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Old 12-30-2012, 02:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pet insurance

One of my biggest stress about rescuing two semi feral cats are the vet bills. Is pet insurance a good deal? Does it really cover blood tests, office visits and medication? Again this is another expense but when I think one of the cats may be sick, it then scares me about the vet bills.

Do you have insurance through who? What do you think or have heard?
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have pet insurance, and Ritz' vet bills essentially equalled the cost of the premium. I bought insurance for peace of mind, so if the worse happen, like cancer, money would not be a factor in deciding course of treatment.
Like any type of insurance, policies differ in what they cover and cost. Most do not cover pre-existing illnesses and--though this is not relevant in your case--some policies excluded breed-specific illnesses. I
have PetPlan insurance. They do not cover routine office visits, for example, rabies shots, or routine dental cleaning. They do cover blood work, xrays. I have been very pleased with them.
Some insurance companies require office notes from the vet before they will insure you pet. If your cats have been treated for worms, the insurance company may not cover additional treatment for a period of time, usually around six months. Search this site and other cat-centric sites for similar threads, lots of good info out there.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I also have pet plan. Like mentioned above, it is not for routine visits or shots. It's for emergencies. I picked the highest coverage and highest deductible ($200) with 100% reimbursement.

Basically, I figure I can absorb a $200 mini emergency. I don't want money I be a factor in a major thousands of dollars emergency.

My premium is around $175 per year or just under 15/month.

There are companies that have insurance with routine coverage as well as accident/illness, but I found that they were significantly more expensive ($40/month and up).

I haven't had to use them yet, but they seem to have good reviews and are responsive via social media. I recommend you read the fine print on ANY plan so there are no surprises. For example-- regardless of your coverage percentage, pet plan only covers at 80% if you have to go to an emergency vet facility due to the higher cost of services.

This was an acceptable part of the policy for me, but if someone were surprised by this during an emergency, they might be dissatisfied.


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Old 12-30-2012, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It really depends on what plan you get.

I don't have any. I've really been thinking about getting a plan for my adult cat but I'm not sure about it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Pet's Best insurance gets good reviews by a member of another web site.
I my case, I chose a relatively low deductible ($50). My annual premium is araound $350 (cost of treatment of a UTI was almost $200). I'm not sure about coverage for e-vets coverage. I do know there is no "reasonable and customary" language; if the vet charges $100 for an office visit, then that is reasonable and customary. (I run into that problem a LOT with human health insurance.)
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I use PetPlan. I pay 14.00 a month for MowMow and have a 200 deductible per year and they cover 90%. Of course they don't cover routine visits. MowMow was ill at the end of this year and when all was said and done I got a check for 75.00 out of the 300+$ bill I paid the vet. All in all between the price of the insurance, the co pay, AND the deductible.... it would be cheaper to just save up an emergency fund of say 1200.00 and hide it for cat emergencies...
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How does your insurance plans work with emergency care?

For example, my vet clinic has a DVM on call 24/7/365. I can call and get a vet and tech to meet me at the clinic even if it's 3 AM. But there's an $150 charge for this plus the regular fees. Does your insurance cover charges like this?
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Insurance is a for-profit business for the insurance company. That means in most cases insurance premiums will cost more than the vet bills they pay. So it's a gamble.

If you have the resources to deal with an emergency in the short term (e.g. a credit card with a few thousand open balance) then I'd suggest taking the amount of the premium every month and banking it. Unless you're someone who will not leave it there.

If you do decide on insurance be very careful about pre-exisiting conditions. Some policies will consider anything you pet was diagnosed with a pre-exisiting condition when the policy renews. So if your cat is diagnosed with a UTI today and your policy renews 2 weeks from now, UTI's will not be covered. Sometimes the condition can be covered again if there are no subsequent issues for a defined time period (like a year).
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MowMow View Post
I use PetPlan. I pay 14.00 a month for MowMow and have a 200 deductible per year and they cover 90%. Of course they don't cover routine visits. MowMow was ill at the end of this year and when all was said and done I got a check for 75.00 out of the 300+$ bill I paid the vet. All in all between the price of the insurance, the co pay, AND the deductible.... it would be cheaper to just save up an emergency fund of say 1200.00 and hide it for cat emergencies...
I considered this. I "self-insure" via savings for many things, but my concern was for a $4000 foreign object removal or ongoing cancer treatments that cost as much as they cost until the end of the cat's life.

Under my coverage, assuming I go to my regular vet, a $4k surgery would cost me $200. Even at 80% coverage, I'd be looking at $1000 instead of $4000. You're absolutely right that you lose if your only expense was a $300 illness. Insurance is always a gamble that way.


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Old 12-31-2012, 04:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottd View Post
How does your insurance plans work with emergency care?

For example, my vet clinic has a DVM on call 24/7/365. I can call and get a vet and tech to meet me at the clinic even if it's 3 AM. But there's an $150 charge for this plus the regular fees. Does your insurance cover charges like this?
Petplan let's you call and ask ahead of time for weird scenarios like this. They also have a preauthorization form that they will approve ahead of time before a procedure so you have peace of mind Obviously there's no time for a preauthorization on an emergency.

My interpretation of my coverage is that after hours would immediately drop coverage to 80%. They do cover the exam fee. You'd pay 80% of the cost plus your deductible. The exception is if the emergency or after hours visit is a life-saving emergency consultation you pay whatever your selected deductible is. We all worry - whether it's a matter of life or death isn't always readily apparent before the visit.

Pet plan will also cover recurring conditions as long as your pet has continuous coverage. For example, if my kitten is treated for a UTI this year then I renew his coverage, the UTI is still a pre-existing condition but it is a covered one until I let the coverage lapse. They will also cover some pre-existing conditions if a vet certifies that your pet is clear for a period of time.

I also get money toward vacation cancelation due to pet illness ($1000), loss or theft (cost of pet up to $500), advertising or reward money ($500). It even covers boarding with no copay or deductible if I have to be hospitalized ($500).

These "extras" are probably not things I'd ever use, but the plan upgrade to get them was so nominal that I went with it anyway.

Insurance is always a gamble. The $14/month I pay is worth the peace of mind even if I never use it. This allows me to build an emergency fund for myself, earmark my savings for specific goals, and not worry about the what-ifs.



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