As veterinary professionals you do not work directly with pet insurance programs (Thank Goodness) but you may be aware that a growing number of your patients and clients are covered under a policy.
In the past five years the number of insurance carriers and products have exploded onto the market place and just like health care for human beings it is complicated and confusing. Who can you trust? How much does it cost? Will the coverage protect my older dog or cat? There are a lot of questions that you and your
staff will be asked and having some basic knowledge of pet health insurance can be a service in pointing your clients to resources that will help them.
Virtually all pet insurance plans are reimbursement plans. The client pays the bills and is reimbursed by the insurance company less any deductible or coinsurance. Depending on the policy and insurance company coverage can be restricted by pre-existing condition, age and excluded conditions. In addition, reimbursements are lowered by contract through coinsurance,copays and deductibles.
So, how do you direct your clients to resources that will help them make informed decisions? A good place to start is with the AVMA Have the client enter “Pet Insurance” into the search window on the AVMA website and they will have a choice of the AVMA guidelines for Pet Insurance and how to choose a pet insurance plan. From there have them Google “10 Best Pet Insurance Plans of 2013”. There they will find dueling ratings from Consumers Advocate and Consumer Reports. Either list is fine as this year they both have the same plans in the top 5.
All the health insurance plans are available for sale online and we recommend that every client get at least two quotes, preferably three quotes and compare them before making a purchase Pet Insurance will be a growing market for years to come as consumers balance care for their pets and rising costs. It is in
everyone’s best interest that the client is well educated in pet health insurance before deciding if it is best for them and their pet.
Consumers love their pets and we want to see them have the best coverage and best veterinary care they can get. Ted Hamm Insurance wants the same thing. As caring pet owners we serve the veterinary community with pride