Consider Pet Health Insurance

Concerned about high vet bills? Learn how to find a veterinary insurance policy that works for you.

By Sandy Robins | Posted: Tue May 31 00:00:00 PDT 2005

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CatBeing a responsible cat owner means ensuring you are financially able to take care of routine veterinary checkups, as well as any medical emergencies that may arise during your cat's life.

Although only one percent of Americans' 90 million cats have health insurance, this figure is greater than it was two years ago. Today there are numerous companies offering veterinary health insurance plans.

If you are considering this type of coverage, start by consulting your veterinarian for specific advice pertaining to your pet, then shop around for a plan that suits your needs.

Health insurance for your cat is quite different from human health insurance, which falls under the managed care system. Instead, veterinary insurance indemnifies, offering reimbursements for costs associated with veterinary care.

The pet owner pays for services at the time of the visit, then sends the veterinary invoice to the insurance company together with the claim form. Pet owners are responsible for paying a deductible amount, which varies from scheme to scheme, and are then reimbursed by the insurance company for the difference.

When researching policies be sure to ask the following questions:

1. Check that you can visit the veterinarian of your choice.

2. Ask how long the insurance provider has been in existence, and check that their rates are regulated by the Department of Insurance.

3. Check to ensure what conditions the policy covers and excludes.

4. Find out what the provider deems a pre-existing condition and also check what congenital or hereditary conditions are excluded from coverage. This varies from breed to breed. 

5. Check to see that routine care, such as vaccinations and regular checkups, is included.

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Reader Comments

janet    bethlehem, PA

9/23/2009 4:50:00 AM

good article thank you

Ian    Torence, CA

2/7/2009 4:56:33 PM

I'm still not getting it.

alyssa    atchison, AK

2/26/2008 6:39:04 AM


Cathy    Hubbard, OH

2/26/2008 5:01:18 AM

The problem with pet insurance is, the older your cat the more expensive it is. When you have more than one cat (I have 4) than it becomes very expensive. I have a cat fund, which I feel is much more beneficial in the long run.

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