About pet health care insurance – Part 4

As veterinary medicine becomes more sophisticated and more specialized it is also becoming more expensive. Pet health insurance is growing in popularity for many pet owners who want the best health care that money can buy for their furry and feathered family members. Like humans, pets are now living longer and healthier than ever before. Advances in health care is improving quality of life for pets, and increasing cost as veterinarians need to acquire specialized equipment and training to keep up.

Unlike health insurance for humans, animal health insurance usually doesn’t cover upfront costs. All the pet insurance companies that I’m aware of only reimburse pet health costs. You will still have to have the money to pay your veterinary bill, and then submit your receipts and claim forms to the insurance company who then sends you a check.

There are two major systems that the companies use to pay claims. Some, such as Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) follow a schedule of payouts. Each type of injury or illness has a preset amount of coverage associated with it, and the company will pay up to that amount for each problem. How much you get back compared to how much you pay upfront to your veterinarian depends on how close the charges are to the insurance company’s payout schedule.

The second system is for the pet insurance company to pay a percentage of each claim, regardless of the health problem. Pet’s Best Insurance, and ASPCA Pet Health Insurance use this method.

Pet health insurance companies may also require a deductible, either for each incidence (each trip to the veterinarian) or for each problem (all visits are covered for a particular problem, even if repeated visits to the vet are needed). The good news is that most national pet health insurance companies allow you to choose any veterinarian you want to go to. Some individual hospitals or doctors may offer their own insurance that is only good at that particular practice, so make sure you know which you’re getting if you sign up while you’re at a veterinary hospital.

There are many options for coverage beyond the standard plans. Some companies offer routine wellness care. This may include annual exams, vaccinations, routine dental cleanings, and preventive medicine like heartworm and flea preventatives.

They may also offer a separate emergency care plan that would cover only serious unexpected injury, like if your dog that is hit by a car. These other plans may be available

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