National Long-Term Care Insurance: The State’s Obligation to Enable Aging With Dignity

>> Read the full position paper in pdf

Zulat proposes to advance immediately a national long-term care insurance law.

We are presently witnessing a serious crisis in the collective long-term care insurance, which is managed through the health funds and operated by private companies, due to the latter’s decision to exit this area of insurance or to drastically change eligibility conditions when claims are filed. Ever since the 1980s, when long-term care in the community started to evolve, caring for elderly and disabled patients has largely shifted from institutional care (which removes patients from their home, family, and community) back to the home, where they are provided assistance to pursue as active a life as possible.

Zulat’s position is that there is no logic or justification for profit-maximizing entities to be entrusted with providing a response to long-term care. The time has come to promote a thorough national solution to long-term care and include it in the basket of health services, to enact a national long-term care insurance law, raise the health tax, and merge the budgets of the Health Ministry and the National Insurance Institute in order to provide full public funding for long-term care in the community, in addition to home care.

The Israeli public’s spending on long-term care insurance, both collective and private, is significantly higher than in European countries. As noted, the state fully finances institutional care only, a policy that takes advantage of the fact that most people favor home care and will therefore pay for it out of their own pocket.

The solution is national long-term care insurance and ending the differentiation in funding between institutional and home care. Long-term care in Israel exemplifies the state’s abdication of its obligations to its citizens, first and foremost its elderly. Israel places most of the responsibility for long-term care on the elderly themselves and their families. The health funds’ collective insurance had provided a partial solution, which has now proven to be short-lived.

Zulat’s position is that a national long-term care insurance law must be advanced immediately, incorporate it into the National Health Insurance Law, and dispense with the private insurance companies. Such a law would ensure that all residents of Israel have the right to age with dignity even if they require long-term care and to receive such care per their choice, in the community or in an institution.

Such a law ought to examine the manner in which long-term care is provided, including the policy on employment and remuneration of caregivers and the advancement of collective housing solutions that allow for living within a community rather than just at home, as is customary around the world.




Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tel Aviv University (2015), a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London (2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University (2016-2017), and a postdoctoral fellowship Ph.D. at the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2018-2020).
Dr. Maha Karbahi’s areas of interest focus on the connection between social change, family behavior, and gender inequality in societies in the process of change and specifically in Palestinian Arab society in Israel. Her research draws attention to the study of family life and employment, using a combined “ethnic lens” and “gender lens” and paying attention to the perspective of Palestinian Arab women, a group characterized by intersections between multiple marginal locations, which over the years has remained hidden from the research eye. Dr. Karkabi-Sabah’s research is published in professional journals and chapters in scientific books that are considered pioneers in family research, work, and gender equality.


Prof. Frances Raday

Professor Emeritus in the Lieberman Chair in Labor Law, in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and serves as a full professor in the College of Management’s academic track, where she also serves as chair of the graduate program and as honorary president of the Concord Center for International Law Absorption. Radai was a member of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council on discrimination against women. In addition, she is a prominent and feminist human rights activist.


Dr. Rawia Aburabia 

Faculty member of Sapir Academic College’s School of Law, received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research deals with the interface between law, gender, minorities, and human rights. Has published in leading journals on the subject of the matrimonial laws pertaining to Muslim women in Israel. Her book Under the Law, Outside Justice: Polygamy, Gendered Citizenship, and Colonialism in Israeli Law is expected to be published as part of the Gender Series of Kibbutz Meuhad Publishing House.

Dr. Aburabia has extensive experience in international human rights and public law. She has worked as a jurist for the Association for Civil Right and has been invited as a specialist to address such international forums as the United Nations and the European Parliament on the subject of indigenous communities and minority rights. She has interned with Human Rights Watch in Washington DC, and has been a member of the executive board of Amnesty International. In 2018, she was selected by the magazine Globes as one of the 40 most promising young persons in Israel under the age of 40.



Ron Kessler

With over two decades of experience in the field of digital content, Ron has participated in numerous political and social campaigns. He helped run the digital activity of senior public officials, and worked in various NGOs. Ron is a fundamentally optimistic man, who believes that Israel can be changed and so can people. Lives in Tel Aviv.