Health insurance is a must for humans and as veterinary costs continue to rise, increasing numbers of pet owners are buying health insurance for their animals.
Whether or not health insurance for pets is necessary is a subject of debate even among pet owners. The concept may seem new but pet health insurance has existed in Europe for decades.
Pet health insurance is similar to human health insurance. Like all types of insurance, pet health insurance offers a safety net for unexpected health expenses. Pet health insurance coverage can be written to include wellness check-ups as well as coverage for medical care.
Proponents of pet insurance believe that one major medical event make paying premiums worthwhile. Other cat owners feel that their pets are healthy and that the cost of premiums exceeds the out of pocket money spent on check-ups and routine care during any calendar year.
It’s wise to investigate before buying veterinary health insurance for a pet. Just as many health insurance plans will not cover pre-existing conditions in humans, pet health insurance carriers often opt not to cover pre-existing conditions. These can include any chronic conditions, past injuries, flea control, dental, and desexing (spay/neuter).
The age of the pet to be insured is also important. Younger pets will have lower paying premiums than older pets and some insurance carriers have age limits, meaning that older cats may not enjoy full coverage or may be excluded from having health insurance.
One of the best options for pet health insurance is a plan that allows the owner to seek medical care at any veterinarian’s office. Some plans limit care to a network of veterinarians just as human health insurance often limits care within a particular health system or network. If choosing pet health insurance, choose insurance that allows freedom of choice for treatment.
Look for low deductibles and small co-pay amounts. In reality, most pet insurance pays between 50% and 75% of the total medical charges so don’t expect not to pay out of pocket. Read the fine print of health care policies with care to check for maximum amounts of benefits that can be paid within a year or in a cat’s lifetime. This figure should be high enough to include any expected or possible expenses.
Consider the needs of the individual pet and don’t accept a blanket policy that covers some but not all of the cat’s needs. Riders can be included to coverage things such as extended care, boarding fees if the owner is hospitalised, recovery fee for advertising lost pets and retrieving them from a shelter, dental care, and even accidental death. Be aware that the more coverage that is provided, the higher the premiums and cost to the owner.
Each pet owner must also decide whether or not the cost of health insurance for his or her pet is worthwhile. Before making a decision, add up vet costs over the past year for each pet. If the amounts are less than a year’s worth of health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket deductibles, it might be best not to opt for insurance. If the pet is older, consider the cost for an elderly pet and read the fine print to learn if pets of this age are covered.
Health care technology has increased for pets as well as humans. Costs have risen with the ability to treat cats with similar care as their human companions. For this reason, many veterinarians endorse pet health insurance because one medical emergency can cost large sums of money.
Too often, some pets are euthanized when owners are unable to afford necessary treatment. Few cat owners want to lose a beloved pet because of financial constraints and pet insurance can help lower costs.
If pet insurance seems like a viable option, compare insurance providers before making a final decision. Look for a company with a solid background and history in offering health insurance for pets. Choose the health policy that best suits the needs of the pet in question and be sure all details are understood.
The price of pet health insurance seems to be a low price to pay for improved health and medical care for dear companions and friends.
Published by Cat World