Pet Insurance: Why You Need It

November 23, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Sarah Lucas

Caring for dogs can be expensive. At the very least, they need shots every year, flea and tick treatment, and heartworm prevention pills. If your dog hurts themselves, has an allergic reaction, or breaks a bone, you’re looking at a trip to the vet and a large bill. Just diagnosing problems can be expensive, with X-Rays running up to $500 and MRIs running up to $2,500.

This is why it’s important to insure your pet. When you sign up for pet insurance there are usually a few plans available to choose from. Some plans only cover vet costs for injuries and illnesses, while others also cover wellness care, hereditary conditions, and alternative therapies. Once you pick a plan, you’ll be charged a monthly fee for the coverage. When you go to the vet you’ll still have to pay for the visit out-of-pocket, but afterward you will file a claim with the insurance company. The insurance company will then look at your claim and assess how much is covered by insurance and reimburse you for that amount.

“The insurance company will then look at your claim and assess how much is covered by insurance and reimburse you for that amount.”

Since you pay up front and get reimbursed later, I suggest looking into Care Credit in addition to your insurance. Care Credit is essentially a credit card for health care for your pet. If approved for a Care Credit card, you’ll be given a credit limit that you can use at the vet. Of course, you need to make sure that the vet you go to accepts Care Credit. If they do, you can pay with the card. The great thing about the Care Credit card is that you get to choose your repayment plan and the more aggressive the repayment plan, the less interest you accrue. If you pay it back quick enough, you won’t accrue any interest at all.

The combination of pet insurance and Care Credit worked out well for me when my dog needed surgery. The total cost with his stay, diagnosis, surgery, and pills came to $6000. I paid for it up front with a combination of my own money and Care Credit. When I submitted my claim to insurance, they reimbursed me for $4000 and I was able to immediately pay the Care Credit card off without accruing interest.

Sources:
X-Ray Price

MRI Price

The Simple DollarĀ 

Sarah Lucas

If you enjoyed this post, you should read “How To Prepare For A Hike With Your Dog” here.

Have you used pet insurance? What have you liked/disliked? Leave your comments below!

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