Pet health insurance is becoming more widely utilized to aid with partial or full medical coverage. There are many pet insurance companies out there and sometimes it is difficult to understand the difference in what they offer and what your pet will be covered for. We are not insurance agents and we highly recommend that you get in touch with a licensed insurance agent to go over the details of insurance plans. Below is a brief explanation of some of the differences between insurance companies as well as things to consider when looking for an insurance plan. We have listed three insurance companies that we feel are reputable and offer something for every pet owner regardless of your needs.
Most pet insurance companies reimburse the pet parent. This means the pet parent is responsible for paying the total bill to the veterinarian. Once the insurance company has reviewed the bill and determined what is covered in the insured pet’s plan, they will reimburse the owner. This also means that you are not restricted to which veterinarian can see your pet to utilize your insurance.
Some hospitals may be partnered with certain pet insurance companies which may allow the pet parent to only pay for services that are not covered. The insurance company will reimburse the veterinary hospital directly for the remainder of the bill.
Some of the differences in insurance coverage are:
- Whether congenital and hereditary conditions (like hip dysplasia, heart defects, eye cataracts or diabetes) are covered;
- How the reimbursement is calculated (based on the actual vet bill, a benefit schedule or usual and customary rates);
- Whether the deductible is on a per-incident or an annual basis;
- Whether there are any limits or caps applied (per incident, per year, age or over the pet’s lifetime); and
- Whether there is an annual contract that determines anything diagnosed in the previous year of coverage is considered pre-existing the next year.
Some things to consider when looking at insurance plans:
- Do you need accidental coverage, wellness coverage, or both?
- How much can I afford for a monthly premium?
- How much can I afford for the copay?
- To help determine your deductible amount consider how much you can afford out of pocket.
- Does my pet have any pre-existing conditions that will not be covered?
- Do I need to be concerned about hereditary or congenital conditions?
To get the most out of pet health insurance, consider starting a plan when your pet is a puppy or kitten. Starting your pet with health insurance when they are at their healthiest means lower monthly premiums and more illness coverage over their lifetime.
Trupanion.com – Trupanion and Arrowhead Veterinary Clinic have a unique relationship in pet care. This relationship allows Trupanion insurance members to pay only their copay on covered services rather than their entire bill at the time of service. The remaining covered balance is paid directly by Trupanion. Members will know within 5 minutes if the services provided are covered in their insurance plan.
EmbracePetInsurance.com – Embrace offers a unique opportunity to make individualized adjustments in the level of your Annual Deductible, Reimbursement Percentage, and Annual Reimbursement Limit so you can create a plan that fits your needs and budget.
Petinsurance.com – Nationwide Pet Insurance is the largest pet insurance company in the country. They offer some of the lowest monthly deductibles available, as well as the option to add-on wellness services to whole pet plans.