How Does a Wellness Plan Compare to a Pet Health Insurance Policy?
Let’s take a look at some of the important differences between wellness plans and insurance policies:*
*Please see your pet insurance provider for details on all products before purchasing any policy or plan.
How to Pick a Pet Wellness Plan?
In general, wellness plans are intended to make wellness care more affordable and are not intended for use on “unpredictable or abnormal” occurrences, such as illnesses and injuries. At our clinic, Wellness Plans are quoted based on the weight of your pet, and which plan option you choose. Wellness coverage can be ideal for new puppies that require a series of vaccines as well as spay/neuter procedures.
When Does Coverage Begin Once You Sign Up for a Wellness Plan?
For our plans, coverage goes into effect as soon as the first payment is made. There is no waiting period for new plan members before services can be used.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Pet insurance pays for veterinary care as covered by the specific policy’s limits. Both coverage and cost will depend on your policy.
Some key points about pet insurance coverage include:
- There is no pet insurance that will cover pre-existing conditions or preventative care. For example, if your pet has a thyroid condition, your insurance coverage will not pay for any diagnostic test or treatment related to this condition. Some companies, will cover certain conditions after a specific time frame. If, for instance, your young puppy had a urinary tract infection that was treated successfully, the insurance provider may consider this a “cure” and cover other urinary problems in the future.
- Payments depend on the insurance company and policy. You can choose to be reimbursed for 100% of the costs or a much smaller amount. As with other types of insurance, you can choose a high deductible or no deductible. The more coverage you have, the more expensive the premium (payment). A number of things could impact your premium.
- Coverage also depends on the company. For example, some pet insurance companies will cover genetic and congenital conditions while others won’t. If you have a purebred dog and have specific concerns, it is important to understand any exclusions.
- Most policies for accidents and illness only go into effect after a waiting period. This can vary from a week to a month.
- Like in the market for human healthcare, the expense of offering quality care for dogs, cats and other pets has risen, but this also means higher veterinary bills due to the advancement of treatment.
What are the Components of a Pet Insurance Policy?
Pet health insurance providers offer several basic types of policies and upgrades. The main components of a pet insurance policy include:
- Deductible: This is the amount of the veterinary bill that you are responsible for before your pet insurance benefits take effect. It is important to understand that companies differ in how they define “deductible.” Some companies have an annual deductible, while others offer a per-incident deductible. This difference can make a big impact on what you pay over the course of a year. The lower the deductible, the higher the premium and vice versa.
- Maximum coverage limit: This is the amount of money an insurance company will pay out per claim. Some companies have a per-year limit and others a lifetime limit.
- Reimbursement: The reimbursement, also referred to as “copay,” is the amount of a bill that is paid by an insurance company. You can often choose the amount (percentage) the insurance company pays when selecting your policy. They can cover 100%, 90%, 80%, or 70%, and so on. The more they cover, the more expensive your premium. The reimbursement kicks in after the deductible.
- Premium: Premium is another word for payment. This is the amount you pay to the insurance company each month or year for coverage.
You can purchase your policy directly from a pet insurance company or an insurance agency representing several different companies.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Here is an example of how a pet insurance policy might work:
- Let’s pretend you have a pet insurance policy with a $500 deductible and 90% reimbursement.
- Now, pretend your dog ate a sock that became stuck in their intestines and removal of the object required surgery. The surgery to remove the sock with diagnostic x-rays, bloodwork, and supportive therapy, such as intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and pain medications, costs $3,000.
- First, you pay the deductible of $500. After this is paid, the reimbursement kicks in. Your remaining bill totals $2500. The pet insurance company will pay 90% of that and you will pay 10%. You will, therefore, owe the $500 deductible plus $250 (which is 10% of the balance). Your total bill comes to $750. The pet insurance company will pay $2250.
- Most pet insurance companies require that you pay your veterinarian and submit any invoices and paperwork. They will then pay you directly.
Call or email our clinic anytime for more information on what option will work best for you and your pet!
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