Pet Insurance in the U.S
Hi all, wondering if any of you have Healthy Paws pet insurance. I have spent almost the entire day :-? researching Pet Insurance and I think I am down to 2 choices. Both cover hereditary conditions and both will cover chronic conditions for the life of the pet. The upside to Healthy Paws is that the deductible is yearly and not per condition, they also have an unlimited pay out yearly and lifetime. The other one I am considering is Pet Plan, but there yearly coverage is 8000.00 and the deductible is per condition, per policy. So if Cody injured his knee I would have to pay the deductible and then if 3 weeks later he got an ear infection (unrelated to the knee) I would have to pay the deductible again. Any opinions and advise is most welcome!!!
I read the actual policies for both companies. Here are some observations:
Originally Posted by Stacy De
Healthy Paws only covers medications that are approved for dogs by the FDA. Many (if not most) drugs for dogs are used off-label, so, for example, HP would not cover any of the common medications used for SM such as gabapentin, Lyrica, etc., and would not cover quite a few other medications used for heart disease (such as sildenafil (Viagra) for pulmonary hypertension), etc. This could be a large amount of money that would not be reimbursed. There is no exclusion in PetPlan for meds that are not FDA approved.
There was no mention in HP about alternative treatments such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, chiropractic, physical therapy, TCM, etc. PetPlan will cover these services if they are performed by a veterinarian. (I have an acupuncture/TCM vet among those in my vet team.)
HP has a one year waiting period for hip dysplasia coverage.
I am not concerned about a yearly payout max of $8,000. I can't imagine incurring more bills in one year that would top that - remember this is max PAYOUT, not max total bills for the year. PP also has a $12,000 and $20,000 max per year option, but I think that is really paying for more than you would ever need.
I ran a premium quote for my ten year old boy - and HP was about $250 higher per year than PP. Since PP also pays for office visit fee and HP does not, the $250 deductible per year (HP) versus the $200 deductible per illness (PP) would likely be a wash along with the difference in premium.
I'd also want to see how long HP has been around and try to get some history of satisfied customers. PP has been around for awhile, and there have been reports here from people that did have a good record of reimbursement.
According to this, there is a $25,000 lifetime maximum payout and the company has only been around since 2010, but other sites I read say that HP has unlimited lifetime payout:
Here's the one for PP, and there are others for other companies:
I have Pet Plan and I'm happy with it but I thought it did not cover office visits (routine care). The only other thing I came across is that there is a 2 year waiting period for ear infections. Most pet insurance companies have a waiting period like 14 days but I couldn't claim an ear infection that was over a year after I got the policy. That was the only thing that has a longer waiting period (I believe) before it is considered a pre existing condition.
Those things are minor compared to what Pat mentioned about Healthy Paws and Pet Plan. She mentioned that pet plan covers alternative therapy which I called about and that is a bonus. Besides the ear infection claims, Pet Plan has been very good. They covered most of Elton's MRI which was over $2000. I hear more about Trupanion and Pet Plan.
It covers office visits when your dog is sick or injured. It seems that HP doesn't cover the office visit fee for anything even if the other parts of the visit (diagnostics, tests, etc) are covered.
Originally Posted by anniemac
I still have never made a claim. I keep thinking about dropping it, but Tucker is 10 years old so surely I will make a claim at some point. I really got it just for catastrophic. At least I've only had it for two full years; just starting my third year.
We see less issues for our clients who use VPI. They have a menu that you can pick and choose from.
I'm sorry but I DON'T recommend VPI. They do not cover heriditary issues. I had VPI and learned the hard way when she had an MRI and was diagnosed with Syringomyelia. Hopefully, that won't be an issue but also that means MVD and other heriditary issues.
Originally Posted by LoneStar Hoopy
Now when Ella got attacked by a dog and when she had an obstruction that caused her to put her to sleep, they were really good. However, with our breed that has many heriditary problems (some may not be as common as MVD or SM but they will be listed as heriditary) you are on your own.
I got pet plan for my second cavalier. I heads premiums are going up but my biggest advise is only choose one that covers heriditary issue. I don't know of any that cover pre existing conditions so it's best to get before.
Wish you luck. Have you already signed up for VPI?
I apologize lonestar hoopy. I thought you were the original poster. I don't doubt you see less issues for your clients with VPI. Like I said, they were real good with other issues. I just feel with our breed and the cost of MVD (luckily I have not dealt with it), SM, and other heriditary issues, I would not recommend
Originally Posted by LoneStar Hoopy
Absolutely agree that hereditary issues is a MUST as part of cover for cavaliers as these are the most likely high-cost things most owners will need covered. Hereditary eye issues can also be very expensive in the breed. People need to really read the fine print and grill the insurance providers.
VPI is probably the worst - see this sample plan downloaded from their site. This is their "best" plan with the most coverage. (Strange - they "say" this covers hereditary on the page that lists the options, but the language in the actual policy says it is excluded.) They also don't cover hip dysplasia or luxating patella. They also pay on a predetermined schedule rather than on the actual bill.
6. WHAT WE DO NOT COVER – EXCLUSIONS
We will not pay for:
A. Diagnosis or treatment of any pre-existing condition.
B. Diagnosis or treatment of any condition identified as an Additional Excluded Condition on the Declarations Page
or Renewal Certificate of your policy.
C. Diagnosis or treatment of any bone or joint condition consisting of or associated with: (1) hip dysplasia, or any
luxation or subluxation associated with hip dysplasia, (2) elbow dysplasia, (3) patellar luxation or subluxation, (4)
osteochondritis dissecans, or (5) any fracture, luxation, or subluxation associated with aseptic necrosis of a femoral
head, except as provided in section 4, G of this policy.
D. Diagnosis or treatment of any condition consisting of or associated with: (1) angular limb deformity or (2) cruciate
ligament or meniscal damage or rupture that occurs during the first twelve (12) calendar months that this policy is in
E. Diagnosis or treatment of any condition consisting of or caused by cervical vertebral instability/Wobblers, except as
provided in section 4, G of this policy.
F. Diagnosis or treatment of any congenital disorder or developmental defect or any condition caused by or
resulting from the congenital disorder or developmental defect. We provide examples—not a complete list—
of common congenital disorders and developmental defects on our website: www.petinsurance.com or you
may call us at 800-USA-PETS to obtain this list.
G. Diagnosis or treatment of any hereditary disorder, defect, or disease or any condition caused by or resulting
from a hereditary disorder, defect, or disease, except as provided in section 4, G of this policy. We list the
conditions that we regard as hereditary disorders, defects, or diseases on our website:
www.petinsurance.com or you may call us at 800-USA-PETS to obtain this list.
Click on this link and see what they pay for a list of 50 conditions - it's a joke if you know what you would really spend -
Oh, this section brings back memories. They said they would cover the MRI for Ella but since she was diagnosed with SM (a hereditary disorder I guess listed under their "conditions") they would not cover it.
Originally Posted by Pat
So I asked if Ella had an MRI and they found out that she didn't have SM then it would be covered?
Now I find out my beloved dog has a serious condition and you won't pay for it.
Answer (and I will never forget this) Yes, BUT if she got hit by a car and had her leg amputated you would be golden (or some other term than "golden"). I could not believe I heard this.