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Study shows population aging rapidly, life expectancy increasing in Israel

The population in Israel is aging rapidly and life expectancy is expected to continue to rise, a study shows, calling for a better-coordinated system for long-term care (LTC) benefits.

According to a study by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel released today, the population aged 75 and up has grown on average by about 9,000 individuals per year, and life expectancy continues to rise.

  • As of December 2023, about 346,000 elderly individuals were receiving LTC benefits from the National Insurance Institute (NII) as compared to about 180,000 in 2018.

By 2040 it is expected that there will be an annual increase of 20,000-30,000 people age 75 and older.

Current life expectancy is 82 years for men and 85 years for women, which averages 83.5 for the sexes combined. In the year 2000, the combined sexes’ average was 79.

Israel has generally taken an “age-in-place” approach to supporting the elderly, funded by LTC benefits provided by the NII and private insurance companies.

However, there is no single coordinating body for the provision of these benefits, with different agencies each having complicated bureaucracies to navigate.

  • National expenditure on LTC totaled about NIS 23.6 billion ($7.1 billion) in 2022, which breaks down to NIS 16.7 billion ($4.3 billion) in public expenditure (about 71%) and about NIS 7 billion ($1.9 million) in private expenditure.

Most of that was directed toward care provision in the community. The rest was divided between LTC hospitalization, retirement homes, and complex nursing hospitalization.

The Taub Center found that the number of individuals with individual private LTC insurance almost doubled between 2012 and 2022.

  • However, there was a drop in the number of those with private insurance through group policies. This, together with the growing population, has led to a decline in private coverage from 69% in 2012 to 60% in 2022.

Taub Center researchers Nir Kaidar, Prof. Nadav Davidovitch, and Prof. Avi Weiss recommend compulsory saving for LTC, as well as making paying into health maintenance funds’ LTC programs compulsory for people of all ages.

Source: TOI