Some questions do not have definitive answers. The most frequently-asked question about pet health insurance is one of them: Just how much is dog health insurance?
The answer is: it depends on the plan you choose. Keep reading to learn why and to discover tips to find the best plan for your best furry friend.
The Monthly Premium
The monthly premium is the amount you’ll pay each month to simply maintain ownership of a pet health insurance plan. You pay the monthly premium to your insurance carrier directly. This is just like human health insurance.
The monthly premium cost will depend on four main factors: the annual limit, the deductible, the reimbursement percentage, and the level of coverage you choose. It can also depend on whether you have an emotional assistance animal.
The deductible is the amount of money that you would need to pay before your reimbursement benefits kick in on your coverage.
Annual deductibles start at as little as $100 and can go up to $250 or more depending on the plan. You can reduce your monthly premium by opting for a higher deductible. Some deductibles are calculated per vet visit or annually. To compare, human insurance generally has an annual deductible.
Because this is an out-of-pocket cost for you, ensure the plan you choose has a deductible you can afford. Consider how much money you have available to you at any given time. Your deductible should be a reasonable portion of your funds.
The Reimbursement Percentage
The reimbursement percentage is the amount that you’ll get reimbursed on your pet’s healthcare-related expenses. Percentages can start around 70 percent and go to 90 percent or more. You can reduce your monthly premium by choosing a pet health insurance plan with a lower reimbursement percentage.
However, you will be responsible for paying the remainder of the veterinary bill out-of-pocket. For example, if your veterinary bill is $1,000, and your reimbursement rate is 70 percent, your plan will pay $700 toward the bill. This means you are responsible for $300, depending on your deductible.
The Annual Limit
The annual limit is the maximum amount of money you will get reimbursed for healthcare-related services for your pet per year. Annual limits tend to start around $3,000 and can go upwards of $10,000, with some plans offering an unlimited reimbursement amount.
If your pet has considerable health issues, a higher annual limit will be helpful to you. However, the higher the annual limit you choose, the more costly your monthly premiums will
Not all pet health insurance plans cover the same type of care. In fact, many do not cover preventative visits, such as vaccinations and yearly checkups, at all.
The more conditions and treatments the plan covers directly affects how much the premium will cost you each month. There is no specific rule about which pet health insurance coverage is the best. However, when choosing a plan, think about whether your dog is a breed that is predisposed to certain health issues. Ensure those conditions are covered under the plan you choose.
Also consider how old your dog is. Your dog’s age can determine the types of injuries and accidents they will be prone to. Very young dogs, for example, are more likely to need veterinary care after chewing and swallowing something they shouldn’t. Older dogs are more likely to need veterinary care for orthopedic care, including arthritis and ligament and tendon injuries, and treatment for other conditions that develop as they age.
How to Choose a Plan
To find the right dog health insurance plan, review offerings from multiple carriers before making a decision. This will ensure you are considering the best available plans for your pet. Never buy the first plan you come across. You can always come back to it if, later, you find out it was the best. The only way to know that it is, however, is to look at multiple options.
Keep in mind that the most important reason to purchase pet health insurance, for most people, is to save money on veterinary care so that you can provide the best possible medical help when your pet needs it. This means your plan should fit into your finances and lifestyle. Consider how much you can afford to pay each month for your premium, and how much money you would need to pay out-of-pocket, by cash or credit, when your dog visits the veterinarian’s office.
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