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Pet Health Insurance  

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  1. 1. Do you have pet health insurance?

    • YES
      24
    • NO
      32


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I have been hearing a lot about health insurance for pets and also reading about some of the health problems that greys have as they age. Is pet health insurance a good idea? How much can vet bills run for things like chemo and amputation? My baby is only 4 so hopefully I won't have anything too serious anytime soon, but just wanted to be prepared in case :goodluck . Also, where can I find a good pet insurance provider? How much does it run a month? Thanks!!

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Hi I looked into pet insurance when my foster incurred a $6,000 vet bill at ER (I have since adopted her). First I went with gopetplan.com because HSUS recommends them. But they sounded great until they started delving into every vet and every vet medical records I have on my two and then told me they would be excluded for several things BUT what annoyed me most was the inference that I had held back info, I had no idea how pet insurance works :huh so I canceled them due to their attitude and went with embracepetinsurance, they seem like a nice company and altho they may find the same exclusions I feel better about them. For both my dogs its around $340 total each year because I went with the $10,000 coverage with a $500 deductible and 20% copay. This is because all I am concerned about is some major illness or ER visit, not worried about regular vet visits or costs. Seems to me insurance is a good thing in a lot of ways but you need to make sure they have a high per incident coverage as some have a ceiling of $2,000 which doesn't go far in the ER :o

anneh

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Guest GreytMuse

I'm looking into it very seriously right now, too.

 

One problem I am running into is finding someone who will insure my 10 year old Golden. Apparently the cut-off age for many companies is 10. I understand the reasoning, but I'd prefer a company that will insure all 3 of my dogs.

 

Embrace - no dogs over 10

HSUS/Go Pet plan - no dogs over 10

VPI - no dogs over 10

 

So, that leaves me with ASPCA and PetFirst. I'm sure there are some others that I haven't found yet. Apparently Banfield (PetSmart) has their own plan, as well, but you must use their facility.

 

I'm actually trying to put together a spreadsheet/matrix so I can compare costs, rather than trying to switch between open windows on the PC! :lol I want to watch this thread and see what other recommendations arise!

 

 

 

 

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I was watching a vet show -- My Pet Vet -- or something like that. The vet on it to feel you'd be just as well off to set aside money every month into an account kept for just such emergencies. I know I can't afford insurance as the better plans I found would cost me $180/mo for three dogs. Yikes! :o

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Someone on the greyhound email list strongly endorsed Pets Best (www.petsbest.com), which covered some big expenses recently. The process to get a quote is simple enough. Coco's plan would cost just under $26/month for a 5-yo male ($100 per incident deductible, $2500 per incident limit, no annual limit, lifetime limit of $42,500)- and that was the most affordable of the three plans.

 

"Covers illnesses, accidents, injuries, emergencies, cancer, prescription medications, surgeries, and more."

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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I can't advise about specific companies as I'm in the UK but one of your questions was about how much things can run to for amputation and chemo. On our policy for Darcy Deerhound, she has £4000 a year to spend on vet fees (per policy year) so thats approx $8000 and we are currently up to approx $7000 because she's had a front right amputation and a course of chemo, plus all the other associated tests such as x-rays, regular blood tests, various medications and this past week, an out of hours vet visit and 5 days as an inpatient.

 

I can't recommend pet insurance highly enough.

Deerhounds Darcy, Duffy, Grace & Wellington, Mutts Sprout & Buddy, Lurchers Ned & Jake plus Ella the Westie + cats. Remembering Del, Jessie, Maddison, Flo, Sally, Stanley, Wallace, Radar, Mokka, Oki cat, Tetley, Poppy & Striker.

 

Please visit our web store at http://www.dogsndubs.com for our own range of Greyhound related clothing for humans!

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I had VPI, on one of my two dogs, found it much less than impressive. My other dog, and now Carl, are with PetCare Insurance. I have NO complaints about them at all. Last year when Sheila was sick, she was misdiagnosed 3 times by 3 different vets, they paid each and every claim I sent them with no questions asked. They did call once to apologize when there was a delay in sending a check because it was over the Christmas holiday!

 

When she finally was diagnosed correctly with SARDS (sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome) they paid for her special tests and for a very very pricey visit to the doggy ophthalmologist, again with no questions asked. Sheila was 11. Because I enrolled her before she turned 10 they will continue to insure her.

 

Her bills last year totaled well over $3000 (maybe $4000) and I got the 70% back just like they said. I also did not have to pay the $100 deductible for every claim as they understood that each visit to the vet(s) was for the same thing, trying to determine what was wrong with her. FYI, they did not drop her from their coverage when it was time to renew.

 

When I got Carl I enrolled him in PetCare's ShelterCare program. This spring I plan to bump up his coverage to their QuickCare Gold 70% program. After the $100 deductible they will pay up to 70% of the claim. This is the program I have with Sheila.

 

Because there are so many low cost vaccination clinics around town I only pay about $19.00 per dog for their vaccinations, so there was no reason to tack on a preventative care (i.e. vaccination) fee to their existing coverage.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Guest midgie1007

I recently cancelled all of my VPI plans. I really seemed like they were covering less and less.

 

The final straw was when I submitted a claim for about $3000 for when one of my girls was so sick this past October, and they denied the whole claim.

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The final straw was when I submitted a claim for about $3000 for when one of my girls was so sick this past October, and they denied the whole claim.

 

Wow, I'm sorry to hear that. How disgusting. That's why I went with PetCare, no questions asked about my claims.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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I opted not to carry pet insurance. I found that the pet insurance places I looked at had so many ways to get out of paying claims and things that they didn't cover and high deductibles that it is more cost effective to just put aside money in an account. I also have a vet who in addition to being very reasonably priced will allow me to put things on a tab if I need to.

I also take into account that since I have seniors I would probably not spend time/money/heartache on extensive medical treatments that are only prolonging the inevitable and most likely will negatively affect the quality of my dogs life.

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I do carry VPI on all three Greys...

I have had it on Max for 7 years and other then normal

yearly check-up and shots had never used it.

Then we were hit with Osteosarcoma, they have been

wonderful, without it we would never had been able to

do what we have done for Max.

He just had his 4th Chemo and doing great.

Wouldn't be without it........

Thats what insurance is all about, when you need it - its there.

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Guest Jennifer4719

I did not vote, because I am still torn as to whether pet insurance is worth it vs. putting money aside in an account. I have had VPI on both my dogs now for over 3 years. They did okay with the routine stuff, but with other stuff like ear infections or allergies, they denied everything saying it was pre-existing. I just recently cancelled VPI and signed up with Petfirst. I found a website that reviewed all the known pet insurance and there really was so much bad stuff said about VPI that I just decided that it was time to get rid of it. I haven't had any major medical stuff with my dogs, fortunately. Xena is due for a dental and Honey ears are bothering her right now, so I will see how the new policy with Petsfirst works.

 

Here is the review sight I was looking at:

 

http://www.petinsurancereview.com/index.asp

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I have pet insurance on both Joe and Daisy. Joe they wouldn't cover for anything but basic safety (accident) insurance because of his unresolved undiagnosed nose bleeding problems. His insurance runs $8 a month and covers any sort of tears, breaks, cuts, etc. Daisy has Accident and Illness insurance that covers both accidents like Joe's and illness - diagnosis, treatment, and antibiotics. That runs $17 a month. They both have a hundred dollar deductible. To me, paying that little is worth it - Daisy's runs $204 a year and considering her mystery cut at the beginning of this month ran $120 to stitch up and get drugs for and she seems to average 3 accidents a year :rolleyes: it will definitely be worth it for her. Joe on the other hand, is a much less... clumsy dog, but if we were saving $8 a month, we wouldn't get far compared to the cost of repairing a broken leg or a fight with a squirrel compared to what they cover.

 

We're using ASPCA Pet Insurance and I've been fairly happy with them so far.

 

 

Forever in my Heart Joe T Greyhound, Charly Bear, Angel Daisy, and Katze & Buzz Kitty.

 

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There are so many pros and cons for each way. I hear a lot of people say they set money aside in case of emergencies or a long, lengthy illness. The problem with that is you end up using it for other things that may come up - a car breaking down, an appliance goes wonky, you or a family member gets sick or injured - so when you need it for your furkid - its not there or its greatly diminished.

 

With most insurances and/or vets you do need to pay the bill up front and then they reimburse you. And each company may have several different plans to choose from. We have insurance on Gracie, the same that we had on our Angel Vinnie thankfully. It is through VPI though we have it through my DH's employer as an insurance that we can sign up for and get a better rate. My boss, who has Gracie's Uncle, Higgins also has VPI but has a different plan and they didn't even get 1/2 of their claim back for his recent back surgery in December and even less for an emergency surgery to re-attach his tail in November.

 

With Vinnie - VPI allowed us to give him every chance we possibly could to beat the osteo - we have a separate cancer rider that only costs us a couple dollars extra each month - I am so thankful we had it - it gave us 3 extra months with him that we never would have had. It made him ambulatory and relatively pain free even though it was so very quickly and aggressively invading every part of his sweet puppy body. It paid for the vet visits, all the blood work, x-rays, mri's, biopsies, amputation, after care, chemo (though some chemo was given through the wonderful Dr. Cuoto's program as Vinnie became a subject in a couple different studies) even end-of-life services when we took him to the Bridge on his 14 month birthday.

 

For us, insurance more than paid for itself and gave us benefits that we never thought possible, it gave us wonderful memories with our Angel and gives us peace of mind for his sister, The Princess Diva - Gracie. And I know it's given my boss the same - as Higgins is almost 6 weeks post back surgery and he is no longer in debilitating pain - when it's your furkid in pain the gut reaction is no different that if it were your skinkid - you want the pain to stop. So I guess the question comes down to would you go without health insurance, car insurance, life insurance or rental/homeowners insurance?

 

We would suggest checking with your vet to see what plans they accept and the ones they have the least amount of trouble with. I know AKC also has different plans they offer so I am assuming that NGA may also have plans they offer that may get you a better rate than a single policy holder. Take an aspirin before digging in though!

Edited by Vinnie
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Guest ArtoftheGryhnd

No pet insurance here, instead, like others mentioned, I keep a fund. Have the money automatically withdrawn from my account so I don't even notice it. It is tempting to touch it for other emergencies though...

 

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Altho I opted to take out insurance with Embrace I still think that its best to put money aside specifically for veterinary care. When my recently adopted dog incurred that huge ER bill I realized just how much money I might need upfront (highway robbery!). Frankly altho I got the insurance I feel deep down that they will find a way not to pay but as I was able to keep premium cost low I figured it was worth the gamble but will also put money aside. Btw anyone got a recommendation for a savings account that has any real interest rate? For a small savings account seems like interest rates are zilch :unsure. anneh

No pet insurance here, instead, like others mentioned, I keep a fund. Have the money automatically withdrawn from my account so I don't even notice it. It is tempting to touch it for other emergencies though...

 

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Guest HeatherDemps

I don't have pet insurance and fortunately until recently did not have too many expenses. So, I can't really answer your question about that but can about the amputation and chemo, etc.

 

Initial leg and chest x-rays, blood work, and pain meds ran us aroudn $450 with our vet. Then, at the vet hospital, FNA and more x-rays were going to be around $350 but there were complications with the sedation, so it ended up being $650 when it was all said and done.

 

Amputation was on Wednesday and Dempsey stayed in ICU until Saturday morning. With the surgery and everything else involved, it was just over $2500. I am told the chemo alone would be $1700 for him, but he'll be getting into a study that will cover it. I'll have to pay for some more x-rays down the road and some bloodwork, follow up visits, etc on my own. I'm sure the costs may vary though depending on location, etc.

 

I have been hearing a lot about health insurance for pets and also reading about some of the health problems that greys have as they age. Is pet health insurance a good idea? How much can vet bills run for things like chemo and amputation? My baby is only 4 so hopefully I won't have anything too serious anytime soon, but just wanted to be prepared in case :goodluck . Also, where can I find a good pet insurance provider? How much does it run a month? Thanks!!

 

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I just incurred about $2500 in medical bills just having Chance diagnosed (OS), treated for pain, and helped over the Bridge. All this in about a two week span. It just adds to the pain of losing my boy, but of course it was absolutely necessary.

 

I will research insurance in case - OK, when - I get another Grey, but I like the idea of a savings account. I actually have money automatically taken out of my paycheck right now and put into the Credit Union. I don't have an ATM for that account or a checkbook, so I really never touch it. I think I'll just up the amount taken out of my check if I don't find a reasonable and affordable plan.

Nancy

 

th_Chancepool.jpgmissing my Angel, Chance ~ 1/23/99 - 1/24/08 (Fortified Heart)

"...for every joy that passes, something beautiful remains"

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