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Health Insurance for my Pug

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Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  Banditsmom on 2/29/2012, 12:48 pm

Does anyone have health insurance for their pets? Is this worthwhile? if so, is there a particular company one should look at? People have mentioned this to me, but I never knew there was such a thing, or how important it may be.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

thanks

Banditsmom
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Banditsmom
 
 

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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  SacramentoPugs on 2/29/2012, 1:51 pm

Pet insurance is the right choice for me, but it's not for everyone. I've had Marlee insured since she was just under a year old, and (thankfully) haven't had to make a claim yet. But I enjoy the peace of mind I get from knowing we're covered if something major happens.

An alternative to pet insurance is to put a little money aside into a savings account each month, designated as your "pet emergency fund." I'm not particularly good at saving, so insurance is a better option for me.

The various pet insurance companies vary dramatically in what they cover. I went with one that does pay for breed-specific issues (so, for pugs, breathing issues, eye issues, etc.). Not all of them do that. A great resource is www.petinsurancereview.com. It's an unbiased third-party website that contains reviews from hundreds and hundreds of customers of all the major pet insurance carriers. I used that site when I was selecting a company about 5 years ago.
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  Renee on 2/29/2012, 2:04 pm

I do not have pet insurance on any of my pugs, and never have.

I don't know that I ever will in the future either. So far, (knock on wood!), hubby and I have not had any problem covering any medical need for any of our pugs. No doubt in my mind, we would do whatever needed to be done financially for them, including running up whatever amount of credit card debt we had to, if needed.

But, that is not doable for all people. The peace of mind of having that pet insurance coverage can be very reassuring and it can save a pet's life. I believe Rona has hit the record for insurance claims on her pugs!! LOL.

I like DeeDee's suggestion of an insurance that covers breed specific issues. That is really what turns me off from getting pet insurance - the fear of almost everything getting denied. Of course, at this point, none of my pugs would probably qualify for coverage anyway, as they are too old.
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  Aussie Witch on 2/29/2012, 2:45 pm

I'm in Australia, but vet costs and health insurance is comparable. I have had vet bills exceeding $100,000 over the last 10 years or so for four pugs. People who've know me for a long time know that's not an exaggeration. And they are still climbing. Insurance has probably covered about $70,000, so it's still a huge amount to be out. If you feel you could honestly cover a devastating illness to the tune of $10,000 out of your pocket, it's probably something you could risk, but if those sorts of figures would break you, the forty odd bucks a month is cheap peace of mind.
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  TNPUGMOMOF3 on 2/29/2012, 4:23 pm

I do not have coverage for the pugs, but do on my English Mastiff. BIG dog = BIGGER bills!
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  ocnside on 2/29/2012, 4:27 pm

OK, I decided to go with pet insurance for the simple fact that we are remodeling and if it wasn't that, the kids would find another use for savings....anyways...
what companies are you all choosing: I got quoted for 7 different ones and haven't a clue what I am looking for besides a low deductible and 90-100% coverage.

I am looking at PetPlan but if anyone knows any other reputable companies, throw me some names please....

Thanks so much......remember, I take Julian in for everything!
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  puglouie on 2/29/2012, 4:50 pm

I have insurance with VPI and they've been both good and horrible. They covered 80% of one emergency vet visit that cost $1100 (they paid $900 something). But they wouldn't cover Ulysses' emergency inguinal hernia because they claimed it was pre-existing. That cost me $4000 and I'm still pissed about it.

I'd say if you get a puppy or youngish healthy pug, it's worth getting. Just make sure you have all the paperwork on the pug's health and make sure they see it, so they can't come back and claim that you didn't show them something.
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  northernwitch on 2/29/2012, 5:20 pm

My advice? Get it. Do your research as some companies have "small print" exclusions for some breeds of dogs--worth making sure they don't exclude things like eyes, joints and breathing issues in the pug.

And asks a lot of questions and get reviews from others. None of my pugs are insured as they are (1) too old and (2) both had "pre-existing" conditions that excluded them--and being from a puppy mill is considered a killer for insuring a dog. Fortunately, Hazel has been my healthiest dog, but when I applied for insurance, they said because she was from a mill (It was in the vet records that she was), she'd be considered uninsurable.

My chin I will be insuring--my only issue with him is finding an insurer that will insure an intact dog--some won't. I haven't gotten around to doing it as yet, but will.
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  thminis on 2/29/2012, 5:24 pm

VPI is a pretty popular one to my knowledge, and I know one of my vets recommends Trupanion at http://trupanion.com/ I don't have it for my pug, but I'm 22 and work at a vets. I'd say maybe 2-5% of our clients have pet insurance to my knowledge, and I've seen it help many people.
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  ocnside on 2/29/2012, 5:46 pm

So its Embrace or VPI

http://www.embracepetinsurance.com/compare/embrace-vs-vpi-pet-insurance.aspx

I think VPI



coverage and pricing










FeatureVPIEmbrace
Plan Name VPI Major Medical Plan
with CareGuard Premier
Embrace Plan ($15k max)
with Dental Rewards, Rx Rider, and Wellness Plus Rewards
Monthly Base Premium $37.11 $83.15
Wellness Rider $22.00 $24.98
Additional Coverage Rider(s)
To provide most similar coverage as available with VPI Major Medical Plan
N/A Rx Drug Coverage (Prescription Medications Rider):
$12.47

Dental Rewards (Dental Surgeries and Diseases):
$24.98
Total Monthly Premium
Monthly premium based on 1-yr-old Labrador Retriever in San Diego, CA 92114
$59.11 $145.58
(Based on current rates after
recent increases of about 25% in some areas. Prices may have changed
again, check website for details.)
Deductible $100 Annual $100 Annual
Co-Pay None 20%


sample reimbursements


The following claims are based on three events that happened to
the same dog in one policy year/term (e.g. 1-yr-old Labrador Retriever).



Pancreatitis
Bill Amount $1,075.49
Paid $897.44
(83% Reimbursed)
Paid $780.39
(73% Reimbursed)
Lacerations
Bill Amount $415.00
Paid $415.00
(100% Reimbursed)
Paid $332.00
(80% Reimbursed)
Ear Infection
Bill Amount $229.94
Paid $228.63
(99% Reimbursed)
Paid $183.95
(80% Reimbursed)


key plan details



FeatureVPIEmbrace
Use Any Veterinarian, Emergency Clinic, or Specialist Yes Yes
Accidents and Illnesses
Including hospitalizations and surgeries
Yes Yes
Chronic and Ongoing Diseases
(example: allergies)
Yes Yes
Cancer Coverage Yes Yes
Dental Surgeries and Diseases Yes Yes, included with Dental Rewards Program at additional cost per month (see above under "Coverage and Pricing").
Prescription Medications Yes Yes, included with Rx Drug Coverage at additional cost per month (see above under "Coverage and Pricing").
Wellness Coverage Yes Yes
Wellness Deductible None None
More Features to Compare
Exclusions
Additional Limitations

Alternative/Holistic Therapy
Annual Exam Required

Check All
Uncheck All




company



FeatureVPIEmbrace
Market Share 60.7% 2.3%
Years in Business 30 years
Created the pet insurance industry in the U.S. in 1982
6 years
First policy sold in 2006.
Underwriter Veterinary Pet Insurance Company, National Casualty Company (Nationwide Insurance)
A.M. Best Rating: A+
RLI Insurance Company
A.M. Best Rating: A+
Underwriter Stability VPI has always underwritten its own plans in
California since 1982 and has always had the same underwriter in all
other states since expanding nationwide in 1984.
Embrace has had two underwriters since it began selling in 2006. Check website for current details.



WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK???
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  elisemarie on 2/29/2012, 6:35 pm

I think you have a good thing going with the plan you highlighted.

Just like humans (and case in point) ... right now I pay $22/mo. for $4,800.00 of dental insurance per year. I pay $150/mo. for unlimited "catastrophic" health insurance, and whatever else is covered in my plan. (My 2 week hospital stay in 2004 - on life-support - from viral pneumonia ended up costing close to one million dollars. Gratefully, the state of Arizona was there to help me out.)

Without dental insurance, my molar dental implant would cost me 2K minimum. So far, I'm looking at a total out-of-pocket cost of less than $500.00.

~~~~~~

When you add up the costs of routine care, prescriptions, and the unforseen, I am glad I chose to have both A'chi and Bubba covered. A'chi's procedure ended up costing me about $50.00 instead of over $300.00.

Having a sense of security now knowing I don't have to fear not having enough cash-on-hand is worth the cost of my pet insurance plans.
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  Cathy on 2/29/2012, 8:34 pm

I have VPI for Edgar and if they don't cover the surgery he's just had, I'm canceling it. I have submitted $2678.45 worth of claims and they have only covered $187.05 of it. So far just about everything has been denied because of "breed exclusions". At this point, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  ocnside on 2/29/2012, 9:14 pm

So Embrace???
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  Renee on 2/29/2012, 9:38 pm

Cathy wrote:I have VPI for Edgar and if they don't cover the surgery he's just had, I'm canceling it. I have submitted $2678.45 worth of claims and they have only covered $187.05 of it. So far just about everything has been denied because of "breed exclusions". At this point, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Wow Cathy. Ridiculous. What the heck is considered a breed exclusion?
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Renee
 
 

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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  lisamak on 3/1/2012, 10:22 am

I got Norman Pet's Best Insurance for Hanukkah last year (he had just turned 6). A friend is the head ER tech at a major animal hospital here in Boston and she did a write-up of the top brands comparing and contrasting for folks in our therapy program (Norman and her dog are both in the same therapy dog program). I did some additional research and chose Pet's Best.

They don't have breed exclusions and they pay out by 'incident' not by 'category' (VPI used to cap certain procedures). Because we have (and have had in the past) senior animals I know how the vet bills add up and wanted to have a little bit of a security blanket for the young healthy one Very Happy.

We chose the basic plan which is $20/month and has a $250 deductible per incident. We unexpectedly had to file our first claim this week as Norman had a bit of a health crisis over the weekend. I filed my claim online and expect to get back 80% of nearly $1K via direct deposit in the next few days (they process in 10 days or less). They've been great to work with so far and I'm glad we got Norm (and us) this holiday gift.
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  Cathy on 3/1/2012, 1:35 pm

Renee wrote:
Cathy wrote:I have VPI for Edgar and if they don't cover the surgery he's just had, I'm canceling it. I have submitted $2678.45 worth of claims and they have only covered $187.05 of it. So far just about everything has been denied because of "breed exclusions". At this point, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Wow Cathy. Ridiculous. What the heck is considered a breed exclusion?

If you have a pug and submit some ordinary pug problem, say an infected nose wrinkle, one of my submissions, it's denied because he's a brachy dog. Breed exclusion. They didn't cover his dental surgery, $1541.00, because they don't cover retained teeth. Never mind he had 5 cysts in or on his gums that would have caused his jaw to be destroyed. Nope, just deny it because he did have some retained teeth. They only covered $100.00 of a $663.00 neuter, because retained testicals are a congenital problem, and they don't cover congential problems. Lots and lots of reasons I'm not happy with them.
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Cathy
 
 

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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  ocnside on 3/1/2012, 2:28 pm

I am at Embrace...I will activate this tomorrow, I need a night to think about where my money will be going. Here is the policy they talked with me about:
Policy Summary










$54 monthly



Julian












Julian's Information





Julian's Policy Options









Sex: M

Breed: Pug

Age: 0 Years

Spay/Neuter: Yes


Edit Pet Information




Accident Coverage: Yes

Illness Coverage: Yes



RX Coverage: Yes

Wellness Rewards: No (It's only $200 per year for an extra $15 a month)


Dental Rewards: No will be applied at age 3




Annual Maximum: $10,000

Annual Deductible: $200

Reimbursement: 80%


The only thing I do not like was that you must pay out of pocket up front and be reimbursed...that is why I am thinking for 24hrs
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  Saira on 3/1/2012, 2:32 pm

I'm pretty sure the paying up front and getting reimbursed later is the standard for all the pet insurances. I haven't heard of one that works differently than that.
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  SacramentoPugs on 3/1/2012, 2:58 pm

Saira wrote:I'm pretty sure the paying up front and getting reimbursed later is the standard for all the pet insurances. I haven't heard of one that works differently than that.
Saira's right, that's the standard at all the companies. You have to come up with the $$$ somehow, and then get reimbursed. Care Credit can be great for that -- it's typically interest-free for the first 4-6 months, depending on your credit, and you should (hopefully) be reimbursed by the insurance company long before that.

I personally went with Petplan, because they don't have breed-specific restrictions. Instead, some dogs cost more to insure (English Bulldogs) and some cost less -- they base your premium price on your breed, but cover everything. They even cover heart disease in Cavaliers.

I also went with a higher deductible -- I think it's $200 -- which makes the annual premium lower. I figure that if I'm faced with a $7,000 crisis, I'll be happy to pay only $200 myself.
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Re: Health Insurance for my Pug

Post  dianebarrybrazil on 3/24/2012, 8:47 pm

I went with Healthy Paws pet insurance for Tallulah (2 yo rescue pug) because it scored a 9.9 out of 10 at www.PetInsuranceReview.com. I haven't had to use it yet but like having peace of mind that if something major (and thereby expensive) were to occur, we'd be covered. I pay about $35/month with a $200 deductible. It might be worth looking at their site and seeing what you think: http://www.healthypawspetinsurance.com

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