Guide to Health Insurance in Brazil

Whether you're emigrating to Brazil, going there on holiday or simple looking for a new international health provider, it is highly important to know what health insurance provisions apply, and the country's health system.


Brazil has a population approaching 200 million, and the country has a male life expectancy of 69 years and a female life expectancy of 77 years (which does vary from state to state), in a general upward trend since the early twentieth century. On paper, the Brazilian healthcare system is a mixture of public, state funded healthcare and private healthcare, providing care for all Brazilian nationals. In reality there are many issues with Brazil's public health system, and the World Health Organization's 2000 report placed the system at 125th in the world.

Healthcare facilities

The Brazilian government has enacted a number of reforms over the years in an attempt to improve public health facilities and services, but public hospitals are still in general of poor standard. Common problems include crowding, staff and equipment shortages and long waiting lists. Accordingly, the majority of Brazilians take out private healthcare, and roughly three-quarters of hospitals are private due to this.

Foreign nationals qualify for emergency medical treatment in public hospitals, though be aware of possible crowding. It is a good idea to take about private insurance as this will gain you access to private healthcare which is generally excellent. Make sure you bring evidence of funds and insurance with you to gain access to private facilities.

The best hospitals are located in the major cities, such as the Albert Einstein hospital and the Samaritan hospital in Sao Paulo, and the Samaritano hospital in Rio de Janeiro. Travel Clin is a medical care service for travellers in Curitiba. Make sure you check with your country's travel health guide if you are travelling to remote areas.

Before you go

You must contact your medial practitioner eight weeks before departure to see if you need any vaccinations or preventive measures. Possible vaccine requirements include Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and B and Yellow Fever. You are not required to have Yellow Fever vaccinations for entry to Brazil. Always take the necessary precautions.

Next steps

Get a quote for one of our international health insurance WorldCare plans for your stay in Brazil - WorldCare treatment access is available anywhere in the world. You can purchase and manage your plan online and get covered instantly, so it is fast and convenient.

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