Pet Health Insurance
Pet insurance is one of the fastest growing and most important areas of veterinary care. Is it right for you? Several years ago, the answer was easy… probably not. What one paid in premiums was all too often not worth the benefits received. Three major changes have influenced how we currently look at medical insurance for your pet.
- Better medicine – Advances in available diagnostics and treatments make very high-end human health care tools available to us in caring for your pets. It is common for us to refer cases for MRI’s, CT Scans, Endoscopy, Radioactive Iodine Treatments, Palliative Radiation, Chemotherapy and other specialized diagnostics and treatments. All of these procedures are very expensive and with good pet insurance affordable. We do not want to see any pet die for financial reasons and having pet insurance is what often makes the difference.
- Increasing diagnostic and treatment costs – The cost of human healthcare is increasing and that is trickling down to our industry. The drugs, supplies and equipment used in human care are also used in caring for your pets. Generic drugs that used to be inexpensive have become too expensive to prescribe for most pet owners. Recently I discovered that Tetracycline which used to cost $0.08 per capsule now costs $2.10 per capsule.
- Better health care plans – Pet insurance is much like health, car and home insurance. It is there in case you need it. We feel one should insure against the risks they do not want to take. Plans in the past just were not comprehensive enough and were complicated and difficult to administer. A few of the pet insurance companies are now providing plans which are easier to manage, provide more timely payouts and more comprehensive coverage.
Our clients use several different insurance companies. We feel Trupanion has worked out well for most clients enrolling. Trupanion pays 90% of actual invoice, has no financial claim limits (including hereditary and congenital conditions) and has excellent overall coverage.
Trupanion offers a Veterinary Certificate, which allows you to enroll your pet with immediate coverage upon exam and waives the usual “$35.00 enrollment fee”. There is no waiting period for coverage to begin. Of course, like other insurance the policy does not cover pre-existing conditions. Feel free to speak with one of our doctors or staff members and ask for a certificate next time you visit!
Another outstanding company is HealthyPaws Pet Insurance. The main difference between HealthyPaws and Trupanion is that Trupanion has one deductible for life and HealthyPaws has an annual deductible. Trupanion’s deductible is for each condition and Healthypaws is for all conditions for the year.
There are other good pet insurance companies you should also consider. We highly recommend having pet insurance and starting it when pets are young and have no pre-existing conditions if possible. For in-depth comparisons of pet insurance companies, the Consumer Advocate website has excellent information.