Millions of people in the United States have a pet, or pets, that they consider to be one of the family. The economy being what it is, veterinary care for a dog, a cat, or any other type of pet is often too expensive for the pet’s family to afford. It is estimated that of all households in the U.S., about 46.3 million own a dog, which transfers into between 37% and 47% of American homes that house at least one canine cutie.
Because $13.59 billion is spent on the veterinary care of American pets every year, pet health insurance plans have been devised to make health care for pets easier on their owners. There are several different programs available, all created for the benefit of both pets and their families. It is not too difficult to find out how pet insurance works. Contacting the various pet insurance companies for service and price comparisons is the first step to take.
Most pet insurance plans for dogs will offer some type of comprehensive coverage, including a vet exam fee. An annual deductible can usually be between $100 or $250 to approximately $1000. Some offer optional wellness plans in addition to coverage for spay and neutering. Often times the insurer will cover chronic and hereditary conditions that might occur, and patients are free to use any veterinarian they choose. Most of the time no exam is necessary in order for plan approval, and coverage begins quickly.
Pet health insurance first began in 1980, the very first policy having been sold in 1982 for none other than television’s Lassie. This health insurance is, in some ways, pretty similar to the health insurance people are required to have; however, it does come with a couple of major differences. Pet medical insurance is, to begin with, exclusively for dogs and cats. However, there are some companies that will cover birds or exotic pets. As mentioned before, pet owners who buy a medical insurance policy for their pet are able to choose any veterinarian they like. There is no network of providers.
Breaking down coverage in order to make it simpler to understand how pet insurance works is easy to do. Because of the expense of many treatments for pets, including medications and surgeries, owners often buy an insurance policy for which they pay a premium, monthly or yearly. Different types of animals require different types of coverage. An outdoor cat will require a higher amount of coverage than an indoor cat would require.
Pet medical insurance provides a variety of different types of coverage; for instance, regular exams, illness, different types of imaging like MRI’s, ultrasound, and cat scans, even prescription medications. Also covered are cancer treatments, non routine dental treatments, diagnostics, and surgery along with rehabilitation. All of this is considered standard coverage. There are optional coverage packages, as well. Insurance companies are happy to explain to their customers how pet insurance works.
As mentioned earlier, some pets, whether purebred or mixed breed, will begin to display symptoms of an inherited condition. This could happen at any time throughout the life of a pet, depending upon the illness. There are several pet health insurance plans that will not cover these types of conditions, or will impose specific ages or complicated restrictions that must be met before coverage is approved. However, there are, in fact, those that will offer medical insurance for conditions that are chronic or inherited. Owners who have a pet whose background or breed could include the possibility of such a problem should inquire about the specifics of coverage when they are considering any type of pet medical insurance. The insurance company will explain what they offer and how pet insurance works.
Pet health care is available for senior pets as well as pets of younger ages. Because the needs of a pet change as they get older, just like people, their healthcare should be revamped in order to address any senior issues that could arise. It is recommended that geriatric pets have a semi annual physical with their vet in order to catch any health changes or problems that could begin in their older years. Discomforts and illnesses such as arthritis, cancer, and cataracts will require ongoing care.