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talk to me about "health insurance"

DH and I adopted a pitbull boxer mix last weekend and we just love the newest addition to our family. Since telling coworkers and family members we have adopted I keep hearing we should get health insurance on him. What exactly does this cover and where to I start looking. We are in Northern Virginia. Thanks!

BFP #1 11/07/2012 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C 11/22/2012

BFP #2 02/05/2013 EDD 09/19/2013

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Re: talk to me about "health insurance"

  • VPI and petplan are popular ones, you can just google them.  There are different levels of coverage, most cover emergency services and with some you can add on routine coverage (not usually worth it.) VPI has a yearly deductible, and Petplan has a per incident deductible so make sure you read the fine print.
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  • I think your best bet right now would be more of a puppy plan, those do usually save you money with the initial vaccines and check up that the dog needs. I also looked into pet insurance, but it wasn't worth it. Routine vaccinations were not covered in any plan I found. An emergency visit at my vet runs around $300 with the meds and all, and that's about what I would have paid a year for the insurance (which doesn't cover most things 100%) so I figured I would take my chances and hope my dog doesn't require more than one extra visit a year.
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  • Ditto the PP's. I had looked into it a while back (honestly couldn't tell you which ones, sorry) but I remember finding out at the time that it wasn't worth it for us as we do not have sick dogs. Now if you have a dog with conditions that require frequent appointments, medicines, etc it could definately be worth it for you.

    For us, and our vet, the annual fee was roughly the same amount as routine appointments, and din't cover the yearly shots, so it wouldn't have been worth it. God forbid we need an emergency situation covered, we are financially able to cover it without having to pay for the insurance year round as a 'what if' instance. I realize not everyone is in that same boat, and they like having the piece of mind that the pet insurance would help cover the cost of emergency situations should they arise.

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  • Ive had pet insurance on my three dogs for over 7 years.  There are lots of companies out there now, so you really have to read the fine print.  My plans do not cover yearly shots/exams.  I use a company called Pets Best.  They are very easy to use and you can submit your claims online.  My plan is a zero deductible and they pay 70 percent of the total cost with a lifetime limit of $42,000.  You can adjust the planthe way you want it.  Other companies Ive read about give a certain percentage for each ailment, so like I said, really read the fine print.  Most will not cover dental procedures, pre existing conditions, hereditary conditions, and many have a stipulation that the dog must be insured for at least one year in the case of a cruciate ligament injury (which is very common in the dog you just adopted).

    The above posters said it wasnt't worth it for them as it did not cover yearly exams/shots, however I got the insurance for other reasons.  I pay about 250 dollars a year per dog.  It really depends on how you feel.

    I got the insurance in case my dogs had an unfortunate accident, needed a surgery, or had something serious like cancer.  It was worth it to me because I knew if my dogs needed vet care that I did not have to worry or deny them the care they needed for fear that I couldnt afford it.  To me its worth every penny for that reason. 

    I've used it too, for example, my dog was attacked by a neighbors dog, and it was covered.  Silly things come up that you dont expect.  Even though it doesnt pay the full amount, it sure puts a dent in the vet bill that was over a thousand dollars. 

    Dont wait until your dog is older, or gets diagnosed with an issue.  Because then they wont cover a dime.  They will request vet records and investigate, because like all insurance companies they are looking for a reason not to pay. 

    In my opinion it is well worth it, and it has been worth it for me.

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  • image ShayLH:

    I got the insurance in case my dogs had an unfortunate accident, needed a surgery, or had something serious like cancer.  It was worth it to me because I knew if my dogs needed vet care that I did not have to worry or deny them the care they needed for fear that I couldnt afford it.  To me its worth every penny for that reason. 

    I got it for this reason, too (we use Pet Plan). Our pit bull has a tendency to eat things that are not food (like a disposable razor), and X-rays alone at the local emergency vet are $300 (not including an exam, or any needed treatment).

    When my Aussie was attacked by my foster dog, the bill was nearly $1,000.

    Like the PP said, I don't want to have to deny my dogs care in the event they get sick. From what other posters have written on these boards in the past, the cost of a serious issue can reach 5 figures very quickly. 

  • image RedheadBaker:
    image ShayLH:

    I got the insurance in case my dogs had an unfortunate accident, needed a surgery, or had something serious like cancer.  It was worth it to me because I knew if my dogs needed vet care that I did not have to worry or deny them the care they needed for fear that I couldnt afford it.  To me its worth every penny for that reason. 

    I got it for this reason, too (we use Pet Plan). Our pit bull has a tendency to eat things that are not food (like a disposable razor), and X-rays alone at the local emergency vet are $300 (not including an exam, or any needed treatment).

    When my Aussie was attacked by my foster dog, the bill was nearly $1,000.

    Like the PP said, I don't want to have to deny my dogs care in the event they get sick. From what other posters have written on these boards in the past, the cost of a serious issue can reach 5 figures very quickly. 

    We have Pet Plan for one of our cats because she eats things that are not food, also, such as Easter grass and ear plugs.  We mainly got it to cover emergencies, and found that their routine care plans were not cost effective for us.

    The only thing they won't cover is anything related to her asthma, since she was diagnosed with it before we got her the insurance.

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  • i have VPI for my adopted baby it was the best thing that we have ever done. so worth it they are very punctual and extremely helpful. they even send him a birthday card each year. if your pup has not been neutered then the higher plan is better thats what we have.. they paid us back for his surgery and since we are coming up to renewal this year we will lower the plan.

     they really are awsome.. let me know what you decide! 

    good luck 

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  • We have never gotten it for any of our dogs. I thought about it because I wanted some coverage for teeth issues but they never seem to cover that.
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