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my feelings on pet insurance have completely changed since getting Sundance. I used to think that as long as we were in a position to cover a couple of thousand dollars in bills from our emergency fund we were fine. And I felt really grateful to be in a position to be able to do that, since we were well into our 30’s with 2 kids before that was even remotely possible. But $2-3,000 only covers relatively simple emergencies. I have seen people post that their bill for a dog needing to be hospitalized on IV fluids or while passing a foreign object, or for a surgery that would mean 10 more years of life, run well over $5,000. And many dogs with chronic conditions can easily be treated long term and live long, happy lives. I know very few people who wouldn’t have to “make it work” for a $3,000 bill, and many people we know would not be able to do it at all. I don’t know if Trupanian worked this way for Panda, but when DH started looking into insurance a while ago, he found that it’s really pretty reasonably priced, even for a 3-4 year old dog, but Sundance would need to wait a period of time after his injury to qualify for coverage. Even if we don’t end up doing it for him, we will definitely do it for a second Havanese. Even though regular vet costs can be expensive, I have planned for those, even his dental at this point. It’s the potential emergency bills, and I think it’s horrific that people have to choose between euthanasia and treatment (or can’t choose because they don’t have the money) because their dog eats a sock.
Yes, there is a month waiting period for any claim, and it doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. So on an “older than puppy” dog, that has to be taken into consideration. But, for instance, (and this doesn’t affect Panda, but I thought it was interesting) if a dog has a luxating patella that needs surgery on one side, and the other knee is OK at the time you get your insurance, they will still cover it if something goes wrong with the other knee.
 
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And yes, 10 years ago, just “medical” treatment (no surgery needed) when Kodi had his obstruction due to the Greenie, ended up costing us $1,800. I’m sure it would be much more now. Pixel’s cut tongue by the groomer (5 stitches, but because it was inside her mouth requiring anesthesia and intubation for 10 minutes of suturing) was $800. Kodi being fed three grapes by my husband, and having to go to the ER and made to throw up at 11PM, not even kept over night, was $800. It doesn’t take much to rack up a substantial bill these days.

…. I don’t even want to TRY to count up what Kodi’s shoulder injury cost. Thousands, I’m sure, but over the course of a year, so it didn’t come in one big chunk.

And Panda’s C-section was $3,700 at one go, though reproductive riders are a separate thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Yes, there is a month waiting period for any claim, and it doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. So on an “older than puppy” dog, that has to be taken into consideration. But, for instance, (and this doesn’t affect Panda, but I thought it was interesting) if a dog has a luxating patella that needs surgery on one side, and the other knee is OK at the time you get your insurance, they will still cover it if something goes wrong with the other knee.
The wording on Healthy Paws (re "pre-existing") is "covers the cost of the veterinary treatment related to an injury, accident, or illness where the clinical symptoms were first present after the enrollment date and waiting periods. "

I'm hoping that this means there won't be a problem with his leg surgery - since the "clinical symptoms" that meant surgery was needed were definitely not present at 9 months old... even if the twisted leg was (though it did twist further since then).
 

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This was the original news article I read about the CDC banning imports of dogs from a long list of countries due to their issues wtith fake rabies vaccines. I don't see any mention of traveling form the USto other countries and back with your dog that has been vaccinated in the US. Perhaps the jouranlist only wrote about part of the story.

 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
This was the original news article I read about the CDC banning imports of dogs from a long list of countries due to their issues wtith fake rabies vaccines. I don't see any mention of traveling form the USto other countries and back with your dog that has been vaccinated in the US. Perhaps the jouranlist only wrote about part of the story.

The info on the website (not the story) says that it applies to any dog that has been to any of these countries in the last 6 months regardless of what country they're in (or presumably where they got their rabies shot). In fact, the requirements to get an exemption said that you needed a FAVN rabies titer if you had gotten the rabies shots outside the US (so wouldn't need it if you got the shot in the US - but would still have to apply for the waiver to return).

I understand the issue with potentially fake rabies certificates - the answer to that is not banning all travel. It could be requiring FAVN (though given that you need to have them 3 months before traveling, giving people time to get them as well would be useful).

What threw me about the whole thing was the CDC's linking changing the ban (one of the options) "the expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency ". I don't see the link, especially since creating the ban will actually cause more of a workload not less. Anyway, what I think doesn't matter, it is what it is. We can only hope that they do change the order sometime soon and come up with a workable solution for everyone.

The article though really annoys me - and I generally love NPR. The problem is that the article focuses on animals being imported for adoption and only even acknowledges people bringing their pets back to the US as if they had adopted them overseas. There are a lot of expats who work overseas who take their dogs and cats with them.

The article (and those interviewed) seem to indicate that it WILL last a year and not just be temporary which terrifies me. Yes you can apply for an exception - but that's to MOVE back to the US, not to come back (or between your two homes as someone else referred to it) - so where ever we go next, Perry will be stuck there and won't be able to travel with us unless we are moving back to the US permanently IF we could get the waiver.
 

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The key to pet insurance is to get it immediately with a puppy and stick with the same company (i.e. select carefully) because if you try to get it later or change companies, you will not be able to recover for any pre-existing conditions...remember how human insurance would not cover pre existing conditions until enactment of the Affordable Care Act ten years ago!! I did what Karen is thinking about..designed a policy with a relatively high deductible, paid yearly rather than monthly to reduce cost, and designed it to cover 70% ...that kept the premium low and it has only gone up slightly as she gets older. I also just submit bills after the fact although my plan, Pet Best, will pay directly. Pet insurance that acts like human health coverage and pays for preventive care visits is very expenisve but accident and illness policies can be designed to be relatively affordable. I just want to have some “help” for one of those $10,000 events. I collected once when investigation of allergy/digestive issues required expensive tests and an ultrasound..the payment for my claim paid for my first three years of low premiums. Now, it is just an insurance policy against a big expense! (And she has had no skin or digestive issues for almost two years and a switch to a hypoallergenic prescription diet.).
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
 

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The key to pet insurance is to get it immediately with a puppy and stick with the same company (i.e. select carefully) because if you try to get it later or change companies, you will not be able to recover for any pre-existing conditions...remember how human insurance would not cover pre existing conditions until enactment of the Affordable Care Act ten years ago!! I did what Karen is thinking about..designed a policy with a relatively high deductible, paid yearly rather than monthly to reduce cost, and designed it to cover 70% ...that kept the premium low and it has only gone up slightly as she gets older. I also just submit bills after the fact although my plan, Pet Best, will pay directly. Pet insurance that acts like human health coverage and pays for preventive care visits is very expenisve but accident and illness policies can be designed to be relatively affordable. I just want to have some “help” for one of those $10,000 events. I collected once when investigation of allergy/digestive issues required expensive tests and an ultrasound..the payment for my claim paid for my first three years of low premiums. Now, it is just an insurance policy against a big expense! (And she has had no skin or digestive issues for almost two years and a switch to a hypoallergenic prescription diet.).
Exactly. Pets Best was the other company I was seriously considering, and was comparable, price-wise and in terms of coverage. The thing that swayed my to Trupanion was the inexpensive rider for rehab services.
 

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Like Melissa...I have also had "Healthy Paws" for Scout and Truffles since they were puppies. I decided on a $500.00 deductible. They completely covered a $5,000.00 leg surgery and then weeks later surgery on the opposite leg. The rates have increased slightly over the years, although last year they decreased my monthly rate. I'm thinking it may have been due to COVID?
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Personally, we go to a human dentist that gives a 25% discount off his published prices if we don't use insurance. I expect that is going to be an alternative model for veterinary services in the future as the cost of pet health care continues to skyrocket.
This is interesting...My dentist has never accepted insurance. They would send the bill to the insurance company, but services are paid before leaving the office. I received an email from the office last week recommending a new dental insurance plan. I can't remember the name after deleting it. Now I'm thinking I should maybe reconsider... Dental has always been expensive, but it is definitely skyrocketing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Like Melissa...I have also had "Healthy Paws" for Scout and Truffles since they were puppies. I decided on a $500.00 deductible. They completely covered a $5,000.00 leg surgery and then weeks later surgery on the opposite leg. The rates have increased slightly over the years, although last year they decreased my monthly rate. I'm thinking it may have been due to COVID?
Interesting, ours didn't go down... maybe it was due to not having a claim in a while??
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
So there is now a petition to exempt personal pets traveling with their owners from this ban - please consider signing it.

 

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So there is now a petition to exempt personal pets traveling with their owners from this ban - please consider signing it.

Signed, and I HATE signing Move On petitions, because then they flood my in box! LOL!
 
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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
WE CAN TRAVEL AGAIN!!!!!

UPDATE: Effective December 1, 2021, dogs vaccinated in the United States by a US-licensed veterinarian may re-enter the United States from a high-risk country without a CDC Dog Import Permit if the dog:
  1. has a valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate;
  2. has proof of a microchip;
  3. is at least 6 months old;
  4. is healthy upon arrival; and
  5. arrives at an approved port of entry
So, we can travel again without stressing about where we are/ for how long, etc. They do still need to work on getting rid of the ban - there are a lot of responsible dog owners who have had their dogs vaccinated outside the US (including us - though our current vaccine was done in the US!). I think it should be possible, but I guess will take them longer to figure out. I'm just so relieved that this is one less thing I have to stress about.

Just in case it was needed (either to return to the US or to travel to some other countries) we did get his FAVN rabies titer done last month (it usually has to be about 3 months old before countries will accept it) and redid his rabies vaccine - he had a 3 year that expires in 2022 but many countries only accept the 1 year - so we did get a new vaccine last month (got the 3 year since the dosage is the same knowing we might have to get it done in a year anyway but will be good for 3 years for US purposes).

The FAVN minimum titer is .5 and above is good, his is .87 (still based on his 2019 vaccine) so we're good. His previous titer (June 2020 - based on the Oct 2019) was 1.86.
 

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WE CAN TRAVEL AGAIN!!!!!

UPDATE: Effective December 1, 2021, dogs vaccinated in the United States by a US-licensed veterinarian may re-enter the United States from a high-risk country without a CDC Dog Import Permit if the dog:
  1. has a valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate;
  2. has proof of a microchip;
  3. is at least 6 months old;
  4. is healthy upon arrival; and
  5. arrives at an approved port of entry
So, we can travel again without stressing about where we are/ for how long, etc. They do still need to work on getting rid of the ban - there are a lot of responsible dog owners who have had their dogs vaccinated outside the US (including us - though our current vaccine was done in the US!). I think it should be possible, but I guess will take them longer to figure out. I'm just so relieved that this is one less thing I have to stress about.
YAY! I know how important this is to you!!! And the timing is pretty good… it hasn’t been THAT long since Perry got his medical “all clear”. I am really happy for you! Having just gotten the news that I (finally!) have antibodies, I am well aware of how important these changes are!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
YAY! I know how important this is to you!!! And the timing is pretty good… it hasn’t been THAT long since Perry got his medical “all clear”. I am really happy for you! Having just gotten the news that I (finally!) have antibodies, I am well aware of how important these changes are!!!
That's amazing news re: having antibodies!!
 

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