Pet Insurance

Old Jul 4th 2019, 11:10 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Last time I ran the numbers for my pet he'd end up needing a surgery pretty often to break even. I've found it more financially savvy to "self insure".
When I had a cat, I passed on pet insurance even though it was provided by my employer as a benefit and was a little cheaper than the going rate for coverage. My take was that it was so riddled with exceptions that it just wasn't worth it.

Last edited by Giantaxe; Jul 4th 2019 at 11:18 pm.
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Old Jul 5th 2019, 7:05 pm
  #17  
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

Also look into what they define as pre-existing condition, too. A friend had to fight their pet insurance company over an orthopedic procedure, I forget the details but they tried to wiggle out of paying $5k, typical insurance companies. Also check into local humane societies and see what sort of care services they can perform, often they are waay cheaper.
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Old Jul 5th 2019, 11:20 pm
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

A note on Trupanion, the clinic/ER has to accept it. Here is a perspective from an Animal Emergency Hospital that takes Trupanion. I just signed up my hospital last month and the first instance a client used it wasn't that good for either of us. Her outpatient ER bill was just ~$146. Trupanion do not cover the emergency exam, or even a GP exam, ($90 for us) leaving just $56. From that the client had to pay 10% and meet their deductible. Also, as a new client Trupanion did not have her complete history from her GP on file, and wouldn't pay anything until they had that. The client ended up just paying her $146 bill as it wasn't worth her trouble. Obviously bigger bills are going to have very different outcomes. I've yet to decide if we will drop the insurer or not. It was far too time consuming for us to go through all the hoops on a $146 bill. The onus on explaining the plan, what was required (she needed to get her medical history from her GP faxed to Trupanion) made what would have been a very simple transaction turn in to much more than it needed to be, It was also uncomfortable having to explain to the client that her insurance was for all intents and purposes not worth the claim in that instance - she had no idea about the deductibles, the office visit not being covered etc.. I believe this is the only insurer that pays the clinic/ER directly, but make sure you check if clinics/ERs in your area even accept it.

Normally our insured clients pay us directly and claim the money from their insurance. We just sign the clients claim form and the rest is between the client and insurer.

Last edited by thinbrit; Jul 5th 2019 at 11:23 pm.
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Old Jul 5th 2019, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

I just wanted to add that it is extremely likely that vet bills will continue to rise. With companies like Chewy.com and now even Amazon getting in to the market for RX meds the clinics need to increase the price of services to cover the loss in pharmacy. Add in the 2,000 'doc in a box' vet clinics coming to Walmart and you can see the landscape changing, If a clinic needs to cover $300 for a visit and Chewy.com just took $30 of income then your procedure costs have to go up for the clinic to stay in business. The clinic losing that $30 RX costs the clinic much more than you might expect. As an ER we don't see this trend as we script out just what is needed for the visit and follow up meds are from the GP, but GPs are having to approve tens of RXs from online pharmacies a day - they have to look up the client, have a doctor review the medical file, approve or deny the external RX, fax the form back to the online pharmacy etc.
I can buy some preventatives on Chewy.com cheaper than I can get them through distribution, and we have a large annual spend and get very competitive pricing. Your RX from that online pet company may have been imported on the grey market, sold as a loss leader, or they may just have bigger buying power. Regardless, your GP has to stay afloat and the trend is to increase the charge for services to cover the loss. AVMA and VHMA are full of stories of clinics struggling to keep up with fulfilling the online pharmacies requests. The general consensus among veterinarians are to forget about pharmacy revenue, and increase the cost for services.
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Old Jul 6th 2019, 12:45 am
  #20  
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

So has anyone every used pet insurance successfully?

Is it really only good for an accident or illness emergency, as being coverable things, and nothing else? If so, it still seems more doable than potentially thousands in vet bills.
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Old Jul 6th 2019, 8:23 am
  #21  
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
So has anyone every used pet insurance successfully?

Is it really only good for an accident or illness emergency, as being coverable things, and nothing else? If so, it still seems more doable than potentially thousands in vet bills.
This is how I view it, as ‘catastrophic’ coverage in the same way some human plans are.

i agree with the above poster that trupanion does not cover check ups, but I still think it’s worth the $28 a month for the potential cost of a broken cat leg.
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Old Jul 6th 2019, 12:24 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post


This is how I view it, as ‘catastrophic’ coverage in the same way some human plans are.

i agree with the above poster that trupanion does not cover check ups, but I still think it’s worth the $28 a month for the potential cost of a broken cat leg.
Or another potential intestinal obstruction. Stupid cat - why do they eat things that aren't cat food.
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Old Jul 6th 2019, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

If you are looking for wellness plans then Banfield offers them. They cover regular treatments. Check with your local Banfield on how busy they can get. We often get clients come to our ER for treatment because the local Banfield are too busy to get them in.
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Old Jul 7th 2019, 11:46 pm
  #24  
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

Originally Posted by thinbrit View Post
If you are looking for wellness plans then Banfield offers them. They cover regular treatments. Check with your local Banfield on how busy they can get. We often get clients come to our ER for treatment because the local Banfield are too busy to get them in.
Hmm, their actual service prices for regular things seem to be quite a bit lower than my vet's prices. Do you have any info on whether or not they are any good?
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Old Jul 8th 2019, 2:50 am
  #25  
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Hmm, their actual service prices for regular things seem to be quite a bit lower than my vet's prices. Do you have any info on whether or not they are any good?
That will differ from location to location. A retired vet I know started to do some part time work at a local store, but was unhappy about what he witnessed there and decided it wasn’t somewhere he wanted to work.
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Old Jul 8th 2019, 10:44 am
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

Originally Posted by thinbrit View Post
If you are looking for wellness plans then Banfield offers them. They cover regular treatments. Check with your local Banfield on how busy they can get. We often get clients come to our ER for treatment because the local Banfield are too busy to get them in.
Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post


That will differ from location to location. A retired vet I know started to do some part time work at a local store, but was unhappy about what he witnessed there and decided it wasn’t somewhere he wanted to work.

Now that I've looked, the reviews for my local Banfield are not exactl encouraging. Think I'll pass.
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Old Jul 11th 2019, 8:47 pm
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Hmm, their actual service prices for regular things seem to be quite a bit lower than my vet's prices. Do you have any info on whether or not they are any good?
Banfield have a 'corporate' culture. Doctors are encouraged, anecdotally they are 'forced', to follow a set script. Your pet presents for "ABC" the doctor punches in "ABC" and is given a treatment plan Banfield states is for "ABC". It is very cookie cutter. In my experience they often have new graduates who like the 'hand holding' of dictated medicine. Theoretically every visit to a Banfield should have a consistent level of care. Think of a McDonalds of animal care. For some that is just fine, for others they are wanting something a little different.

Banfield is a part of the Mars corporation now, along with Blue Pearl, Pet Partners, VCA, and now, AniCura. See a trend? In total, Mars employs almost 1 in 10 of all U.S. veterinarians who serve pets.
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Old Jul 12th 2019, 4:42 pm
  #28  
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
So has anyone every used pet insurance successfully?

Is it really only good for an accident or illness emergency, as being coverable things, and nothing else? If so, it still seems more doable than potentially thousands in vet bills.
No, quite the opposite. We had to take Sam in for emergency stuff. It was about $4k, and didn’t have a happy ending. The insurance (petplan, I think) covered maybe $1k. I haven’t bothered with it for Suzy and Max.
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Old Jul 14th 2019, 8:28 am
  #29  
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

$28 a month for Trupanion on our 3 year old cat. $300/90%.

$336 p/a, I can live with that for peace of mind. Even with no health problems at all in 10 years (which is unlikely) it’s still less than the cost of one broken leg.
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Old Jul 14th 2019, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: Pet Insurance

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
$28 a month for Trupanion on our 3 year old cat. $300/90%.

$336 p/a, I can live with that for peace of mind. Even with no health problems at all in 10 years (which is unlikely) it’s still less than the cost of one broken leg.
Yeah that is how I feel, one back problem needing surgery would be more costly than lifetime cost of insurance. I feel its good value, vet bills can rack up quickly.

We pay more though for premiums and have a higher deductible to keep the premium lower. ($45 CAD$/I think the deductible is $700 CAD with 90%)
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