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Pet Insurance Costs and Alternatives

Navigating Program Costs and Pet Healthcare Choices

By Jesse Feldman. September 12, 2013 | See Comments

Pet Insurance Costs and Alternatives

The cost of having a pet can become quite expensive from the time they are small kittens and pups all the way up into their senior years. Learn some ways to help offset some of those expensive vet bills.

Pet healthcare costs are rising, and a responsible pet owner should be prepared for illness, accidents, and the issues that come with plain old age. Pet insurance is one option for pet parents concerned about not being able to afford veterinary bills. But pet insurance is not right for everyone. This article will explain why a prescription plan for pets rather than pet insurance may be a good fit for your household.

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance is a paid, enrollment-based service that will help cover accident and illness veterinary bills. As with human health insurance, there are monthly fees associated with enrollment and a deductible and conditions to be met for payout. Pet insurance programs vary in terms of coverage levels and fees from provider to provider.

What are some problems associated with traditional pet insurance?

COSTS:

  • Coverage costs of pet insurance can average from $2,000 to $6,000 dollars over the life of your pet.*

  • Insurance plans can have high deductibles, co-pays, or caps on annual coverage.

  • Most plans have a claim filing structure that means you have to pay costs up front and wait for reimbursement.

RESTRICTIONS:

What are some alternatives to pet insurance?

One way to save for a rainy day with your pets is to put the amount of money you might spend on monthly premiums for pet insurance into a special savings account. Consumer Reports has stated that for most pet parents, this will be more cost effective, as paying to pet insurance would mean paying out more than they’ll ever make back from the plan.

Another great option is to save money with a different kind of membership – a prescription plan for pets.

What is a Prescription plan for Pets?

A prescription plan for pets cuts pet healthcare costs by negotiating special low prices for your pet’s medications. Pet owners who regularly pay marked-up prices for prescriptions at the vet’s office can save up to 75% on medications. Even pet owners who use an online pet pharmacy will find better prices through a prescription plan.

Did you know that according to Consumer Reports, medications at your vet’s office have high markups – up to 160%! – and they often also include unnecessary “dispensing fees”?

Why might a prescription plan be right for you?

If a significant portion of your healthcare budget goes toward prescription medications—either preventatives like heartworm medications or illness treatment like diabetes injections—the savings on a pharmacy plan can really add up. You’ll pay less for each of your pet’s medications.

COSTS:

  • A prescription plan costs less to enroll in than pet insurance.

  • No restrictions on discount amounts; the same negotiated rate for each prescription, regardless of quantity.

CONVENIENCE:

  • Prescriptions are either shipped directly to your home or can be picked up at your local participating pharmacy.

  • It’s easy to phone in or order prescriptions online.

  • No paperwork or claims to file in order to receive discounts.

AND MORE:

Want a plan that also offers discounts on vet visits and healthcare?

Sign up for PetPlus, the first ever prescription plan for pets. Find out how much a membership will help you save.

*Mint.com

More on Pet Health

Your Puppy Vaccination Schedule
Reasonable Pet Vaccination Costs
Do I Really Need Flea and Tick Protection?

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