Health Insurance

We are so fortunate that Cabana is a healthy dog and not terribly accident prone. We've never had to go to an emergency clinic after hours or on a weekend, and any issues Cabana has had have been fairly minor.

So last weekend, when Cabana started limping and refused to put any weight on her front left paw, we wondered if our luck had run out. When I tried to touch Cabana's paw, she let out a moaning yowl like I'd never heard from her before, kind of like, "Yeowooorarrrooohh!"

I could see a small red spot, but there wasn't any blood. Whatever had happened, it must have been extremely painful because Cabana didn't even come running when my husband started cooking his weekend pancakes, which is one of Cabana's favorite indulgences.

I took Cabana to the vet first thing on Monday morning. The vet said it was some sort of puncture wound, from who knows what. He injected her with pain killer and antibiotics and also prescribed oral antibiotics and Rimadyl. $175 and one day later, Cabana was fine. It seemed a bit like overkill for one tiny spot, but now, you'd never even know she'd been hopping around on three legs just a few days ago.

This incident got me thinking about pet insurance. I have heard it usually runs about $50/month, which seems like a lot right now, since Cabana rarely has any problems. But I'd hate to get to a point someday where we have to make concessions on Cabana's health based on financial considerations. I'd like to make those decisions based on prognosis and quality of life, rather than price tag.

So here I start my research on pet insurance plans. Do you have health insurance for your pet? Is one company way better, or are they all fairly similar? Cabana is 4 years old and doesn't have any pre-existing conditions.

Becky  – (December 1, 2012 at 7:26 PM)  

Oh Cabana - glad you are doing better! I am not sure why I am commenting as I don't have any info on this topic other than to say I recall us wondering about it when we had three dogs! I will be interested to read the comments of those who know what they are talking about - but just had to comment and say glad Cabana is doing better - but ouch on the cost. I'll be in San Fran this Tue/Wed and will think of you!

JackDaddy  – (December 1, 2012 at 9:00 PM)  

I got PetPlan for Jack the week he came home and I've been very pleased with them. Right now it's about $30.00 a month, but once you've been hit with a multi-thousand dollar vet bill, it will more than pay for itself.

Mandy and Norton  – (December 2, 2012 at 3:46 PM)  

Saxon has the plan his vet recommends, called trupanion, it is about $25 a month. Trupanion has sliding scale deductibles so you can choose your coverage level which is nice. Haven't had to use it yet, but supposedly after you reach the deductible, trupanion pays 90% of everything else. Saxon has been very healthy too, but I just wouldn't want to have anything catastrophic happen to him and even have to worry about being able to pay for treatment. That peace of mind is worth $25 a month to me! :) Iust know that they don't cover pre-existing conditions!

Martha G  – (December 2, 2012 at 9:28 PM)  

I think about this all the time. My husband would rather we put money aside in an account, but I want the piece of mind not to have to make a health decision for one of our pets be limited by cost, too. I bought home many pamphlets a month or so ago from my vet and I can't remember which one I liked best. Trupanion was one of them. There was another that did cover preexisting conditions. I'll look for the pamphlets.

Cassie & The Dogs  – (December 3, 2012 at 6:26 AM)  

We have thought about it, but overall, I think that it is a waste of money for most people (due to coverage restrictions and such). So, we have started our own "insurance" plan. We have dedicated a slice of our savings to vet bills and put money in every month.

Cassie & The Dogs  – (December 3, 2012 at 6:33 AM)  

That last comment stopped letting me type! Odd! So, we decided on our own savings account, partially because we have 2 animals, both who would be considered to have pre-existing conditions. When I looked at insurance and saw that is also excluded treatment for anything that is "genetic" and many of the problems considered "genetic" I felt like pet insurance could be a frustrating endeavor. So, we decided to, essentially, keep our money, but set it aside for vet stuff and grow interest on it ourselves. When their "emergency fund" reaches its pre-determined limit, we will set aside money for other things, then come back and replenish that account as needed.

Mandy and Norton  – (December 3, 2012 at 6:53 PM)  

cassie - trupanion "covers" "genetic" "conditions" but yes, it is an insurance company so who knows what that actually means! :)

Beth and Alfie  – (December 3, 2012 at 7:36 PM)  

Hi Mimi & Cabana,
Glad to hear Cabana's better! :) I researched quite a bit on this when we adopted Alfie, & decided to go with Petplan. Quotes vary, of course, based on your dog & the deductible you choose, but for us it's extremely reasonable. Coverage for congenital/hereditary conditions is standard, as long as it's not a pre-existing condition. They've also got a "Guaranteed for Life" clause that ensures coverage for chronic conditions for the life of your pet, provided you keep it renewed each year. That's pretty important to me. They even cover specialized and complementary/alternative therapies. Having said all that, I can't give a personal testimonial simply because Alfie's so darn healthy! :) But I've got the peace of mind of knowing that if something does come up, I don't have to worry. Phew!!

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