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      June 25, 2019

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Can Pet Wellness Plans Replace Pet Insurance?

If youíve ever thought about getting your pet an insurance plan, you may have also heard about pet wellness plans. Wellness plans do differ from pet insurance plans in what they cover and how you might want to use them. In this article, weíre going to take a look at pet wellness plans and pet insurance plans. Weíll discuss why each is beneficial (weíll compare and contrast), how you can tailor coverage to your needs, and other situational circumstances that may affect your coverage.

What Are Pet Wellness Plans?

Pet wellness plans are different from insurance plans in that they cover day to day checkups and routine medical procedures. If youíre concerned about regular vet visits not being covered under your pet insurance, a pet wellness plan might be a great idea for you.

What Does It Cover?

Things like annual exams, teeth cleanings, blood, fecal, urine, and worm testing, vaccinations, tick and flea treatments, and much more can be covered under a pet wellness plan. Anything that you might consider to be a non-emergency could be covered under a wellness plan instead of a pet insurance plan.

In many cases, a wellness plan offered by a veterinary clinic is more like an installment plan, in that it gives you a single monthly price to pay in order to ensure your pet gets all basic necessities covered, instead of paying for each thing separately. This helps ensure your pet gets regular checkups, dental care, and necessary vaccinations, without you having to budget separately for each item.

Wellness Rewards

If you choose to enroll in a wellness plan, you may find that it is offered in addition to your pet insurance plan. When you choose your wellness plan you may be able to consider how often your pet will be visiting the vet. Some plans offer wellness rewards as a benefit to your insurance. What usually happens is you will enroll in an insurance plan, then, for an added fee each month, youíll have a certain amount of annual coverage for your wellness plan. For example, you may choose a plan that reimburses you $250 - $650 per year related to routine procedures. In order to receive a higher reimbursement for those procedures, youíll have to pay a higher monthly fee. However, it pays off greatly in the end if you find yourself taking your pet to the vet often.

How Do You Get a Pet Wellness Plan?

Some wellness plans are stand alone, while others require you to first purchase an insurance plan. Itís very common for insurance plans to offer a wellness plan with an additional monthly fee. However, if you donít think youíll need any additional coverage, you can absolutely look for a plan that just covers routine medical procedures.

What Are Puppy Wellness Plans?

Puppy wellness plans are specifically tailored for young dogs that need a lot of attention. As you may know, puppies usually require a lot of care in their first year or two of life. Routine shots, tests, preventative care, etc. are needed to make sure your puppy stays healthy for years to come. These plans are made for pet owners who expect to visit the vet quite a lot for their young pup. If you donít want to spend a bundle after bringing home a new puppy, a pet wellness plan is a great idea to avoid breaking the bank on routine visits.

Pet Wellness Plans vs. Pet Insurance

Pet wellness plans often cover routine procedures and checkups for your pets. On the other hand, pet insurance is commonly used to save you from more expensive procedures and emergencies. Things like surgeries, sudden extreme illnesses, emergency care in general, prescription medications, and more are frequently covered under pet insurance policies. Here is a comparison of what each service covers so that you can determine if one or the other (or maybe both) would be best for your pet.

Pet Wellness

  • Checkups
  • Routine Blood Work
  • Flea & Tick Prevention
  • Spaying/Neutering
  • Vaccinations
  • Teeth Cleaning
  • Good for Puppies & Young Animals
  • Low Monthly Fee

Pet Insurance

  • Emergencies
  • Surgery
  • Accidents
  • Essential Medications
  • Good for Pets With Serious Medical History
  • Good for Aging Pets
  • Good for Purebred Pets With Known Health Risks
  • Affordable Monthly Fee

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

Absolutely, pet insurance is worth it. Unexpected things happen all the time when youíre a pet owner. Regular visits to the vet for simple procedures can often leave you with a large bill. Compare that to an emergency situation, and you could be shocked at how much a surgery, emergency treatment, or regular medications cost you out of pocket. Pet insurance can save you thousands of dollars over your petís lifetime.

How Much Is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance isnít as expensive as you may think. Although you can spend more to receive more coverage, people (on average) have a fairly low monthly bill. Some wellness plans and insurance plans start at as little as $10 to $15. However, most people fall somewhere in between the $20 to $60 plans. The great thing about pet insurance, is that you can usually tailor your plan for whatever you need. There are so many great options out there for pet owners who have varying medical needs with their pets.

Pet Insurance for Cats

Pet insurance isnít simply for dogs and puppies. There are plenty of plans out there that cater directly to the needs of cats. As cats age, they may experience common feline health problems. These health problems are specific to cats and as such, you can find an insurance plan that covers all the most common feline health problems. Sometimes it helps to be covered only for the things that affect your animal, which is why there are pet insurance plans for cats and for dogs. As with the wellness plans and insurance plans we already discussed, coverage and monthly fees will vary. However, youíll have the peace of mind knowing that your catís particular health issues (and potential problems that may develop in the future) are being met and are guaranteed to be covered.

Pet Insurance for Dogs

Just the same, there are many ailments that only affect dogs, especially purebred dogs. If you know that your particular breed has a history or elevated risk for certain medical problems, itís a great idea to talk with your insurance provider to ensure that their medical needs are covered. Although, these days, most pet insurance that is tailored for one type of animal (cats, dogs, etc) will make sure to cover all common medical issues that those animals are likely to experience in their life. So, if youíre wanting a plan that addresses your animalís direct needs, try and find one that is specifically a cat or dog insurance maybe instead of general pet insurance. Many providers offer this type of coverage for all sorts of pets.

What About Pets With Disabilities?

Your pet may already have a condition that requires medical attention. If this is the case, youíll want to make sure you talk with your insurance provider about their needs and the level of coverage that youíll require. Just because your pet already has a medical issue, does not mean that they wonít be covered. Yet, some companies will have specific rules and guidelines regarding pre-existing conditions that you should know about.

Pet Insurance Pre Existing Conditions

A pre-existing condition is regularly defined as a medical issue that you have been aware of before you start seeking medical coverage. Just as with human insurance, some insurance providers will make you sit through a waiting period before a certain condition can be covered. For example, your plan may say that any pre-existing conditions will not be covered for a year. Letís say your dog has had stomach problems before you sought medical coverage. If your dogís stomach problems resolved, but then reappeared a year later, your insurance may count that as a pre-existing condition.

As such, itís always a great idea to decide to get pet insurance as early as possible with a new pet. If you decide to enroll in pet insurance and/or a pet wellness plan early on, you wonít have to worry about certain procedures, medications, or other situations potentially not being covered by your insurance. Itís always best to seek out pet insurance before there is any sign of an issue instead of after. Of course, this isnít always possible, so itís a great idea to talk to your vet and pet insurance provider to discuss options about pre-existing conditions.

As you can see, pet insurance is very important at any point in an animalís life. If you own any pet, itís a wonderful time to start thinking about pet insurance. Whatís more, if you are a pet owner and your pet is seeing the vet for routine checkups, you might also want to think about getting a wellness plan on top of your regular pet insurance. However, you can always get the best plan that suits your petís needs. Whatever the case may be, pet insurance is sure to save you a lot of stress and cash by helping you plan ahead for checkups or emergencies.

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