Health Insurance in Rio de Janeiro?

I have been living in Brazil for 6 months and would like to get health insurance for myself, a US citizen, in Rio.  My friend recommend Bradesco Medical Insurance and Bradesco is also my personal bank in Rio.  How do I find out about the Bradesco plans in English?

Get some portuguese lessons firstly and you will save money. Then look at other plans like Unimed. Never heard of health insurrance from Bradeso. Generally all services from Brazilian banks are expensive but never say never ... I have got actually my car insurance there.

Thanks for the info....  i will look into Unimed.  I am taking Portuguese classes, but I am a long way from using it to get medical insurance.

Because of the much stricter regulations regarding coverage and exceptions for private Health Insurance plans, many insurers have actually gotten out of private plans altogether, opting for the group plans for companies which are less regulated. So, you may have some difficulty in finding a private plan. Even if you do, don't expect a lot of coverage and the prices will be enough to make you need immediate medical attention they're that high!!!

James      Expat-blog Experts Team

Has anyone tried getting international insurance from Cigna or others? Looks like coverage is worldwide outside of U.S., but not sure how beneficial coverage is in Brazil. Here's a marketplace for comparisons:


Are you coming to Brazil permanently or just as a tourist? Will you be working for a company in Brazil if you come permanently?

If you are coming to work for a Brazilian company then medical insurance (and in most cases dental/orthodontological) is in the pay package of all large Brazilian companies.

James  Expat-blog Experts Team

Moving abroad can be so overwhelming. You have to essentially start from scratch. But if you are relocating to a country without a Social Healthcare System that fits your needs, you will want to find the right Expat International Insurance. But with so many options available, finding what is right for you can be daunting!

While the country you are residing in might vary, the International Insurance Plans will all be similar. The formula is to choose your individual plan and then add options. Having recently gone through this process, I will highlight the basics to save you hours of research.


I am an American (U.S.) living in Brazil. I wanted access to professional & clean hospitals in both countries. Health Insurance in Brazil is very expensive & is difficult to buy if you are single or not part of a company with more than 3 total employees. If I were to sign-up for a Brazilian plan, there is also a long waiting period before I could access the health services I was interested in. After extensive research, I decided an Expat International plan would be ideal because it would cost me the same as a ‘Brazil-only’ plan and would cover me anywhere in the world including my preferred doctor in the U.S..


You are ineligible for local coverage.
Local insurance is expensive.
You want to be insured anywhere that you travel.
You want to be covered in your home country and where you are residing, in case of emergency, pregnancy, pre-existing condition or peace of mind.

This is what to look for...

For the full article, read here.

great article... can you suggest any expat plans?


Good article.  What did you find in terms of maximum policy limits for international health plans?

Such out of pocket maximums - for the insurance companies, not the policyholder - would certainly prove to be a non-starter for me for such plans, as you have in effect unlimited liability.  That said, I have not delved all that deeply into this market, although I have found such limits.

Everything else equal, I would prefer a local plan with reasonable out of pocket maximums -for the policyholder, not the insurance company - with a reasonable local network but look forward to hearing about your experience.

Good for you for taking Portuuese classes! I chose Aetna in the end because it was the same price as a single person, good Unimed coverage and yet it covered me everywhere in the world! If you are in Rio & want to go exploring i.e. underground samba parties, hidden islands, etc let me know! xxx

Abraços! Lauren

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Congratulations on finding an appropriate international plan.

Can you elaborate on the out of pocket coverage maximums (for the insurance company,  not yourself, that is) you encountered for your international plan and/or the ones you researched?  Please see my post above. 

This information would definitely be valued-added for us on the forum.   Thanks.

Welcome!! It will be challenging, if at all possible to find info in English from Brandesco. Usually only international insurance providers supply material in English.

Hi Marcos,

There is a variety of maximum amounts an international insurance company will offer, starting from thousands to 2+million dollars. Most good plans offer around the 1-2million range.

Good luck!


I'm  just  going  to  get  Unimed  as not going  to be travelling  elsewhere  much,  other than  visiting  family  in  the  UK.   Unless  the medical  cover  is better.

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