OT: Pet insurance

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When my pup (pictured in my avatar) Amber was 6 she had an accident in a dog park. It was a head on collision with a Golden going after a bouncing ball full speed. At the time they both fell, she stayed down an extra second or 2 but got up and kept playing and was perfectly fine until 3 days later she couldn't walk. We took her local they had no clue but were afraid of cancer but had no way of telling. Had to bring her to Tufts in MA to see exactly wha was up and just for that it was going to be over 2K to find out. Then after bringing her there to find out we had good news and of course bad news. Good news is it wasn't cancer bad news was she had a double herniated disc which would not get better without a surgery which would run 5-6K. Of course she was our baby despite not being told it was guaranteed we had to give her the chance at a good life again. Long story short after weeks and weeks of recovery, walking her around all day with a sling etc etc she survived and within 4-5 months was running like a puppy again and lived to over 16 lost her Aug'19.

Ok so in regards to this thread I am unsure of what would've been covered but if you wouldn't make a decision to let your pet live unless you had it, and I get some can't afford it, then why not have some? I can tell you they loved our dog at Tufts and were so damn happy we wanted to go through with the surgery because so many people say no and put them away. It was fun to visit her every night for 2 weeks and be with the people that helped her live and have 10 more years. Do what you can whether it's insurance or whatever to keep these family members alive unless it means they will only be in pain no matter.
 

Chin Diesel

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Same as dental insurance, i.e., useless and rarely cost-effective.

I'd disagree with that. Family of four and I pay like $10/week and haven't seen a bill for cleaning, x-rays or anything else in years.

I will say this. If you have kids who will need braces, that isn't covered by dental insurance. Make sure you opt in for a HSA at work if possible and use that to pay off those costs. For my kids by paying up front, I got a 15% discount on the cost. Used the HSA to pay it off and the money going in to an HSA is pre-tax money.
 

Doctor Hoop

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That's kind of what insurance is all about. Post/handle?
True, but it's still a cost-benefit calculation, and even with the major surgery you're basically catching up with the previously paid premiums. I believe it's better in pet care to set aside the money yourself if you can. Obviously if you can handle the monthly cost plus what the insurance doesn't cover and don't want to risk a major expenditure, have at it.

We have Brittanys, Bonnie & Clyde. Previously our Brittany Willow got grievously ill at age 10, and the vets both locally and at Angell Memorial in Boston really never gave us a diagnosis. Great compassionate care, just no diagnosis. After 5 figure$ of care without much change we eventually put her down. Didn't have insurance, and we thought with the new Brittany pups we'd get the insurance. (*see below) Doing the calculation, though, we saw that we were paying $1300 annually for insurance and we still had substantial out-of-pocket via deductibles plus what wasn't covered by the insurance. The gamble is that your pet won't need such a thing more than once.

*So ... we got the two Brittanys in September 2019, 8 weeks old. Wife was walking them on the driveway about a week after they arrived, planned to but hadn't bought the pet insurance yet. They're weaving all over the place, and she accidentally steps on Clyde's leg. Doh!! Four pins (also 5 figure$) later and he's now doing great. Decide on the pet insurance as soon as you commit to the pet, and don't procrastinate. Our 1 week delay was costly.
 
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Yankees32123

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Nothing worse than when a dog needs an $8,000 surgery and you don't have insurance (been there). We got a puppy at the beginning of COVID and got a policy through PetPlan. I've liked it so far. They let you customize your policy, so we went with the lowest deductible of $250, with 80% of eligible bills reimbursable. Paid the annual premium in full (around $270) and he's covered up to $5,000 for the year. Already hit the deductible and it has saved us a ton. Totally worth getting.
 

Dove

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I have watched enough Dr. Pol episodes that I am ready to be the ultimate DIY dog owner.

I am so ready to lance an abscess it ain't funny. Splinting a leg. No problem. Pulling out quills. Ready.
 

Dove

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I'd disagree with that. Family of four and I pay like $10/week and haven't seen a bill for cleaning, x-rays or anything else in years.

I will say this. If you have kids who will need braces, that isn't covered by dental insurance. Make sure you opt in for a HSA at work if possible and use that to pay off those costs. For my kids by paying up front, I got a 15% discount on the cost. Used the HSA to pay it off and the money going in to an HSA is pre-tax money.
@8893...derailing threads.
 

Chin Diesel

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@8893...derailing threads.

Derailing threads. Almost as bad as two word thread titles.

A bit more on topic, why the ---- do we need to knock out dogs to clean the tarter or placque off their teeth. That's a kick adding to the cost.
 
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I'm gonna disagree with everyone else here and say that pet insurance has totally worked out for me and my family. We pay $55/mo with 90% coverage and a $250 deductible with Trupanion. Here's the list of claims we've been paid back on since we got him as a puppy in July 2016:



We put in claims for everything that happens to him even if it's below that $250 deductible, because they cover past that even if it is a recurring problem. Like the claims for 2016 and 2017 were for gastroenteritis, but after paying the $250 deductible for the 2016 claim, they covered 90% for everything else after even if the cause of gastroenteritis was different, just because we already had filed a claim for that problem. The same for his ear infections in 2017 and 2018. Not to mention the two times (2017 and 2020) he's had to go to the ER and have to be admitted for care/monitoring due to unforseen accidents.
 
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So I have 3 dogs. Two are insured and one isn't. My Husky has HealthyPaws and I have had nothing but good experiences with them except that the rate does go up. This may seem obvious but its not always fair. I started at $30 7 years ago and am at about $55 now. I will just randomly get an email saying my rate is going up whenever they want regardless of the last time I filed a claim even (sometimes multiple times a year). Also every time I moved the rate changed and not for the better. Once I moved from Manhattan to the suburbs and my rate somehow went up like $8 a month. Like, what, how? But otherwise they are very easy at submitting claims and I usually am reimbursed within a week of the claim.

My Black Lab has Lemonade. They seem more organized and have a great app. They are a newer company and very good overall. Lemonade is really competitively priced and so far have never changed their rate on me. I pay about $35 for him with the same policy limits and structure as HealthyPaws. I recommend both but give Lemonade the edge.

My third dog is really my wife's dog that she had before we met and she never insured him so we never signed him up thereafter. His vet bills are obnoxious and I wish she insured him.

Pet insurance is definitely not a scam and I have been reimbursed for vet bills that have paid for my entire year sometimes. The bottom line is this, if anything really bad happens to your pet you will be reimbursed for the emergency care and treatment. You will pay for the every day stuff, the vaccines, the yearly checkups. But if something major happens and your dog needs x-rays, stitches, surgery aka "The Big Ticket Items" you will be reimbursed. There is something nice about knowing that if anything truly bad happens I can get that money back or don't have to be influenced by the cost of treatment. There could be a year or years where I never submit a claim but then there have been times I have been reimbursed thousands.

If you are going to get insurance (which you should) make sure you have a yearly deductible (not per visit). I recommend $100 or $250 yearly deductible with 90% reimbursement and make sure the cap is at least $15,000 (if at all).
 

XLCenterFan

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I love my cats and I would never, ever insure them. They have a limit for what I'm willing to drop on them for health-related costs. Save the money and put it in the market. So far I've spent zero and we've had them for about 7 years. I'm not sure the exact number I'm willing to spend, but I'll know when the vet tells me.

By the way, vets are the biggest scam artists in the world. I should have been one. Imagine being able to diagnose a patient that can't even speak? And there's no one to check you on your work or diagnosis?
 
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My dog is 2.5 years old with a sensitive stomach. Healthy paws as mentioned has been stellar. They don’t cover vaccines and routine appointments (as they shouldn’t). I’ve now come out on top of premiums plus deductibles it two full cycles. Happy to answer any questions with respect to policy etc. healthy paws also processes claims usually same day and efts my checking account in 3 biz days.
 
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Same as dental insurance, i.e., useless and rarely cost-effective.
We have a dental plan for 2 of us on Medicare, but not an Advantage plan. It’s $149/yr for both, pays 100% for cleanings and xrays. Discounts for work, including fillings, crowns, etc. No Endodontic work covered.(root canals). Just need to stay in network.
 

ColchVEGAS

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I rescue dogs from kill shelters for $300. I love them and as cruel as it may sound $1k is my limit for them. They have had a much better life than the alternative. My two are 7 and 6 and no health issues to date, so I have not had to test my limit.
 
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I lost a pet when I was a kid because my Dad didn't want an expensive veterinarian bill.... :( Insurance has it's benefits. My company now offers pet insurance through payroll deduction. I don't have any pets. I don't want the responsibility. Kids are enough for me.
 

UConnSwag11

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My parents have Healthy Paws and my brother has Trupanion and they say it's absolutely worth it. It's saved them thousands over the years.

Doesn't cover basic exams and checkups but still more than worth it according to them
 

Dove

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I love my cats and I would never, ever insure them. They have a limit for what I'm willing to drop on them for health-related costs. Save the money and put it in the market. So far I've spent zero and we've had them for about 7 years. I'm not sure the exact number I'm willing to spend, but I'll know when the vet tells me.

By the way, vets are the biggest scam artists in the world. I should have been one. Imagine being able to diagnose a patient that can't even speak? And there's no one to check you on your work or diagnosis?
Vet: "XL, your cat has mange. Trombiculosis. I see a need for antibiotics and some oral medicine once per day for 6 weeks. That is about $450 of meds."

XLCenterfan: "Yeah, nope. I don't think so. Looks like dandruff. I have dandruff. I know dandruff. That's dandruff. You disgust me."
 
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We had MetLife Pet Insurance - PetFirst. We have four cats. Yes, I know that is a lot of cats. But they are small and don't eat much. We dropped it (the insurance not the the cats) eventually. Can't remember why.

Because...cats?
 
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I love my cats and I would never, ever insure them. They have a limit for what I'm willing to drop on them for health-related costs. Save the money and put it in the market. So far I've spent zero and we've had them for about 7 years. I'm not sure the exact number I'm willing to spend, but I'll know when the vet tells me.

By the way, vets are the biggest scam artists in the world. I should have been one. Imagine being able to diagnose a patient that can't even speak? And there's no one to check you on your work or diagnosis?

LOL, my intent going to college was to be a vet. Turns out, it's harder to get into vet school than med school. And between organic chemistry and the overwhelming social obligations that come with college life...that just didn't happen...
 

Hankster

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We did the pet insurance thing (Nationwide) for 2 new puppies about 18 months ago. About $55/month for each - $110 for both. Bottom line is I don't think it pays for itself, unless your dog needs major surgery. We dropped it. Unlike human health insurance there are no negotiated lower prices. They pay a little of this, a little of that, and you still have substantial out of pocket in addition to monthly charges for insurance when not much is happening.

Better option, if you can afford it, is set up a monthly escrow to pay for dog vet expenses should they occur.
I agree. Pet insurance company's wouldn't take 2 of mine. Reason? Diabetes. They claim whatever your dog gets is caused by diabetes. They wouldn't cover a hang nail. My dog went totally blind. A month later I could not stand to see him that way even though he was maneuvering well. $5,700 dollars later, not counting prescriptions. he is back to normal. That's why insurance company's stay away. You cannot hide it either. They call the Vet for records. Anyway, the money I spent was worth every penny.
 
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About 20 years ago, my team leader was upset because her cat had a tumor behind her eye and it was costing her $1,000 bucks to have it removed. I said, "A thousand bucks! Can't you just get another cat?" She didn't (but certainly could of) given me both barrels. Now that I have a cat I realize how crappy that was to say.
 
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True, but it's still a cost-benefit calculation, and even with the major surgery you're basically catching up with the previously paid premiums. I believe it's better in pet care to set aside the money yourself if you can. Obviously if you can handle the monthly cost plus what the insurance doesn't cover and don't want to risk a major expenditure, have at it.

We have Brittanys, Bonnie & Clyde. Previously our Brittany Willow got grievously ill at age 10, and the vets both locally and at Angell Memorial in Boston really never gave us a diagnosis. Great compassionate care, just no diagnosis. After 5 figure$ of care without much change we eventually put her down. Didn't have insurance, and we thought with the new Brittany pups we'd get the insurance. (*see below) Doing the calculation, though, we saw that we were paying $1300 annually for insurance and we still had substantial out-of-pocket via deductibles plus what wasn't covered by the insurance. The gamble is that your pet won't need such a thing more than once.

*So ... we got the two Brittanys in September 2019, 8 weeks old. Wife was walking them on the driveway about a week after they arrived, planned to but hadn't bought the pet insurance yet. They're weaving all over the place, and she accidentally steps on Clyde's leg. Doh!! Four pins (also 5 figure$) later and he's now doing great. Decide on the pet insurance as soon as you commit to the pet, and don't procrastinate. Our 1 week delay was costly.
To me this is the value or Pet Ins....the large unexpected expense. With our current dog, we opted for such a plan as opposed the the plan that also covers a % or regular expenses. Found the all coverage plan didn't pay a lot for general things, but did come in handy on catastrophic events, cancer surgeries and emergency spleen surgeries/treatment which were prob close of 20k out of pocket...prob got 40-50% back....which more than covered the costs.

Glad your pup is doing well. Our guy was diagnosed with mast cell while we were in Vt...local vet was very happy we were going to take him to AMC in NYC for treatment, as he said most of his local clients can't do that and dog would have prob lived only another 6-12 months. 5 figure bill, but he lived another 8 years happy and healthy. Money well spent
 

nomar

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I'd disagree with that. Family of four and I pay like $10/week and haven't seen a bill for cleaning, x-rays or anything else in years.

I will say this. If you have kids who will need braces, that isn't covered by dental insurance. Make sure you opt in for a HSA at work if possible and use that to pay off those costs. For my kids by paying up front, I got a 15% discount on the cost. Used the HSA to pay it off and the money going in to an HSA is pre-tax money.

$40/month for family coverage? Jesus. Neither my firm nor my wife's offers anywhere near that. That's a fraction of what we'd pay.

For many years, I bought "insurance" on DentalPlans.com -- it's not really insurance but, rather, a discount schedule that some dentists honor. My dentist took it for almost 15 years, allowing me to get $39 cleanings four times a year. He finally walked in after a cleaning and told me I was ripping him off. Now they're $100 more. But I ran the numbers and it still doesn't make sense to sign onto my wife's dental insurance or use my firm's.
 

8893

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$40/month for family coverage? Jesus. Neither my firm nor my wife's offers anywhere near that. That's a fraction of what we'd pay.

For many years, I bought "insurance" on DentalPlans.com -- it's not really insurance but, rather, a discount schedule that some dentists honor. My dentist took it for almost 15 years, allowing me to get $39 cleanings four times a year. He finally walked in after a cleaning and told me I was ripping him off. Now they're $100 more. But I ran the numbers and it still doesn't make sense to sign onto my wife's dental insurance or use my firm's.
That's my situation, too.

IIRC @Chin Diesel lives in FL.
 

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