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  • ACRI

Repeal the reform on group long-term care insurance

In recent years, the state has been operating long-term care insurance through the national health funds. Within this framework, anyone can purchase insurance at a controlled price, and if one becomes a nursing caregiver, they can receive a monthly compensation of thousands of shekels for five years. The low allowances given to a person in long-term care by the National Insurance Institute, the lack of private long-term care insurance, long-term care insurance provided by the health funds enables citizens to pay reasonable prices and take care of their future economic well-being, as long as they need it. Today about 4.6 million Israelis are insured by these insurance plans.

Following warnings by insurance companies about the rapid depletion of policyholders' funds and the imminent collapse of long-term care insurance, the Supervision of Financial Services (Insurance) (Group Long-Term Care Insurance for Health Fund Members) Directives, 5774-2023, issued by the Commissioner of the Capital Market, came into effect on January 1, 2024. The directives reform the field and include three main changes from the current situation: reducing insurance benefits by about 10-15% for policyholders staying at home (as opposed to those staying in a long-term care facility); change in the index to which the amounts of insurance benefits are linked; and the exclusion of children who entered long-term care between the ages of 3-5 from insurance, in addition to the previous exclusion of children aged 0-3 for the rest of their lives.

On April 8, 2024, together with the Clinic for the Rights of Holocaust Survivors and the Elderly at Tel Aviv University, we sent legal correspondence (Hebrew) to the Commissioner of the Capital Authority, demanding that the reform provisions be canceled. In the correspondence, Maskit Bendel of ACRI and Attorney Liad Strolov of the Clinic argued that the new regulations violate human rights and erode the state's declared intention to promote and support home nursing care. We demanded that the reform be canceled for the following reasons:

  1. The reform discriminates against long-term care policyholders who live at home by drastically reducing their monthly benefits, requiring them to supplement the high costs of home hospitalization out of pocket, or to leave their home and move to a long-term care facility.

  2. The regulations raise serious concerns about wrongful discrimination against children on the autistic spectrum, who are usually diagnosed between the ages of 3-5. Thus, the directives harm the developmental and rehabilitation horizon of children on the autistic spectrum and their families, or worse – create a negative incentive to diagnose children up to age 5 in order to evade the insurance exclusion.

  3. The provisions intensify discrimination against lower class residents, since the expected increase in premiums following the amendment will make long-term care insurance – which is not cheap to begin with – a luxury for affluent people only.

We also insisted that the reform, which has drastic implications for Israeli society, was adopted during the holidays and in the midst of war, without proper factual basis, reasoning or public participation. We also argued that it has not been proven that the severe harm to the insured and insured public will actually produce the expected benefit and lead to a solution to the alleged crisis.

The application was written with the assistance of intern Elza Bugnet


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