Pet health insurance or health fund? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Pet health insurance or health fund?

Do any of you have pet health insurance, and if so then how has your experience been with it? I have looked up all kinds of pet health insurance and honestly it kind of looks like a rip-off to me. It really doesn't seem like they pay out all that much more than you pay in per year - and of course even that small amount only helps if you actually have to USE it. Plus, it looks like a lot of them don't even cover routine vet maintenance unless you're willing to pay ungodly premium costs.

So, I think I'm just going to start up a savings account just for vet emergencies and put back $50-$100 per month just in case something major happens like surgery, etc. Have any of you gone this route instead? Opinions please!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 06:25 PM
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With all the limitations on the pet insurance, my personal feeling is the specific savings account for vet expenses really makes a lot more sense. That way you can use the money as you see fit on the vet bills, etc...not just if there is a major illness or accident with your pup.

Murray & his mama, Sally~
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 06:53 PM
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We keep an emergency account. I would strongly recommend doing this if you do not have insurance, it was a relief to know I did not have to worry about cost when Riley had a blockage this year.

Leeann, Riley, Monte & Rumor

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 06:59 PM
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We have VPI-- it is an emergency policy. $22 a month per dog. I am not sure we would still have it if Cash hadn't gotten very sick when he was just over a year old. We had $3500 of vet expenses and VPI paid $2100 back to us. They didn't pay everything, but they paid enough that I was glad we had it and figure it has paid for itself for a few years anyway. They were actually very helpful in filling out the paperwork and if there was a choose between them putting the billable in two different categories they chose the one that paid back the most.

Missy, Jasper & Cash
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 09:47 AM
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When I got Stella, I asked my vet about it. He said that in years past it used to be a much better deal but that the policies now just weren't worth the premiums. I decided against it and so far (crossing fingers) I'm glad I didn't get it.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 09:59 AM
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Funny, you should bring this up. We have a Superios VPI plan and pay about $50 a month. They have reinbursed us for some of our costs. Office visits, neutering, vaccines etc. I don't really handle the bookeeping in this household so I don't know the actual numbers.

However, Babaloo is about to have surgery for Avascular Necrosis of the Femoral Head. VPI specifically states that it will not reimburse for this surgery or anything that relates to this condition. They deem it to be genetic. The Orthopedic Surgeon and my regular Vet will not state that it's genetic. Small dogs get this either from genetics or trauma.
However Babaloo hasn't had any traumatic experiences other than not being served food from the table.

I think the "fund" is a great idea in hindsight.



Photo is of Amelia( 2 1/4) and Babaloo (12 weeks)
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 12:39 PM
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I used to think a fund was the best way to go. But experience taught me otherwise. My Serena has been very ill with a macro tumor in her Pituitary gland. After huge expense with diagnosis and treatment for Cushing's Disease that ultimately led to the diagnosis of the macro tumor, I spent $5200 for radiation treatment. She is doing well, so I do not regret it at all. But, like I said it made me think twice. So, I did a lot of research on all of the pet insurance plans. There is a great site that ranks them and discusses all of the pros and cons. It is Based on my needs, Embrace and PetPlan were the best fit. I was not so concerned with coverage of routine visits as I was with catastrophic illnesses. Ultimately I went with PetPlan because it covers genetic conditions and lets you insure for the life of your pet providing you start the insurance prior to age 10. (Many won't cover a pet after the age of 10). PetPlan also won't drop you the year following the diagnosis of a major disease. For example, your dog becomes diabetic. Your plan covers it, but then during the next renewal period tells you your dog has a pre-exisiting condition that is not covered. None of these plans is ideal, but I decided to insure Raffy with PetPlan. I haven't had to use it, but I feel so much better. There was also a very good article in The Whole Dog Journal that talked about pet insurance. One of the points was that that veterinary medicine has gotten much more sophisticated -- hence expensive -- in the past few years. Treatments are available that didn't exist five or ten years ago. I just didn't want to be in the position of not being able to avoid a treatment because I couldn't avoid it.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 02:04 PM
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I bought Pet Plan for Lola after reading on here about several traumatic experiences owners have had with their Havs. (Read Leslie's thread on caring for will break your heart. And it scared me.) It never occurred to me that I would have a dog that I would love as much as I love Lola, or that would potentially incur $thousands in diagnosis expense, and more in treatments. I was raised that pets are pretty much pets and when they get sick, you put them down. I quickly realized I would not have that attitude with Lola. So I bought Pet Plan in order to remove that sort of decision from my life. They cover genetic issues - which previous posts have mentioned as being important - and you can choose your own deductible and maximums. I went for the max deductible at $200 so none of the typical vet visits are covered. Lola has gotten foxtails in her ear and in her vagina and required sedation for removal, running around $250 each time. I figure these costs are part of life. But had that foxtail migrated through her body and she needed real surgery, ( which has happened to Havs on this forum) the insurance would cover that high expense.

I think there is a HF discount on Pet Plan, but I had already bought it. Check threads for Pet Plan. My research shows it to be the best.

My cost is $285 a year, $200 deductible and $20,000 max per year. They also pay for rewards, boarding if you are in hospital, etc with no deductible.

---Little Lola a.k.a. Princess Pee and Poop and her humom Anne

"Happiness is a warm puppy" Charles Schultz

Last edited by Redorr; 10-30-2009 at 02:29 PM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 03:51 PM
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After watching two friends with fairly young dogs struggle to pay for cancer treatments, I decided to go with insurance for Riley. I went with VIP, but I think I will switch to Pet Plan when it is time to renew.

Debbie and Riley
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