Waiting period for receipt of health services



The National Health Insurance ensures medical services to all Israeli resident.

If you have lived abroad for 18 consecutive months or more, and did not pay health insurance contributions for at least 12 months, or if you lost your status of Israeli resident - you will not be entitled to receive health services for a period of 6 months at most.

Calculation of the waiting period

For every year of absence from Israel, you will be subject to a waiting period of one month, being precised that the minimum waiting period is two months and the maximum waiting period six months.
A year of absence from Israel (that is, a year of residence abroad) is defined as a period of 12 months during which you have stayed abroad for at least 183 days, whether consecutively or not. For example: if you have resided abroad between October 2013 and October 2016, you will be subject to a waiting period of three months, based on the following calculation:
  • For your first year of residence abroad between October 2013 and October 2014 - one month waiting period applies to you.
  • For your second year of residence abroad between October 2014 and October 2015 - one month waiting period applies to you.
  • For your third year of residence abroad between October 2015 and October 2016 - one month waiting period applies to you.

Implementation of the waiting period

A one month waiting period represents 25 consecutive days of residence in Israel.

For instance, if you are subject to a 3 months waiting period, you shall reside in Israel for 25 consecutive days multiplied by 3, consecutive or not, in order to be entitled to receive health care services.

It is possible to redeem the waiting period with a special payment. Once the payment has been made, the returning resident may receive health services immediately.

Important, you must pay health insurance contributions during the waiting period too.

Exiting Israel during the waiting period

  • If you exit Israel before completing 25 consecutive days of residence in Israel - these waiting days will not be taken into account.
    For example, if you are subject to a 3 months waiting period and stayed in Israel for 40 days consecutively, then exited the country, nothing but 25 days would be taken into account for the balance of the waiting period, in other words, you would have merely completed one month of your waiting period.
  • If, during the waiting period, you are forced to travel and reside abroad for specific purposes such as work or receiving medical treatments, this exit will be overlooked with respect to  the balance of your waiting period, and all days since your arrival in Israel will be taken into account. However, in this case, a month of waiting period shall represent a full calendar month, that is, 28, 30 or 31 days, depending on the number of days in that particular month, and not 25 days.
    For example, if you returned to Israel, after living 10 years abroad, and your resident status have been recognized, you will be subject to a waiting period of 6 months. Then, a month after the day of your return,  assuming your Israeli employer sends you to work abroad for a period of 60 days, this exit will be overlooked regarding  the calculation of your waiting period, and this period of 60 days will be taken into account as if you were staying in Israel.
If you wish us to calculate the balance of your waiting period in a different manner, for a reason related to working or receiving medical treatments outside of the country, you must submit to a NII branch the relevant application form in accordance to the cause of your exit:


Persons exempt from wafting period:

  • An immigrant (Oleh) under the Law of Return.
  • A person recognized as a “Resident Immigrant” by the Ministry of Immigrant and Absorption.
  • A person recognized as "Returning Minor" by the Ministry of Immigrant and Absorption.
  • A minor up to 18 years of age.
  • A soldier discharged from compulsory service or from the regular military service — for a period of 24 months from the date of discharge.
  • A holder of an A/1 visa who was recognized as a new immigrant for the first time.