|After the few days I've had, my advice is GET SOME. Since I had to stop working 3 months ago, I cancelled mine and guess what? Yep, Ru got sick. I'm looking into it too, but I keep hearing horror stories about things not being covered and no mention of it on the policy- or the policy changing without any warning. I guess the trick is to read all the small print and make sure you know what you are covered for.|
My breeder recommended to get insurance that covers long term medication as well as short term problems.
|We have Pet Plan Partners we got through the AKC when my dogs were pups. But I think you can get at any time. We LOVE the plan and they ahve paid us back thousands already! There are several different plans you can get and the cost changes depending on what plan you pick. Check them out. I am NOT sorry I got them. I would suggest getting the plan that is just for emergency...not the wellness that pays for well visits, etc. You need to ahve coverage whe it really matters and that is usually an emergency - by emergency, I mean an illness or injury...Doesn't pay for heartworm pills, flea treatment, rountine check up, etc. Look through their plans. I tell you, they are great and recommend insurance to everyone!|
|We have PetSecure, the top level for Mady. It costs us $115 a month, which I feel is expensive, and covers 80% of everything, including preventive and dental (covered her spay and microchip too). I still debate whether we would have been smarter to just bank that money in a special Mady emergency bank account. Mady is a healthy dog but she does do herding and agility and so we are more concerned about accident than illness. We are too superstitious to cancel it, though, as we figure the second we do something bad will happen.|
We have PetSecure, the top level for Mady. It costs us $115 a month, which I feel is expensive, and covers 80% of everything, including preventive and dental (covered her spay and microchip too). I still debate whether we would have been smarter to just bank that money in a special Mady emergency bank account. Mady is a healthy dog but she does do herding and agility and so we are more concerned about accident than illness. We are too superstitious to cancel it, though, as we figure the second we do something bad will happen.
Maybe you could just lower the coverage and not do preventive. Thanks for your help.
|If you want coverage for something like hip dysplasia, research policies that specifically cover genetic conditions. There are some policies out there that look good. There are also policies that offer catastrophic coverage meaning a higher deductible but lower premium... insurance should a major event occur with your dog's health. This too might be a good fit for some of us. You have to look further sometimes into the some of the horror stories you hear... some people expect a preexisting condition to be covered or coverage for genetic conditions when they're specifically excluded. It's important to buy a policy when a dog is still healthy, before health problems would prevent issuance of coverage. Check A.M. Best ratings too... A+= Superior, A= Excellent, etc. |
Just one perspective and one story on pet health insurance...
I carry health insurance on all my dogs that qualify. 24 Pet Watch Insurance and AKC Pet Healthcare Plan policies were purchased about 8 years ago on my 4 older dogs. There were fewer options then. I have Embrace Pet Insurance on the boys. All of these policies have paid as they were supposed to. Panda and Kaytee don't qualify so they have accident policies only through the ASPCA.
I took out a higher end insurance policy on Bumble when he arrived... the premium is currently around $500 annually. Annual maximum coverage of $10,000, $50,000 lifetime maximum, $200 deductible and 20% co-pay, no wellness coverage. My plan was to drop the level of coverage at 2 years of age when I was certain he wasn't going to be afflicted with hip dysplasia even though his parents are both OFA/CERF. From backyard up to OESCA breeder, health problems can happen and there are absolutely no guarantees when it comes to living creatures... the same as with humans.
Bumble started having recurring skin infections when he was just over 1 year of age and he's had recurring pyoderma (stap skin infections) for 2 years. He was diagnosed with a food allergy this year... to what, we don't know so he's still eating home cooked ostrich and potato and we're adding new foods slowly. His special diet is not covered by insurance so that might be something to consider too... I know Meesha and Maggie's policy covers special diets for 6 months. We are so very thankful that the sores are now gone... he's still itchy at times but that's ok! The bills I've sent in totaled over $5,500 for his skin problems alone according to Embrace's online claim info. They have paid well and as expected.
And now this awful diagnosis of chylothorax. I'll have to wait and see if the chylothorax surgery is covered. His chylothorax surgery and care at MSU for 10 days totaled $6,350 so far. Having that port drained is $110 each time and we're doing it 3 times a week. Chances are good most people won't have a dog with chylothorax. But other medical conditions are equally or even more expensive. As I go through this with Bumble, it's really made me think. Care depends on what the owner can or wants to do financially and emotionally. Some people have this in savings, others have access to it through a credit card or family, maybe there's a rare vet that would accept payments. But some can't afford it and are forced to make a gut wrenching decision. There are few options if you can afford the care and couldn't afford insurance. Others would look at this vet bill and say, "I can buy 4 more just like him for that amount.". But this too is a very personal decision. To me, this one dog is very special and can never be replaced. Really... how many Bumbles Bounce But Can They Fly are out there?
I look at insurance as spreading the cost of health care over the lifetime of the dog. But if you've paid for a policy until a dog is 15 and never once used it, you'll surely view it as a waste of money so insurance is a gamble. As of right now, Kobuck's same policy has gone unused because his care never exceeded the deductible. Woohoo!! I hope I waste the premium!
Attempting to preserve life or compassionate death decisions are what we're sometimes forced to make for our pets. If at all possible, I hope I can be in a position where I have that choice. I think that's where insurance can be beneficial... if you feel you need to give a dog every chance if there's the possibility of a good outcome.
As for the claim process...
Embrace claim forms are very easy... they sent an email attachment with pre-printed forms for both Bumble and Kobuck. It has a bar code type thing at the top so the only thing the policyholder does is check a box and sign/date it. The vet writes in the diagnosis, date, vet's notes and signature or stamp. Then fax it in with the bills within I think it's 30 days. I sent one claim in too late and it was denied but it was my fault and I knew it.
|Wow, thank you for that great information Jaci! Embrace is one of them I'm considering. After what I went through with Ben and his cancer, I decided I would get pet insurance for my next dog. I didn't have insurance for Ben and I spent about $10,000.00 for his treatment which got me another 8 months with him. If I didn't decide on the chemo treatments, I would have maybe had another month with him. I didn't have all the money and did care credit. I'm single and have a good job but don't have that kind of money just laying around.|
You are very right, I hope the money I spend on the premium is a waste!
|Oh, Cindy. You've been through this before and know exactly how it is both emotionally and financially. I'm glad the Care Credit program was available to you and Ben. I know through family experience that the odds of survival can sometimes be bleak. My mom did not survive lung cancer but my 4 year old nephew did survive terminal leukemia. The now 21 year old stinker called me yesterday from Colorado :') Insurance may help us to at least be able to explore more medical options without having to put cost concerns first. |
4 my OES wrote:
I'm single and have a good job but don't have that kind of money just laying around.
Most of us don't have it. And I have a pack so insurance is even more important should something serious happen. It's when you'd wish you had a vet in the family or as a close friend. Joan on OES.org had first mentioned Embrace insurance... that's how I found the company. Be sure to compare as many companies as possible to see if there's a better policy and verify all info I'm sharing for accuracy.
There's actually a higher annual limit available on the Embrace policy. I took the middle 80/20 one with a $10,000 annual payout... they also have a $15,000 but the premium was higher and I didn't expect to need insurance on him. (Now how dumb is that... there's no way to know that! )
Some things I like about the boys Embrace policies compared to the others we carry-
-An annual deductible not a per incident deductible... so it's once a year.
-An annual payout limit not a per incident payout limit. So one condition has access to the full benefit available for the year. Other companies sometimes have a per system or condition limit (24 Pet Watch- Maggie and Meesha's policies). For us, the annual payout limit is best.
-Continuing condition coverage of 25% the annual limit the following years. http://www.embracepetinsurance.com/cove ... imits.aspx
-Coverage for genetic conditions- some policies exclude it, others have a small maximum payout on some but exclude others, this one includes it. http://www.embracepetinsurance.com/cove ... tions.aspx Of course all of this is as long as it's not a pre-existing condition.
Note that there was a 6 month waiting period for orthopedic claims when we added Kobuck last year... it could be shortened if we took him in to be examined using their form. And read carefully because the boys policy required an add-on for prescriptions which we opted for. http://www.embracepetinsurance.com/cove ... erage.aspx You can also opt for wellness and dental too... I didn't. Wish I had opted for the 90% coverage but glad I didn't go for the 65% coverage.
In comparison, Darby's AKC insurance we took out about 7 1/2 years ago has a $3,000 per incident limit, $11,000 lifetime limit. Genetic conditions like hip dysplasia are specifically excluded. In the end, she's proven to be too sensitive to the shots to desensitize her and she maxed out on it for her ragweed allergies ($3,000) Premiums are going up each year due to age but for now we keep the coverage should something else occur. She's going to be 8 this week and was recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis and has some left leg weakness with atrophy.
What I would do is pick a few conditions and once you narrow down your company choices, determine the premium but to also see what they'd pay. I'd choose a couple genetic conditions and a couple soft tissue conditions. Note too the added perks some companies include like a token fee for dog boarding/home care if you're hospitalized, accidental death, lost dog recovery costs, euthanasia, etc. Then too, some include holistic care and other alternative treatments... others exclude it. You just need to decide what's most important to you.
Just a side note...
Embrace Pet Insurance has an info page about the OES on their website. I thought it was actually a really nice writeup about the breed and how to be a better informed OES puppy buyer, buying from breeders who OFA/CERF and links to the OESCA site. http://www.embracepetinsurance.com/heal ... epdog.aspx I thought that was pretty cool.
I remember reading some time ago..don't even remember the place I even read this but it gave stats as to whether one should bank monies to save for pet emergencies or get pet insurance. It concluded that banking was perhaps the wisest route based on the statistics and research that was done.
Now thinking back on it - it depends on what kind of person you are (if one would really bank that extra cash for example).There as so many variables. A dreaded disease can set you back thousands and then it would be great if you had pet insurance. I've also subscribe to Murphy's Law in which anytime I've said or thought, "hey I've got some extra cash this month...the furnace/car or something else breaks down.
I've personally never had pet insurance as I've have so many pets and the monthly cost alone would be hundreds of dollars each month.(That would be another variable to consider as 1-2 pets is doable but perhaps not with several). Plus 95% of mine came with chronic or ongoing illness so I wouldn't qualify any how. Pet insurance I can see, would give someone peace of mind if they are worried about the cost should something arise unexpectedlly. Or as Jacqui mentioned, if one is on good terms with their vet and would be allowed to pay installements. I think most people should ask their vet office in ADVANCE before an emergency arises. I've already asked my vet to honor this as not having the cash on hand is one of my worse fears. My vet agreed. However, this is after 20 years of going to the same vet and paying substantial bills with my numerous critters so we have a good relationship. The vet office policy is not to allow credit but I think once you've become a regular client they may give you some slack.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do and I do remember this question being asked in the past so you may also want to do a search on the forum and see what other advice you are given.
|Today we got a letter from PetSecure stating that, due to our numerous claims they were reducing us to 60% coverage. Numerous claims??? Mady had a uti, fairly mild at that. Then the usual annual rabies and checkup stuff. But that is why we got the high level coverage, because it covered preventive stuff, like rabies vaccines! I am so mad. $115ish dollars a month for 60% coverage on a healthy dog?? In the two years we have had Mady, the only scary vet thing we had was she was a puppy and ate that sharp bit of plastic. And even then it was a few hundred dollars, it wasn't micro surgery. We are going to review it all this weekend, but I think we should just open up a Mady bank account and put that $115 in there. Sooooo mad.|
Today we got a letter from PetSecure stating that, due to our numerous claims they were reducing us to 60% coverage. Numerous claims??? Mady had a uti, fairly mild at that. Then the usual annual rabies and checkup stuff. But that is why we got the high level coverage, because it covered preventive stuff, like rabies vaccines! I am so mad. $115ish dollars a month for 60% coverage on a healthy dog?? In the two years we have had Mady, the only scary vet thing we had was she was a puppy and ate that sharp bit of plastic. And even then it was a few hundred dollars, it wasn't micro surgery. We are going to review it all this weekend, but I think we should just open up a Mady bank account and put that $115 in there. Sooooo mad.
Wow! That is so wrong! Isn't that the reason you are paying for insurance? I'll cross that one off the list. Thanks for the info.
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