October 20, 2016:
Doing business in a foreign country can be tough. There’s a new language and culture to adapt to, not to mention specific bureaucratic and/or legislative barriers that can also get in the way. Below are some tips for businesses working in Brazil. These tips come from local expert and Asinta Partner, SCIATH.
Brazilian Payment System
International clients often have problems understanding the Brazilian method of paying invoices (Boletos in Portuguese). In Brazil, all invoices (telephone, water, power, etc) are given a bar code. This bar code must be used when paying the invoice, as it provides important information regarding who has (or has not) paid their invoice. Companies in Brazil are not allowed to accept wire transfers directly to their accounts.
SCIATH recommends companies to align their payment process with that of their Brazilian payroll provider and/or local legal representative/HR department. This will help to avoid delays and possible service cuts due to unpaid invoices. Employers are also urged to keep in mind that health and dental carriers in Brazil do not accept wire transfers; payment needs to be made via the invoice (Boleto) sent by the broker.
Insurance Benefits Waiting Periods for Small Companies
Brazilian legislation currently in force requires small companies or SMEs with less than 30 beneficiaries to endure a waiting period for insurance benefits. Common waiting periods are:
- Urgency & Emergency – 24 hours
- Doctor’s appointments/exams – 30 days
- High cost exams – 180 days
- Surgeries (not considered urgent/emergency) – 180 days
- Birth procedures – 300 days
- Pre-existing conditions – up to 720 days
- Urgency and emergency – 24 hours
- Surgery – 90 days
- Endodontics – 90 days
- Orthodontics – 180 days
- Prosthesis -180 days
- Periodontics – 90 days
These waiting periods can be waived if the primary beneficiary can present proof of previous creditable coverage to the carrier. The carrier will then analyze whether or not the previous plan has the same characteristics as the new one. If the characteristics match, then the waiting periods listed above will be waived. In such cases it is important to remember that switching carriers needs to be completed within 90 days.
Do you have questions about employee benefits in Brazil? Get in touch with Asinta Partner SCIATH today to get all of your questions answered! Just head on over to their contact page and they’ll get in touch with you soon.