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Expat Exchange - Health Insurance in Brazil
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Health Insurance in Brazil

By Betsy Burlingame

Oliveira Lawyers
Oliveira Lawyers

Summary: Making the move to Brazil? One critical choice you'll face is between local health insurance and expat health insurance. Our article provides a comprehensive comparison of both, enriched with insights from expats in Brazil on their personal insurance decisions.

Healthcare in Brazil - Health Insurance in Brazil

Brazil's healthcare system offers both public and private options, with a range of health insurance plans available to residents, including expats and digital nomads. Understanding the nuances of Brazil's health insurance landscape is crucial for those looking to move or currently living in the country, ensuring access to quality healthcare services when needed.

Health Insurance Companies in Brazil

In Brazil, several health insurance companies cater to a wide range of needs and budgets. Among the most popular are Unimed, Bradesco Saúde, and SulAmérica. These insurers offer various plans, from basic to comprehensive coverage. Expats are generally eligible to purchase health insurance from these companies, provided they meet certain residency requirements. It's important to compare the plans and understand the coverage details, as well as any potential restrictions or exclusions that might affect access to healthcare services.

Expat Health Insurance in Brazil

Many expats living in Brazil opt for specialized expat health insurance plans. These plans are designed to meet the specific needs of foreigners residing in the country, offering a broader network of English-speaking doctors and facilities, as well as coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation. Some expats choose these plans for the peace of mind they offer, especially when navigating a healthcare system that may present language and cultural barriers.

Local Health Insurance vs. Expat Health Insurance

Expats and digital nomads in Brazil often face the decision between local health insurance and specialized expat health insurance. Local insurance plans are typically more affordable and provide sufficient coverage for many individuals. However, those who prefer a wider range of services, including international coverage and access to private healthcare facilities, may find expat health insurance more suitable. The choice often depends on personal circumstances, including the length of stay, language proficiency, and the level of desired comfort with healthcare services.

Considerations for Health Insurance Overseas

When deciding on health insurance while living overseas, several factors should be taken into account. It's essential to understand whether the insurer directly pays the healthcare provider or if you'll need to pay upfront and submit claims for reimbursement. The latter can be a financial burden and may involve complex paperwork. Additionally, consider the insurer's network of hospitals and clinics, the ease of accessing customer service, and the process for seeking emergency medical care. Evaluating these aspects will help ensure that you select a health insurance plan that aligns with your needs and provides adequate support while living in Brazil.

Expats talk about Health Insurance in Brazil

"For us, medical insurance in Brazil is cheaper than medical insurance in the USA. I have no deductibles and my insurance cost is about 1/2 of what it would cost me for insurance in the USA. We are in our early 60's and pay about $1,400 per month (for both of us) compared to a similar plan (higher end plan) in the USA at $2,400 per month for both of us. This Brazilian plan has paid in full our complete annual physicals and lab tests and we have had several other visits where the insurance paid 100% with no problems with the insurance company," commented one expat living in Natal, Brazil.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


Oliveira Lawyers
Oliveira Lawyers

Oliveira Lawyers
Oliveira Lawyers

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

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Allianz CareAllianz Care

Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
Get Quote

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