After learning of the injustice it perpetrated numerous times on returning minors, Bituach Leumi responded with a letter denying it.
A “returning minor” is a person who was taken from Israel by his parents before he was 14 years old, lived abroad for at least four consecutive years and returned to Israel to live permanently at the age of 17.
Returning minors can get medical coverage by Bituach Leumi immediately if they show a Returning Minor Certificate from the Ministry of Absorption, whereas returning citizens (adults who left Israel for four years before returning) only have to wait 6 months to join Bituach Leumi (unless they redeem the waiting period by paying a penalty) and do not need to provide any certificate.
To save themselves the hassle of getting the Returning Minor Certificate, many returning minors wait 6 months to join Bituach Leumi just like adults, only to find that their status is worse than returning adults. In numerous cases reported to Israeli Shortcut, Bituach Leumi turned them down even after the 6 months wait if they didn’t have a Returning Minor Certificate.
Due to many complaints from returning minors about this unfair treatment, Israeli Shortcut sent a letter to Bituach Leumi expressing surprise at why returning minors should be treated worse than returning citizens, when the law’s intention is actually to give them greater rights.
In our letter we emphasized the travesty that would be done to a returning minor from whom urgent medical treatment would be withheld after his return to Israel because of the demand that he get a piece of paper that isn’t required from other returning citizens.
Bituach Leumi’s response was a cavalierly denial. Their attached letter states that an Israeli citizen who is entitled in principle to the status of a returning minor but chooses not to exercise his right to acquire this status, may apply for Bituach Leumi like every returning citizen after 6 months.
While we would have hoped for an admission and a commitment to correct the injustice, we are posting Bituach Leumi’s reply on our website for all returning minors to copy and show when they apply to Bituach Leumi. Hopefully, Bituach Leumi will not deny coverage that on their own stationary they say they will provide.