#8 Travel Insurance for free?

Travel Insurance is an item that frequently shows up when it comes to traveling abroad. Even more so if the trip is to Europe, where insurance is a requirement for entry, even if its presentation is not always requested at the border. It is a fact that it may easily become very expensive if you need health care abroad and do not have the Travel Insurance.

These insurances can be quite expensive, and since our trip was always based on spending as little as possible, we went after some alternatives. One of them was the CDAM (Certificado de Direito à Assistência Médica, or “Certificate of Right to Medical Assistance”), from the Brazilian Social Insurance Institute (INSS), which is free.

Yes, you read right: INSS and FREE. 😉 It is usual to hear Brazilian people say INSS doesn’t offer good services, but this was definitely not the case.

I remembered that 8 years ago, when I did my interchange in Portugal, I made this insurance by INSS, which I even had to use at the time and it worked super good.

So we decided to check if this possibility still existed and, how lucky we are, the service still offered coverage for Portugal, Italy and Cape Verde. Perfect for us, since we would start our journey through Portugal.

The procedure is very simple: first you call the nucleus of the Ministry of Health of your State (in our case, Porto Alegre / RS) and set a time for the interview. On the day of the interview, you must bring the following documents: RG (the Brazilian ID), CPF (the Brazilian physical person ID), valid passport, proof of residence in Brazil, airfare (in case you have not already bought it, you will sign a statement stating that you are traveling) and one proof of link with the INSS.

This proof of link with the INSS, in our case, was the receipt you receive when you pay the INSS monthly contribution. It as to be the receipt for the current month. As we are individual contributors, our proof was the well known GPS, which is a kind of payment slip.

Let me pause the narrative to list other types of vouchers below if you are not an individual, special or optional contributor.

CLT Employee: your signed work document (without fired dates) or a work contract, and also the receipt of your most recent payment (current or previous month).

 – INSS Retired/Pension people: receipt of the retirement/pension and a document containing the subscription number for the INSS benefit.

– Employer: Social contract and a receipt of the payment of the current month slip, and also a document containing the subscription number. The document must show it is linked to your company’s registration number.

Ok. Back to the interview, you will deliver all the documents to the clerk who will put your data in the system, print the CDAM and ask you to sign it. Done! You will be insured for one year in the country(ies) you’ve chosen among those who are part of the agreement!

Oh, we also remembered that, as we would be in Europe, we could also go to Italy eventually, so we asked for coverage for this country as well.

Easy, right?

If you have any doubts, please keep in touch with us or leave a comment!


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