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Pet Insurance -- Deductible Suggestions?


Guest AbysMom
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Guest AbysMom

Aby is my 4 year old retired racer we've had for about 6 weeks now. My husband and I are looking into pet insurance and are wondering about deductibles.

I know this topic has been discussed on the site before, however I haven't been able to find much information about what deductible people use/suggest.

 

At this point we haven't had Aby long enough (and we haven't had dogs before) to know what sort of medical expenses we can expect with her and whether or not insurance would be valuable. Obviously, we do think insurance would be prudent to have, however what sort of deductible level we should use is something we are unsure of.

 

I've seen deductible ranges from $0-$1000 and just get concerned that if we get a higher deductible plan we may not regularly meet that deductible unless we have a catastrophic event. In my mind I want to actually use the insurance we have, if that is understandable. I am afraid of having a $500 deductible and only having medical costs totaling 90% of that each year, never being able to truly utilize the insurance.

 

Truth be told, I am stressing a bit feeling like this is a big decision and that I could potentially make a wrong choice, deductible wise.

 

Any thoughts / suggestions would be much appreciated! :)

 

(As an aside -- as far as insurance companies go, we are leaning towards Healthy Paws)

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When choosing a deductible it's really dependent on how much you feel you could afford before insurance starts to compensate the veterinary bill. Another thing to consider when choosing an insurance company -- is the deductible per incident or per year.

I feel pet insurance is really only useful for large veterinary bills--emergencies, illnesses, catastrophic events.

I have Healthypaws for my boy and I couldn't be happier with them. (I have a $500 deductible)

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Guest peacehound

Hello there,

I never had pet insurance but often wondered if I should of! Our girl Peace that recently passed away had several medical issues. I would say we definately had over 2000 a year in vet bills, some years much more. I guess I would look into what it covers. I plan to research once we adopt another and will follow this thread to see responses. I imagine that Peace was an exception and not the norm. She had a tumor removed, trips to the specialists to figure out the cause of the limp(old racing injury) an allergic reaction to a bee sting, problems after a dental..in addition to regular, typical needs.

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Is it a deductible per illness/incident? Or per year? You don't want to risk facing two $400 events in a year with a $500/event deductible; on the other hand, you might not want to be paying $500 a couple of years in a row for the same long-term illness or injury. (I used a company with a per-year deductible, but there was so much wrong with doing business at that company--it was VPI, which I advise everyone to avoid--that the deductible was the least of my problems.)

 

The other thing is how big a difference is there in the monthly premiums between the $500 deductible and a lower one. If the $500 deductible is substantially cheaper per month than, say, $250, the $500 might make sense if it's a yearly deductible, but make less sense if it's per illness/injury.

 

Because here's the thing: greyhound injuries/illnesses are not cheap. An overnight stay at the ER in an emergency can easily cost $1,000. I racked up a vet bill of $4,500 in four days, and when you're looking at that many digits, you don't much worry whether the deductible is $250 or $500.

 

I'm sure other people will chime in with info on the coverage they have, and there are Healthy Paws customers here, too. These days, I have no insurance. My 10-year-old was picked up as a stray when she was six, and no one would insure her because we had no vet records; by the time we had a year's worth of vet records for her, companies were crossing everything but her back left foot off their list as a pre-existing problem. (Happily, she's been much healthier since that first year.) And the boy is 8 years old and healthy as a horse (knock wood). They're also both staid, sensible dogs who only get leash-walked, so I'm less likely to have crazy playtime injuries or wildlife encounters. I'm careful with their food, so we generally steer clear of intestinal issues, and my vet bills in the last two years have been for a dental, a UTI, regular shots, and regular lab work. If you opt for a more active lifestyle for your girl--agility or lure coursing or something like that--you could be facing more injuries than my two placid therapy dogs are likely to incur.

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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I've never had pet insurance and currently don't have a pet to insure (well, my rat, but rat insurance isn't a thing :lol) but I'm planning to use Healthy Paws when I do get an insurable pet, and the $250 annual deductible seems to be the most reasonable for me.

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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As said above, make sure the deductible is *not* per incident and go with as high a deductible as you can afford in a year. The higher the deductible, the lower the monthly premium will be, though I don't know how much less. With Healthy Paws, you can always change the deductible to a lower amount, but you can't go back to a higher amount after.

 

I also endorse Healthy Paws Pet Insurance though the company has been slow in payments, IMO, the last few months.

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When choosing a deductible it's really dependent on how much you feel you could afford before insurance starts to compensate the veterinary bill. Another thing to consider when choosing an insurance company -- is the deductible per incident or per year.

I feel pet insurance is really only useful for large veterinary bills--emergencies, illnesses, catastrophic events.

I have Healthypaws for my boy and I couldn't be happier with them. (I have a $500 deductible)

This. I prefer my insurance to be for unexpected illness or injury, not routine medical care. So I went with 80% reimbursement and a $250 deductible. I prefer Healthy Paws because the deductible is annual so if there is an incident, we can submit other smaller claims because the deductible has been met. I also found their premium prices slightly better than Trupanion, who I think is their biggest competition. Something else to keep in mind, dental care and exam fees, as well as holistic care are not covered and that can add up.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I have Embrace with both dogs, each with a $300.00 annual deductible, 80% coverage, and capped out at $10,000 per year.

 

All of those figures can be "adjusted" up or down when you decide on a policy, raising or lowering your premium.

 

​Membership in the Greyhound Health Initiative, at $99.00 a year, gets you between 15-20% discount with Embrace.

 

Taylor's osteo care, since January, topped off at his $10,000 level when he finished up treatments in July.

 

The $10,000.00 they paid out covered 80% of all expenses.

 

At $1.37 per day, annuals, for the premium. $500.00 a year premium. They paid out $10,000.00. Yeah. I think it's worth having insurance.

 

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Based on prior experience with my dogs I decided to go with a $50 annual deductible. That amount was determined based on average expenses with prior dogs & the cost difference between monthly premium compared to other, higher deductibles. One dog has had his insurance pay for itself every year. The other dog hasn't needed it, yet, in the few years we've had it. I'm happy with my choices.

 

 

With Healthy Paws, you can always change the deductible to a lower amount, but you can't go back to a higher amount after.

 

Are you sure? Was remembering it the opposite way. You can always switch to higher deductible, but can't go back to a lower. Hmmm... :dunno That was a long time ago & my memory isn't the best. Guess someone shopping now should check to make sure.

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Based on prior experience with my dogs I decided to go with a $50 annual deductible. That amount was determined based on average expenses with prior dogs & the cost difference between monthly premium compared to other, higher deductibles. One dog has had his insurance pay for itself every year. The other dog hasn't needed it, yet, in the few years we've had it. I'm happy with my choices.

 

 

 

Are you sure? Was remembering it the opposite way. You can always switch to higher deductible, but can't go back to a lower. Hmmm... :dunno That was a long time ago & my memory isn't the best. Guess someone shopping now should check to make sure.

 

 

Hmmm... maybe you're right. Maybe I'm thinking of the percent of reimbursement. I can go down to 80% reimbursement but not back up to 90%. Going up to a higher deductible would benefit the company, whereas going back up to a higher percentage of reimbursement wouldn't.

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Hmmm... maybe you're right. Maybe I'm thinking of the percent of reimbursement. I can go down to 80% reimbursement but not back up to 90%. Going up to a higher deductible would benefit the company, whereas going back up to a higher percentage of reimbursement wouldn't.

Hmm, I was actually thinking I might want to change Violet to 90%. For some reason I had in my head you could make the change one time, but I may have completely made it up. If I look into it I will report back.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest mgodwin

Hmm, I was actually thinking I might want to change Violet to 90%. For some reason I had in my head you could make the change one time, but I may have completely made it up. If I look into it I will report back.

 

I actually just signed Ginny up for Healthy Paws not too long ago and wanted to make sure I understood this. Their policy is that you can raise the deductible and/or lower the reimbursement level at any time throughout the life of the policy. You may also lower the deductible and/or raise the reimbursement level but you may only do this once and only if you have not made a claim.

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I actually just signed Ginny up for Healthy Paws not too long ago and wanted to make sure I understood this. Their policy is that you can raise the deductible and/or lower the reimbursement level at any time throughout the life of the policy. You may also lower the deductible and/or raise the reimbursement level but you may only do this once and only if you have not made a claim.

Oh shoot, it was the latter part I didn't remember. We have definitely made a claim, a big one. :P Thanks for the clarification

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I got Healthy Paws for Bruce after Tanner passed away this Summer, I'm still paying the care credit bill off. I went with $250 deductable at 80% . I have had to submit a simple claim, just urine test and antibiotics claim which are covered benefits and I am very happy with Healthy Paws. It's a must now for my pets. I wouldn't be without it cause you never know when it might be needed. Hopefully, we will never have to use it for anything big, knock on wood.

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I have Embrace with both dogs, each with a $300.00 annual deductible, 80% coverage, and capped out at $10,000 per year.

 

I would never choose insurance that had any type of cap. Murray was diagnosed with a brain tumor in August. He had thousands of dollars in diagnostics (including a $2,000 MRI, chest X-rays, extensive bloodwork, abdominal ultrasound) and an overnight stay in an emergency hospital (almost $900). That cap would have covered the early bills, but there would have been ittle money left for the expensive cyber knife radiation treatment ($9,700) that followed. Veterinary care is very expensive. We were able to make all our decisions about how to treat Murray without ever having to think about money. What's the point of insurance if you still have to worry about how you're going to pay for treatment once you exceed your cap?

 

We have Trupanion. Murray has a $350 deductible and 90% coverage. They reimburse very quickly. The only thing I do not like is their per incident deductible. I've been with them for seven years and won't change companies now, but I will not insure another dog with them if they don't change that per incident (vs. annual) deductible policy.

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Tricia with Kaia the wolfhound-schnauzer mix
Always missing Murray MaldivesBee Wiseman, River, Hopper, and 
Holly Oaks Holly
“You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.“ -Bob Dylan

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