Many studies have linked pet ownership with better physical and mental health. Pets have been shown to help lower blood pressure and decrease bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Pets have also been shown to give their owners a greater sense of well-being and bring more fun to the families who own them. Considering all that your pet does for you, shouldn’t you do something in return for him or her?
Making sure your pet receives regular veterinary care is the No. 1 way to take good care of your pet. However, check-ups and treatments for illnesses and emergencies can take a toll on your finances. So plan ahead and purchase a pet insurance plan to help pay for the care your dog or cat may need in the future. Young dogs and puppies need protection too because they tend to be clumsy and like to eat things they shouldn’t, like sticks and rocks and their bedding.
“Pet insurance could have saved us thousands of dollars”
Several weeks after welcoming golden retriever puppy, Macy, into their home, Ron and Angela Miller’s new dog needed emergency surgery. Macy had eaten one of her toys, and to save her life, her veterinarian needed to surgically remove it from her stomach. The surgery was successful and Macy was back to feeling like herself soon after. However, the family had more than $3,000 in vet bills to contend with.
“I wish we had purchased pet insurance when we first got Macy,” Angela says. “This experience taught us how expensive veterinary care can really be and that you never know what might happen.”
Soon after, the couple purchased pet insurance for Macy from Pets Best Insurance.
Save money while keeping your pet healthy
The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that the cost of medical care for pets is rising twice as fast as the average of all other consumer spending:
* Treating a dog’s broken leg can cost $2,000 to $5,000.
* Surgery to remove swallowed items such as rocks, sticks or toys can cost $1,000 to $3,000.
* Treating cancer can cost $2,000 to $10,000 or more, depending on the type of cancer and its severity.
Depending on which plan you choose, you can save up to 80 percent on emergency care with your pet’s insurance plan. If you opt to add routine wellness coverage, you can save hundreds of dollars more each year on check-ups and vaccinations. For about $25 to $40 a month, you can purchase a basic pet insurance plan for your dog or cat.
What’s covered for your pet
There are a variety of plan designs to choose from with different price ranges and coverage levels, so everyone can find a plan that’s affordable and meets their pet’s needs. You can decide between plans that offer coverage for injuries and illnesses or plans that include preventive care coverage. All pet insurance carriers have plans for cats and dogs. Some companies offer coverage for other pets, such as birds, snakes or rabbits.
If you’re considering pet insurance, here are three questions you should ask to find a plan that is right for you.
1. Should I choose a high or low deductible? If you choose a higher deductible, you will pay a lower monthly price. Keep in mind that higher deductible plans mean you will need to pay higher out-of-pocket costs before you reach your deductible. Choosing a lower deductible will increase your monthly price, but means your out-of-pocket costs will be lower. Deductibles may be annual or per incident, so make sure you understand which type of deductible applies to your plan. Pets Best Insurance plans include per-incident deductibles, so all expenses related to an accident or illness accumulate toward the deductible.
2. What is covered by the plan? Most plans cover pet illnesses, accidents and injuries. Many plans reimburse pet owners 80 percent of the cost of treatment. Most plans also let you visit any licensed veterinarian. Find out if the plan will cover chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or cancer. Consider adding preventive care coverage, which many plans offer on an optional basis, for routine measures such as annual exams, vaccinations or teeth cleanings. Also, check to see whether there are age limits on your plan. Companies such as Pets Best Insurance offer plans for pets of all ages.
3. What is excluded from the plan? Most plans will not cover health issues that your pet had before you signed up for your policy, whether or not they were previously diagnosed or treated. Make sure the policy you choose clearly states what is and is not covered in a way that is easy to understand, and ask questions if you are not certain.
To learn more about pet insurance, visit www.petsbest.com. To learn about employer sponsored pet insurance, visit www.aetna.com/plans-services-health-insurance/detail/pet-insurance/pet-insurance.html. To read reviews of pet insurance companies visit www.petinsurancereview.com/petsbest.asp.