The Pros and Cons of Health Insurance for Your Dog
Veterinary care today is much more advanced than it was even 10 years ago. Many veterinarians and vet hospitals are able to use diagnostic tools and treatments that at one time were only available to humans. This is great news for dogs but it also means that the cost of veterinary care has, in some cases, increased astronomically. Many people are not able to afford expensive cancer treatments or surgeries for their pets.
Just how do people manage to pay for these expensive treatments for their dogs? Or do they? One option is by using health insurance for dogs. Yet there are both pros and cons to choosing health insurance for pets. We’ll take a look at them below.
Pro: You can afford more expensive treatments for your dog
By choosing health insurance for their dogs, many owners can afford expensive treatments for their dog if their dog develops cancer or requires surgery following an accident. This will depend on the type of policy and the coverage provided, however.
Pro: Deductibles and Co-Payments vary
You can find different kinds of policies that let you choose the amount of deductible you want to have and how much of a co-payment you want to make. If you want to get health insurance for your dog, there is likely a policy that will fit your budget.
Pro: You can use whatever veterinarian you want to use
Health insurance for dogs allows you to use any veterinarian you want to use since you pay out of your own pocket and file for reimbursement.
Pro: Some policies cover well visits, annual shots, and even spay/neutering
Depending on the policy, well visits, annual vaccinations and even spay/neutering may be covered. However, policies which cover such visits will cost substantially more.
Con: As more veterinarians accept canine health insurance, the cost of standard care rises
There is no managed care for animals. There are no checks on the veterinary profession. Veterinary care costs increase as insurance pays to cover them, leaving uninsured owners higher bills to pay.
Con: All bills are paid out-of-pocket
All bills are paid out-of-pocket and reimbursed at a rate of 70-90 percent. Health insurance for dogs is more like property insurance than human health care. Your veterinarian does not file claims for you.
Con: Coverage varies greatly from one company to another
Some companies are very slow to pay. Companies do not cover pre-existing conditions. If your dog develops a chronic disease while covered, the condition may not be covered when you renew.
If you have routine veterinary expenses for your dog then health insurance is not a good buy. You will probably be better off opening a savings account for your dog to pay any unexpected expenses. However, if your dog develops cancer or another serious illness, health insurance could be helpful, provided the condition is covered by your policy. You should check out any policy you are considering very carefully to know what is and is not covered and how much it will cost.
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