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Americans love their pets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are 76,811,305 dogs, and 58,385,725 cats. That means a lot of visits to the vet, and bills to go along with it to keep your best friend healthy.
Veterinarians have had to modernize, and obtain a lot of equipment to properly diagnose and treat your pets. Along with this comes higher overhead, so that gets passed to you, the pet owner.
Enter pet insurance. You insure your own health. Your fur-baby should be insured too. Most people rarely use most of their insurance policies, but have them, “just in case.” With pet insurance, you will use it. There are plans that not only cover unexpected illness or injury, but also to offset costs related to preventative care.
Plan ahead and avoid the huge vet bill with pet insurance. To help get you started, here are some options to consider:
We love Embrace Pet Insurance because of several unique options it brings to the table. If your pet has a pre-existing condition, but has been symptom-free for at least 12 months, it’s not considered exempt from coverage. When you switch to Embrace, they only look at the last 12 months of health history, which is one of the most advantageous options for pet parents.
Another benefit offered by Embrace Pet Insurance is the vanishing deductible. For each year you do not use your coverage, your deductible is reduced by $50. When it comes time to make a claim, this helps lower your out-of-pocket expense.
One more interesting option that’s available through Embrace that isn’t offered among many pet insurance plans is wellness coverage. It’s a supplemental option that can help offset costs for spaying and neutering, vaccinations, microchipping, and other routine care.
Compared to the other options in this list, PetAssure is a little different. Think of PetAssure as a discount membership card. When you sign-up for a membership, you automatically get discounts at participating veterinary offices, which in turn, pays back any money you spent on the membership in the first place, plus save more each time you need your veterinarian. Because this is a discount membership, there aren’t any restrictions on breeds, or pre-existing conditions. You can sign up in as little as 2 minutes, and you can use the coverage immediately.
For a flat $19/month — no matter your pet’s age, breed or medical history — Pawp gives you: 24/7 unlimited access to vets, $3,000/year for a vet emergency, and protection for up to 6 pets.
The Pawp emergency plan gives you the ability to consult with a vet 24/7 so you can avoid costly office visits, and to get an opinion on if what your fur-baby is experiencing warrants a trip to a vet office, or if it can be taken care of at home.
If you end up requiring a vet visit, Pawp will pay up to $3,000 for an emergency visit each year. It’s directly paid to the vet before you even leave the office, meaning you get to avoid any hassle with upfront payments, copays, and waiting for reimbursement.
Pawp is a great option to make sure emergencies are covered, and to have flexible access to vet opinions as other things come up.
Lemonade is an AI driven company that has rapidly grown in recent years, especially with homeowners and renters insurance. They also provide the same great coverage and service for pet insurance, starting at only $10/mo. Plus, like many insurance carriers, you can get a discount when you bundle your coverage.
The accident & illness base insurance plan covers all the essentials to make sure your fur-baby gets everything they need when sick or injured. This includes MRI, surgery, medications, and more to make sure they get back to happy tail wagging. They also have optional preventative care packages to cover annual exams, vaccines, heartworm tests, and more. They even have a special preventative package for puppies and kittens, which is especially helpful when you have a young pet needing extra care.
Affordable plans and quick claims are made better by the fact that Lemonade is a public benefit company. As part of their Giveback program, whatever funds aren’t used for claims reimbursement are donated to meaningful causes that customers choose. Some examples of this are Paws, Friends of Animals, and the Humane Society.
Odie is a relative newcomer to the market, but makes quite a splash with the wealth of options for cats and dogs, and monthly premiums that average between 15-30% less than others that offer the same coverage. Odie’s mission is to make pet healthcare coverage easily accessible to more people.
Coverage with Odie lets you choose your own vet, premiums don’t increase because you use your policy, and there are no breed or age restrictions. Odie also has an optional wellness coverage plan to help reduce costs on routine care.
Claims management is easy with Odie’s 24/7 portal, and claims are typically reimbursed in 5 days.
Your fur-baby is unique, and you can get coverage just as unique with Odie.
With Healthy Paws, you get award winning service combined with a simple policy that has no annual or lifetime reimbursement limits. You simply choose your deductible, reimbursement level, and you get an instant quote through their easy-to-use website. Once you’re covered, it’s also easy to submit a claim through their app, and claims are processed rather quickly, generally within 2 days. Their plan is excellent for affordable, comprehensive coverage for injuries or illness, and you can work with any licensed veterinarian you choose.
Eusoh is a community health sharing plan that reimburses pet owners for their pet’s veterinary care expenses. Because it isn’t a traditional insurance plan, coverage automatically includes many other vet expenses that typically require separate coverage. Some examples are annual checkups, prescriptions, and wellness care.
Eusoh is on a mission to revolutionize the healthcare industry by eliminating the need for expensive and unreliable insurance programs by offering a health plan that covers almost any kind of veterinary expense. Coverage is among the best we’ve reviewed, where it only expressly states that spaying/neutering, breeding, grooming, supplements, food, and pre-existing conditions are not covered.
Join the Eusoh community today, and enjoy great health coverage for your pet!
For insurance coverage that is based on actual vet bills, and not category caps to offset some of the cost, consider Petplan. Their policies even include exam fees, which will save you anywhere from $50-$250 per sick visit. They also include a “covered for life” policy for anything your pet may encounter, as long as it wasn’t pre-existing to having your plan. If you shudder thinking about having to find an “in network” veterinarian, like you would for an HMO, there’s no worries here with Petplan, either. They cover all veterinarians, and even specialists or emergency clinics.
PetFirst provides pet medical insurance plans for dogs and cats of all ages, including senior pets. With plans starting at only $15/mo. for dogs, and $9/mo. for cats, coverage is easily affordable. Plus, it is owned by MetLife, a well regarded insurance company that’s been around for over 150 years.
Policies are flexible where you can choose your deductible and reimbursement level. Another great perk is that there are no per incident, or lifetime caps on covered care. If you are considering switching carriers, they do cover pre-existing conditions, as long as it is included with your current insurance. The waiting periods for coverage are rather short – accident and preventative care coverage (if selected) are eligible as soon as your policy is effective, and illness coverage is available after 2 weeks. There aren’t any network requirements, so you can stick with your favorite vet.
For affordable coverage that provides great, comprehensive benefits, check out PetFirst.
One of the more recognizable names on the list, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance provides all the benefits you would expect from a large organization dedicated to the welfare of animals. In addition to the typical accident and illness coverage, ASPCA also provides for reimbursement for microchipping, and prescription food and supplements that are provided as part of treatment for a condition.
Coverage options are quite flexible – you can get reimbursement percentages ranging from 70-90%, and plans that are accident only, or full coverage, plus an optional wellness plan. This ensures there’s an option to suit any budget or need.
Coverage varies based on the plan and carrier. Most plans cover routine visits, sick visit exam fees, treatment for accidents, and illnesses, emergency, and specialist visits, to name a few. Some specialized plans also cover holistic treatments, and options for those with pre-existing conditions.
Most comprehensive plans cover MRI scans, as long as the reason for the MRI is not excluded from eligibility due to a pre-existing condition, or from an act of cruelty (i.e. fighting, or neglect). All of the options above offer varying degrees of coverage or reimbursement for MRI scans.
Standard pet insurance is intended to cover illness and injury. Some companies provide wellness coverage, which does include reimbursement for spaying and neutering. Examples above that include a wellness plan that contains coverage for spaying and neutering are Embrace, Odie, PetAssure, PetFirst, ASPCA and Pets Best.
Similar to spaying or neutering, teeth cleaning is considered a wellness/preventative measure, so it is not covered by core pet insurance plans. It is covered in the same wellness programs offered that also cover spaying and neutering.