Of all of the health care advances in recent years, human health insurance has been an exceptionally positive means for increasing accessibility to health care. Without this most of us would be unable to afford even routine medical care. There is also health insurance for animals, but many pet owners have yet to take advantage of it. According to a survey conducted by Brakke Consulting and Market Directionsin 2008, only 5% of respondents, who said they had visited their veterinarian within the past year, said they had pet insurance. The report in addition, did find that 93% of those pet owners were either somewhat or very satisfied with the pet insurance. Having health insurance for your pet can give you peace of mind knowing that you have assistance to help you to provide high quality medical care for your pet.
Veterinary health insurance is not patterned after the HMO style of human insurance, but is an indemnity type of insurance which has definite advantages over HMO style insurance. The insurance company has no oversight as to how your veterinarian practices medicine. You and your veterinarian make treatment decisions and you work with the insurance company for reimbursement of covered treatments, diagnostics and preventative measures. Additionally, this means that you can use any veterinarian you chose worldwide or see a specialist without prior approval from the insurance company.
Pets can’t tell you what’s wrong and naturally hide illness, so diagnostic testing is extremely important as is regular visits to your veterinarian. Your pet also ages faster than you do, and they may look younger than they really are, increasing the importance of regular diagnostics and checkups. Some of these diagnostics are the result huge advances in veterinary medicine. Laser surgeries, ultrasounds, CT scans and modern medical and surgical treatments can improve the quality of your pet’s life but can be expensive. Having pet health insurance will increase accessibility to these advanced diagnostics and treatments.
Pet insurance exists in part to make sure that your pet is protected against the unexpected so that you won’t have to make significant financial sacrifices to accommodate large veterinary bills. In addition to major medical plans, there are plans that include routine health care such as vaccinations, heartworm protection, annual exams, prescription flea control, spaying/neutering, and dental cleaning.
There are a number of companies who currently offer health insurance plans for pets. Work with your veterinarian to see who they recommend. You will need to consult with specific companies as to which species are covered, but you should be able to find companies that will cover a variety of species including dogs, cats, birds, reptiles amphibians, small mammals , and pot bellied pigs. Pet insurance can help provide piece of mind for you, and quality care for your pet.