Hotels in Israel and Health Care

Health Care While Staying at one of the Hotels in Israel

Traveling abroad usually causes people to be anxious, especially about health care.  What happens if you get sick, or your kids get sick while on vacation at one of the hotels in Israel?  Can you see any doctor?  Does your health insurance back home cover doctor visits and/or hospital visits?  What about buying prescription drugs?  Different policies have different coverage plans, so you need to read the fine print.  Medicare and Medicaid do not provide any coverage abroad.  If your private health insurance does not cover medical care abroad, you can always buy supplemental traveler’s insurance that will cover those unexpected health concerns.  

Let’s say that your policy covers doctor visits and you can get reimbursed through your insurance.  Where do you go?  Israel has three major HMOs as well as private doctors.  Private doctors will usually be more expensive than an HMO doctor, but you might be able to get an appointment faster.  The cost for a doctor’s visit is about the same or less than in the States.  Make sure to keep the receipt so that your health care provider can reimburse you.  The physician can also write you a prescription if needed.  If you need locations of clinics or pharmacies, just ask your hotel receptionist.  In the bigger cities, doctors and pharmacies are usually located fairly close to most of the hotels in Israel.  

What about the unfortunate circumstance of needing a hospital?  Again, check your policy to see what is covered.  Without insurance, hospital stays or even emergency room visits can be quite expensive – just ask anyone at your hotel in Israel how much private hospital care costs.  If you do need to go to a hospital, see if you can take a friend or family member who lives in Israel who speaks the language.  It will make the hospital visit much more pleasant.  Although most hospital staff knows at least the basics of English, you’ll still need help in filling out forms.  Don’t leave the hospital without a receipt.  If you do, you might not be reimbursed by your insurance.  For hospital locations, just ask your hotel receptionist, as most staff at hotels in Israel are familiar with the local hospitals.