Do I need to have Health Insurance? What about Travel Insurance?
It is mandatory for all Birthright Israel participants, to have health insurance for the duration of the trip, which is valid in Israel.
If you already have extended health coverage, or you purchase one for this trip, you will be required to submit this information to your Trip Organizer. This will include name of Insurance Company, policy number and contact information for the company.
Your health/medical insurance must be valid in Israel throughout the period covered by your trip. Of course if you plan to extend your trip – you will want to ensure that it is covered for that time period as well. If you do not have medical insurance and are purchasing travel/medical insurance for the sole purpose of this trip, you may want to consider supplementary coverage for continuation of treatment/care in your home country if required when you return home.
While your Trip Organizer will provide basic travelers health insurance while you are here (which is secondary to your personal coverage), it does NOT cover medical care for pre-existing conditions, medical evacuation, coverage when you return home if needed, travel to and from Israel, lost or stolen items, trip cancellation on your part due to emergency, etc.
Most people are aware of the benefits of health insurance; however, you also need to consider travel insurance - this can cover the cost of lost/stolen baggage, cameras, phones, etc. In addition, if you are purchasing a connecting domestic flight, this may cover your costs should your flight be cancelled or delayed due to bad weather.
If you do not have an existing policy - you have complete freedom of choice as to where you purchase this insurance, but you MUST ensure that you have coverage otherwise you will not be permitted to join the program.