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Thread: Pet Insurance in the U.S

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  1. #1
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    Default 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!!!
    Mom to Cody (Tri) 2/12

    My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacy De View Post
    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:

    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:

    http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/peth...-Insurance.htm

    Here's the one for PP, and there are others for other companies:

    http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/peth...nt_petplan.htm

    Pat
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

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    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.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    Quote Originally Posted by anniemac View Post
    I have Pet Plan and I'm happy with it but I thought it did not cover office visits (routine care).
    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.

    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.

    Pat
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

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    We see less issues for our clients who use VPI. They have a menu that you can pick and choose from.
    Mommy to Bobo (B&T) Feb 4th 2002,
    Hoopy (BL) Oct 22nd 2007,
    Lenee (BL) Oct 6th 2010.

    Jinky (Ruby) Sep 24th 2011

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    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.
    Pat
    Pat, I've had PetPlan for Charlie McFarlie for around 6 or 7 years and have not made a claim until just recently. Charlie turned 11 in April and the upcoming insurance preminum is going to be $1086.oo a year. I'm waiting to see what they re emburse for Charlie's claim, before I continue with the plan. $1086 for an 11 year old dog is getting pretty expensive for us. It is almost as much as our home owner's insurance.. Our recent (and only submitted claim) was for around $1300. There is a $200 deductible and 20% co payment, since Charlie had to see a specialist for his procedure. I was emailed that the claim would be taken care of within 10 to 15 business days. Tomorrow will be the 15 business day, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will take care of us.

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    Thanks to everyone here, I decided to go with Pet Plan. I also got it mainly for catastrophic. But am so thankful I did!! In February we got a new bed (about 2" taller than the old one) the very next a.m. Cody jumped off the bed and tore the ligaments in his left shoulder. We are now into this a little over $4500.00, thankfully it has been covered and I have been out only about $800.00. Which included my deductible and my co pays on the specialist and his physical therapy!! Payment from them was very quick. As soon as he was injured and I realized we were looking at specialist, etc I immediately had our vet send over his history as they needed that on file. My first check was received about 13 days after I submitted my first claim form. I am now as you can imagine a huge proponent of Pet Insurance.
    Mom to Cody (Tri) 2/12

    My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosewoodsteel View Post
    Pat, I've had PetPlan for Charlie McFarlie for around 6 or 7 years and have not made a claim until just recently. Charlie turned 11 in April and the upcoming insurance preminum is going to be $1086.oo a year. I'm waiting to see what they re emburse for Charlie's claim, before I continue with the plan. $1086 for an 11 year old dog is getting pretty expensive for us.
    I have just made my first two claims for Tucker within the last couple of months. They paid the first one within days, and the second was paid in two weeks.

    Tucker turned 11 last October, but his premium when his policy renewed in Feb is $804. I have bronze plan ($10k per year max payout), $200 deductible and 20% copay. You might look at the various options to see if you can get a lower premium. At this point, I will keep the insurance as long as he is alive. I spent almost $5,000 in one month (January) for my 13 year old shih tzu. Insurance would have made a big difference.

    Pat
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

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    It has been 17 business days and we have not been paid for Charlie McFarlies's procedure. The initial email I received from PetPlan said that claims would be processed withing 10 to 15 business days. When I asked them about this, their response was for me to read the Terms and Conditions of my policy, that they have 30 days to pay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStar Hoopy View Post
    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.

    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?
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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