Pet health insurance companies claim that they’ll help cover the cost of veterinary expenses, which might seem appealing when you consider the cost of treating unexpected injuries and illnesses. To determine if a Pet insurance policy is best for your Pet and budget, it’s important to know how the policy works and what it does not cover.
How Pet Insurance Works
When you purchase a Pet insurance policy, you select a deductible amount and a reimbursement or co-pay level. For example, a plan might have a $500 annual deductible and $20 co-pay. This means that veterinary visits cost you $20. After you pay $500 out-of-pocket, the insurance company will pay the remaining covered veterinary expenses for the duration of the policy’s term (which is normally one year).
The deductible and reimbursement level that you choose determines the monthly premium amount. In general, plans with low deductibles and co-pays have premiums that are more expensive.
When you purchase Pet insurance, you generally can take your Pet to any licensed veterinarian. Instead of the veterinarian’s office filing a claim with the insurance company, you do this on your own. Incidentally, you must pay for the vet bill out-of-pocket and submit a claim with the appropriate documents to the insurance company. After reviewing the claim, the insurance provider will reimburse you the amount it thinks is appropriate, which may vary greatly from the actual bill.
The Small Print
- Maximum benefits paid: Some Pet insurance companies only pay a certain amount for checkups, preventive care, and treatments needed for medical conditions. For example, a provider might cover the full cost of a wellness exam, but only $400 for a $6,000 cancer treatment.
- Preexisting conditions: A Pet insurance provider might not insure a Pet with a known preexisting condition or cover the expenses for treatments related to a preexisting condition. Similarly, an insurance company might not cover costs related to known hereditary problems that affect your dog’s breed.
- Waiting period: To avoid having customers purchase Pet health insurance just to cover the cost of an expensive treatment, many insurance companies won’t cover specific conditions for a certain amount of time after you purchase a new policy. Waiting periods vary by state and insurance company. In general, the waiting period for accidents is up to 48 hours. The waiting period for illnesses ranges between 14 days and one year, depending on the condition. So, if you purchase a new policy and you learn that your dog has cancer a couple months later, the Pet insurance company might not cover the cost of treatment if the waiting period hasn’t ended.
- Rising premium costs: As your Pet gets older or if it develops a certain medical condition, the insurance company might substantially increase the monthly premiums and the annual deductible.
Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?
The answer to this question can vary widely. Pet parents who have never had a sick Pet might tell you that insurance isn’t necessary. Others might tell you that the policies are best for young Pets, but it’s better to save money for unexpected vet bills. Pet parents who have had injured or sick Pets might tell you that the cost of insurance is well worth it.
A Better Solution
Hannah the Pet Society is retained ownership model is not insurance, but it takes the worry out of the costs associated with Pet health care. In this model, you pay a one-time fee to participate in the Total Lifetime Care (TLC) Plan and a monthly companion fee for each Pet in the program. The monthly fee covers your ongoing companionship with the pet and depends on a Pet’s age and species.
When your companion becomes a Hannah Pet, Hannah provides for the pet:
- Preventive veterinary care at Hannah Health & Education Centers, including dental care, specialty care and lab tests
- Emergency vet care at Hannah Health & Education Centers
- Prescription medications
- Training at Hannah Health & Education Centers
Unlike Pet insurance companies, Hannah does not discriminate against Pets who are already sick or injured. We will work with you to give the Pet the medical attention it needs at a reduced cost before it actually becomes a Hannah Pet.
Hannah also provides personal services for an additional fee, such as:
- Pet food and delivery
- Pet transportation in a Pet limo
- Cat litter and delivery
- Heartworm, flea and tick control
Retained ownership is a new concept that makes Pet medical care less expensive without compromising quality. A veterinary office, for example, might have temporary retained ownership of a Pet when it needs surgery. You always have the option to resume legal ownership if no longer want your companion to be a Hannah Pet. Retained ownership does not change your relationship or moment by moment council of your pet – they still lick you in the face!
When your Pet becomes a Hannah Pet, you never again have to worry about the cost of unexpected illnesses and injuries. Hannah gives you access to high quality veterinary care whenever your Pet needs it without the burden of expensive bills. You’ll never have to choose between what’s best for your Pet and what’s best for your wallet.
With traditional insurance policies, you’re responsible for paying a monthly premium, co-pay and deductible, as well as filing a claim. Under Hannah’s TLC Plan you only pay a monthly fee for your pet’s companionship. When your Pet visits a Hannah vet, you don’t have to worry about submitting a claim, or if you should get everything recommended on the vet’s estimate of cost — whatever you and the doctor decide is best for your pet all is covered.
As veterinary bills account for a large percentage of Pet care costs, Pet insurance might seem like an attractive option. Learn the details about the policies that interest you and compare them to the benefits that Hannah the Pet Society offers. Carefully compare what is and what is not covered and the true costs of each plan, taking into account any co-pays, deductibles and reimbursements. In the end, the best plan is one that sets up your Pet as the ultimate winner.