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Healthy Paws Review

Tuesday, December 6th

2022 Pet Insurance Company Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Healthy Paws Review 5 Star Rating

Healthy Paws

5 Star Rating
  • Covers dogs and cats
  • Alternative therapies included
  • No maximum annual or lifetime payout
  • Submit claims through app
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Healthy Paws makes it easy to get good insurance coverage for your pets. There's one policy that covers not only illness and accidents, but also alternative therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic. You choose your deductible and reimbursement percentage, and that's it. This is also one of the few companies that will pay the vet directly in certain circumstances, rather than the typical routine of you paying and then getting reimbursed. Speaking of reimbursement, they have a fast, two-day average reimbursement period.

2-week waiting period

There's about a two-week waiting period from when your policy begins until when you can make a claim. Waiting periods are common with pet insurance, and two weeks is not unusual. There's also a 12-month waiting period for hip dysplasia if your newly-insured pet is under six years old.

Broad coverage in all 50 states and Canada

You can be covered no matter which US state in which you reside, and you can use a vet within any US state or Canada. Illness and accidents are covered. Diagnostic treatment, cancer, surgery, hospitalization, alternative therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic are covered. You'll select between 70% and 90% reimbursement.

Costs

  • Dogs start at around $31 per month (one-year-old mixed breed)
  • Cats start at around $14 per month (one-year-old American short hair)

A few exclusions

Exam fees are not covered, nor are curable pre-existing conditions. There's no hip dysplasia coverage for pets enrolled after age six, and if you'd like your aging pet to be covered, they must be enrolled before they turn fourteen.

Additional one-time fee

There's a one-time processing fee of $25. Although it's pretty standard, not all companies charge a sign-up fee.

No maximum annual payout

With Healthy Paws, there's no annual or lifetime cap on their payout. This is quite rare, as with most companies you need to select your maximum payout, which then helps determine your premium.

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Submitting a claim and direct reimbursement available

This is one of the few companies that will pay the vet directly instead of you paying the vet and then getting reimbursed. But if you can't cover your vet bill, Healthy Paws will pay the vet directly. In normal circumstances, you submit a claim to Healthy Paws through the app or online. Believe it or not, many pet insurance companies make you fill out the form and then wait for a check in the mail. Your claim can take up to 10 days to process, though many customers have appreciated a two-day turnaround, and you'll get your money via a direct deposit.

Discounts not needed (or offered) here

There aren't any discounts offered. Healthy Paws' approach is to offer everyone their best rates, not just those who fit certain qualifications. But, if you have several pets, there are companies that we've rated highly that offer multiple-pet discounts that you may also want to consider.

30-day Free Look

Healthy Paws offers a 30-day Free Look period. If you haven't used the insurance, cancel the policy and you'll get the full refund. Free Look is a fair and honest description, because with pet insurance, "satisfaction guarantee" is almost a misnomer since you're not allowed to get money back if you've actually tried it out by making a claim.

They care about homeless pets

For every quote they give, Healthy Paws makes a donation for medical care to animals in a shelter. They claim that as of September 1, 2021, more than $1.6 million has been donated to help sheltered pets.

Customer feedback is strong

Most people are happy with Healthy Paws. Their pet insurance policies cover what they say they cover and have good customer service. When there are complaints, it tends to be that customers thought the policy would pay for vet exams, but they don't - and most companies don't. Only specific services performed during the exam are covered, and that's standard, but can be upsetting. The other complaint, with a few clients, is that Healthy Paws requests more documentation than the vet may have, creating a difficult-to-resolve back and forth.

#1 for pet insurance

Healthy Paws gets a big thumb's up for their app, easy claim filing, and quick two-day average turnaround for reimbursement. We also give a thumb's up for unlimited max benefits per year and lifetime. If we had a third thumb, we'd raise that one as well for including alternative therapies and not having them unavailable or as an add-on. We would like to see wellness care and vet exams included or optional, if Healthy Paws really wanted to take their coverage to the next level. Even so, the prices here are competitive and the coverage goes well beyond what many policies cover. For all of these reasons, Healthy Paws earns our highest ranking among pet insurance providers.

Which Pet Insurance is the Best?

We love our fur babies and want to help them live as long and as healthy as possible. Pets take daily care, and they also require vet visits, whether for wellness, to update vaccinations, if they are ill or in an accident. Veterinarian bills can be expensive, so many owners have chosen pet insurance.

Pet insurance has only been around since 1982, so if you don't know much about it, that's understandable. Pet insurance can be similar to human health insurance where you can see a provider for wellness visits, illness, or accidents. There are in-office visits, telehealth, and 24/7 availability for answering questions.

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Pet Insurance Company FAQ

Generally speaking, all ages are welcome when it comes to providing your pet with pet insurance. As the pet gets older rates may be more expensive than if you would have gotten coverage at a younger age. Please keep in mind some companies have age restrictions for when they can accept a dog or cat into their insurance plan. Typical restrictions are around 12+ years of age.
No one can forecast when your dog or cat is going to digest something they shouldn't have or have an accident related injury. Luckily, pet insurance helps to protect the pet owner against unexpected veterinary bills that can reach into the $1,000s.
It is recommended to get pet insurance before winter or summer seasons. During those seasons, there are more dangerous elements that are exposing your pet to potential illness and accidents. As far as age goes for the puppy, insurance companies recommend getting your pet insurance when your new best friend arrives home.
Typically, insurance companies only insure cats and dogs. But some companies will insure dogs, horses, other large animals, cats, other small animals, rodents, reptiles, and birds.
Depending on the company, a pet insurance claim can be sent via several different methods. Methods can include email, fax, or regular mail. When completing a claim make sure to include all of your paid vet bill invoices, and any other required documents. When the claim is processed it will either be accepted with a reimbursement, more information needed (i.e. incomplete claim form), or denial (i.e. due to non-coverable services)
Of course, your pet insurance travels with you, wherever you go. Some insurance companies may have restrictions when it comes to international travel. Make sure to check with your pet insurance company if you plan on taking your furry friend across the border.
It depends greatly on which company and plan you decide to go with. Most pet insurance companies cover accidents and illnesses after a waiting period. If the illness is a preexisting condition, you're likely not to receive any coverage. It's important you understand the fine print of any plan you may decide to go with.
In general, veterinarians do not handle pet insurance claims. Veterinarians and the owner make choices for the pet's medical care and overall health. If the care is covered by the insurance, the insurance company will reimburse the owner a percentage of the bill (depending on the chosen insurance plan's coverage) after the care and service has been performed.
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Continued from above...

However, you should be aware of some essential differences between human health insurance and pet insurance. The vet doesn't file a claim, like your own provider would. You pay the vet bill, submit the claim online or on your phone, and then you're reimbursed by the insurance company - the vet doesn't get involved. Wellness care can be an add-on rider to cover a routine exam, vaccinations, spay/neuter, teeth cleaning, and so on.

Although accidents are the most common to be covered, many companies don't cover illnesses such as diabetes, allergies, or infections. Younger pets may cost less to insure, but that will greatly increase as they age; and when they are elderly, the company may even drop the coverage, so be sure to ask about aging pets, even when your pet is young. You can choose your deductible, copay, max annual reimbursement, and optional add-ons. Find out what coverage they recommend for your breed, and ask about multiple-pet or other discounts.

More dogs have pet insurance than any other animal, and the rate for cats is about half that of dogs. Owners of indoor cats might think they don't need pet insurance, but older felines can have chronic or recurring conditions which might require costly care or frequent vet visits.

While you might not expect your pet to become ill or have an accident, those vet bills can be quite costly, especially if a procedure, surgery, or ongoing care is needed. Unless you're budgeting in anticipation of these, pet insurance could be quite the relief for when you need it. If you have an older pet or pet prone to certain conditions, prices can vary greatly between companies, so we suggest getting quotes from a couple of your favorite companies before you make your final decision. In addition, even if you are getting a puppy or kitten, ask about coverage and premiums as if they were older so you get a look into the future.

When choosing which pet insurance provider is right for you, here are a few things to consider:

  • Your pets and their age(s). You may have a cat or dog now, but if there's a possibility of someday adding a hamster, bird, or turtle, will your pet insurance cover the exotic pet? Is there a multiple-pet discount? As your pet ages, he might be prone to diabetes, accidents, and more-frequent office visits, so be sure to ask if coverage lessens, gets more expensive, or even stops with these conditions.
  • Reimbursement. If you have a pet that might require a lot of medical bills, you should consider a plan with up to 100% covered on the vet bills.
  • Choice of vet. Similar to a human's health insurance, your pet's health insurance company may have in-network vets and others that are out-of-network that they won't cover fully or at all.
  • In-office or at home. Typical plans will offer in-office visits. You should consider telemedicine, in-home care, or availability in other countries if you plan on traveling.
  • Pre-existing conditions. See if your potential pet insurer will look at your pet's medical record to find out upfront if there are any pre-existing conditions that wouldn't be covered, so there are no costly surprises. Do this even before you purchase.
  • Type of plan. You might want your insurance to cover more than just routine vet visits. Consider accidents, wellness care, routine care, preventative care, behavioral treatment, and alternative therapies. Your pet could have better health coverage than you!
  • Discounts and rewards. Some companies will give a multiple-pet discount, and others offer rewards for wellness and routine care.
  • Helpline. Whether you're new to owning a pet, have a different breed than you're accustomed to, or just worry about your pet, some insurance companies are available 24/7 for help or even for telehealth visits.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed the best pet insurance companies available today. We hope this information helps you to get the best pet insurance for your fur baby so they can be well cared for in a long, happy, and healthy life!

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