does not do the required pregnancy prenatal care (e.g. neglecting required tests).
When travelling from Israel to any other country, your local insurance will not cover you there. Harel offers a “blue passport” travel insurance for the period of your trip. If you are visiting your home country, the prices are around 3 USD/day, for other countries it is around 2USD/day. The department/institute secretary can assist you on purchasing it.
All the students are strongly advised to renew their health insurance at least 2 weeks before it expires!
If you are dissatisfied with the policy Harel offers, you can consider taking out an international health insurance policy which some companies offer. This might offer a more comprehensive coverage but will also almost surely be more expensive. In this case you also should be prepared to provide details about the policy to the university and, for visa-related issues, to the ministry of interior.
In case you need psychological services (they are not covered by Harel insurance), HUJI offers prices lower than those found in the market. You should call 02-5882685 or write an email to Shoshi Rabi at firstname.lastname@example.org to have a first appointment, at the Meirsdorf Dormitories building 10 floor 2 (Mount Scopus campus, behind Aroma). This first appointment will be used to evaluate the treatment you will receive. Psychotherapy is available at the Givat Ram campus for 200NIS a session. The psychologists are either professional or those that just finished their second degree (Master) to become clinicians. In case you need psychiatric help, besides the psychological treatment, you will be able to have an appointment with a professional psychiatrist, at the Mount Scopus campus, for 250NIS a session. (Prices of June 2016)
Health tips for the newcomer
Diarrhea and stomach cramps: newcomers tend to be more sensitive to the level of bacteria normally found in Israeli water. You may at first develop mild diarrhea, uncomfortable gas or stomach cramps. If so, drink plenty of bottled or boiled fluids, try to avoid dairy products, and the problem should be quickly overcome. If you develop fever, nausea, severe or long-lasting diarrhea, see a doctor. You should observe the basic rules of hygiene and wash all fruits and vegetables carefully.
Sunburn and heat stroke: the sun is very strong in Israel, so protect your skin with clothing and sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses outdoors. Be careful to avoid extended exposure to the sun, especially at the beach or swimming pool; the sun is often more brutal than it seems, and being in water provides no protection whatsoever. In warm weather, drink regularly whether you feel thirsty or not, and if you have children make sure that they do the same. Watch for symptoms of dehydration, which include headache, nausea, failure to urinate, deep yellow or orange urine, confusion and fainting. Do not ignore any of these symptoms; dehydration is an extremely serious medical condition, requiring immediate attention. Your motto during the summer months in Israel should be, "Drink, drink, and drink some more!"
In case of emergency, the TEREM Emergency Treatment Center is open 24 hours a day; no appointment is necessary. It is located in the Magen David Adom Building, 7 Hamem-Gimmel St., Romema, Jerusalem, tel.: 02-6521748. http://www.terem.com/en/locations/jerusalem/romema
Harel insurance covers visits at TEREM.