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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Dog Health Insurance?

What do people think of health insurance for dogs? We just received an e-mail from the AKC promoting its AKC Pet Healthcare Plan. Our vet told us that the post popular plan among the dogs he sees is VPI. Has anyone had positive or negative experience with health insurance? Would you recommend for or against certain types of coverage? We're new to this.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 05:35 PM
Dave T
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This is always a peace of mind type thing. I have insurance . It doesn't take much to rack up a $2000 bill at the vets these days. A broken leg can be that. If you would be financially strapped if an accident or something happened then you might want it. I've had it five years and never used it ,but it's nice to know that you have it if you need it. If you are not good at putting money away for an emergency fund then I would consider it. JMO

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 05:43 PM
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We have VPI and they paid for over half of MacGyver's vet bills for his leg surgery.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 07:54 AM
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Milo has the ASPCA insurance. I got Brook Pet Plan insurance because it includes congenital issues as well. When Milo had his surgery for Leggs Calves disease, none of it was covered because it was considered congenital. I will switch him over when it's time to renew. I would consider that carefully when picking a plan.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 08:07 AM
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I don't have any insurance but I think it is a personal decision you have to make. If you can put away more or have money in case of something happening. I think if I add up how many years (ages 8, 5, and going on 3 for my own dogs). It would probably cost for all 3 over $100 per month? That would be a lot of money in insurance. Then when you take in consideration what some insurances don't cover as well. I have had my dogs and had no major issue arise- maybe part of it is luck, part genetics, etc. It was just something I decided wasn't the best for me and my dogs. Just wanted to offer you the other side as well.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 08:54 AM
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We had a scary thing happen to Cash when he was just over a year old. Up until then he had a few puppy things like spraining an ankle and eating something he shouldn't and a few infections, which landed us with a few 500 dollar bills-- so we got VPI for the boys at $22 dollars a month each. It is just for emergencies and serious ailments...not routine care. But when Cash got sick, on Tuesday he had a fever, by Friday he was lame. There were several vet visits including emergency between tuesday and friday and on friday they pulled out the big guns. All totaled we had $3500 dollars in vet bills. VPI re-imbursed 2200 of it. because of the timing of this, I feel it has already paid for itself for many years...and we would have not saved that much so early on, nor would I be certain we would have had the discipline not to dip into "the boys" account when some expense came up in our life. We'll see how they deal with Jasper's eye and Cash's ear with an obsessed (or greedy) Dermatologist with a $700 bill. We just submitted that claim.

So for us it has worked. I called all the vets around here and asked who was the easiest and best to deal with. They all said VPI-- but that was almost 3 years ago.

Missy, Jasper & Cash
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 09:47 AM
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I thought it might help to see how a claim is processed
Jasper's was a little more complicated and the vet needs to send written records but Cash's was pretty straight forward and I am happy with the reimbursement. They pay on the eligible amount based on the average across the country. for us our vets are usually more expensive in New England. But we submitted 382.09 and are getting 248.40 back. Now whether or not he has atopic dermatitis is another story... my vet thinks this specialist overreacted. But I was happy to have insurance

Cash's Claim Detail

Diagnosis Code----------submitted---eligible--deductible--reimbursement

Primary Diagnosis

ATOPIC OR ALLER DERM $163.09 - $107.00 - $50.00 - $51.30
Testing $125.00 - $125.00 - $0.00 - $112.50

Secondary Diagnosis

OTITIS EXTERNA $66.00 - $66.00 - $0.00 - $59.40
SECONDARY TESTS (EAR) $28.00 - $28.00 - $0.00 - $25.20

Missy, Jasper & Cash

Last edited by Missy; 06-16-2010 at 09:51 AM.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 11:34 AM
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I had VPI but switched to ASPCA due to cost. I just got a emailer about Companion Pet Insurance and am researching that. I don't have well care with ASPCA, just for emergencies/accidents and illness. Even though the claims I've submitted so far have been minor, I've been satisfied with ASPCA so far.

Kodi & Shelby's Mom and Julian's Grandma
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 04:02 PM
Debbie B.
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I had VPI last year, but never used it. I recently switched to Pet Plan because it had better reviews and it was also cheaper.

Debbie and Riley
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the input. It is all helpful. I think we probably will purchase some kind of plan, just to be safe. We need to decide which company is the best, and what type of coverage makes sense.
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