Thinking about Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance kind of works like car insurance. You figure your car insurance doesn’t pay for gas, oil changes, new tires, and so on because those are things that you can budget for. But when you’re in an accident that you couldn’t possibly be prepared for – insurance helps you out. That is exactly how pet health insurance works – they depend on you to budget for your routine visits but they pick up the tab when you’re blind-sided by an ailment or accident. And in this day and age, being blind-sided can be financially crippling and ultimately leave pet owners in heart-wrenching predicaments. Pet health insurance is a surefire way to avoid being put in this position.

Here are a few we recommend to get you started.

Comparison Chart

Monthly quotes gathered for a 3 year old, mixed cat.

Embrace FIGO ASPCA Trupanion Healthy Paws
$40.87 $15.03 $34.91 $42.63 $17.84
Annual maximum $8k; $300 deductible; 80% coverage 90% coverage; $200 deductible; unlimited payout Unlimited payout; 90% coverage; $250 deductible- no preventative Unlimited payout; $200 deductible per condition; 90% coverage 90% coverage; $250 deductible; unlimited payout


Monthly quotes gathered for a 3 year old, small mixed breed dog

Embrace FIGO ASPCA Trupanion Healthy Paws
$51.26 $30.83 $50.08 $69.74 $26.48
Annual maximum $10k; $500 deductible; 80% coverage 90% coverage; $200 deductible; unlimited payout Unlimited payout; 90% coverage; $250 deductible- no preventative Unlimited payout; $200 deductible per condition; 90% coverage 90% coverage; $250 deductible; unlimited payout

This list is not meant to persuade you. We receive no commission or special offers from any of the following. We simply want to be sure that your pet(s) is given a chance to receive optimal care. Please keep in mind that there are multiple companies not listed as well. The following are recommended by the staff based on previous experience and relationships.

  • Trupanion:

Trupanion is the only coverage that offers a $0 deductible. With the $0 deductible, you can make use of Trupanion express, which allows us to process the claim while you wait. Once processed, the hospital is paid directly. All you have to do is pay the copay and exclusions. Regardless of your deductible, Trupanion offers quick reimbursement as well.

  • FIGO:

FIGO typically has the lowest premium available. It is also one of the only insurances that offer 100% reimbursement. There are a few great things that make FIGO different, one being the Pet Cloud. The pet cloud is an online database that stores all of your pet’s information, including a vaccine reminder. However, their biggest selling point is their pre-existing condition exclusion policy. If a pre existing condition is curable, and not preset for a full year after coverage begins, FIGO will cover those claims in the future.

  • Embrace:

Embrace offers a preventive plan which covers all wellness costs. However, you do have a maximum annual payout.

  • ASPCA:

ASPCA offers various perks, such as wellness care. It gives you the opportunity to customize a plan based on your needs. ASPCA is also the only coverage that will pay for the ASPCA poison control hotline emergency charge.

  • Healthy Paws:

Healthy Paws has been labeled a consumer favorite. All plans come with unlimited coverage.


Each insurance is different in what they offer and what their exclusions apply to. For instance, if your dog has a pre-existing condition of a right leg MPL, in many cases insurances will not cover a future left leg MPL repair surgery because it is unfortunately inevitable. If interested, you should do your own research as well to see which insurance suits your needs the best. We definitely recommend coverage.

Information for this pamphlet has been taken from online resources. It has not been overviewed directly by an insurance agent. Therefore, insurance coverage should not be based upon this pamphlet alone. Coverage is based and decided upon by each individual insurance. Bensonhurst Veterinary Care does not hold any responsibility for what is covered and what is not by your chosen insurance.


FIGO Pet Insurance

https://figopetinsurance.com/

  • There are three plans to choose from: essential (up to $10k), preferred (up to $14k), ultimate (unlimited). Your coverage & cost will vary depending on the plan chosen.
  • There is a 14 day waiting period for illnesses and a 5 day waiting period for accidents.
  • FIGO has an annual deductible. This means that the deductible is NOT per condition. Once the deductible has been met, you will be covered until the next cycle. Deductibles can be either $50, $100, $200, or $500. Obviously, price varies accordingly. Likewise, you may chose your percent of coverage. FIGO is one of the only isurances that offer 100% coverage, as well as 90%, 80%, and 70%.
  • Pre-existing conditions can be covered if they are curable. For instance, if your pet was diagnosed with the treatable parasite Giardia before coverage, once covered- if you are free from clinical signs of the illness of one year- you are eligible for coverage
  • You can change your plan at anytime with the aid of the Pet Cloud. This is an online database which is unique to you and stores all of your pet’s information.
    • Claims can be submitted electronically.
    • Within 2017, FIGO will implement a direct deposit reimbursement
    • FIGO can be reached by phone, email, or text for support

What is covered:

  • Veterinary Exam fees in accordance with an injury or illness that is covered
  • Emergency and Hospitalization
  • Surgery relating to covered injury or illness
  • Hereditary and congenital diseases that are NOT pre existing
  • Prescription medication prescribed by a licensed veterinarian
  • Cancer treatment
  • Specialty care (ie cardiologist, neurologist, etc)
  • Chronic conditions such as anxiety, asthma, diabetes, etc
  • Diagnostic testing (blood work, radiology, etc)
  • Ligament and knee conditions (covered only after 6 month waiting period)- please note that if the left/right knee has already been linked to a pre-existing condition, due to medical study, the other knee will not be covered even if absence of clinical sign
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Rehabilitation/physical therapy if performed by a licensed veterinarian
  • Prosthetic or orthotic devices
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Non routine dental
  • Boarding (dependant on plan)- upon admittance to hospital for medical care for a minimum of 4 days
  • Behavior therapy (dependant of plan)
  • Euthanasia (if medically necessary)
  • Mortality benefits: such as cremation fees up to $250; FIGO will also reimburse for the price of your dog/cat. Exclusions apply.
  • Advertising fees if your pet is lost or stolen (dependant on plan)- unless due to neglect. FIGO will not cover advertising fees if your pet is found by a family member. You must supply a signed receipt with the name and address of the person who found your pet.
  • Vacation cancellation in rare circumstance up to $1000.00 (dependant on plan)- only if vacation was booked more than 28 days from departure.
  • Working dogs (with added 10% premium)

What is not covered:

  • Pre-existing conditions: any condition that shows clinical signs before coverage begins.
  • Non veterinary services (waste removal, administrative fees, etc)
  • Non veterinary items (toys, leashes, cages, etc)
  • Preventative
    • Any illnesses caused by lack of preventative care, such as heartworm, lyme disease, rabies, etc.
  • Spay/Neutering or any related illnesses caused by lack of spay/neutering
  • Puppies or kittens under 6 weeks old.
  • Cosmetic/elective surgeries such as “dotting” the tail or “cropping” the ears
  • Supplements such as nutri-cal or viralys
  • Therapeutic food- unless directly used to dissolve urinary crystals (for up to 6 months)
  • Grooming/Obedience Training
  • Illnesses due to failure to adhere to veterinary recommendation
  • Breeding, pregnancy, or giving birth
  • Coprophagia (eating poop)/other eating disorders
  • Inhumane treatment
    • Neglect and abuse
  • Racing/organized fighting animals
  • Any act of war, invasion, revolt or quarantine
  • Experimental procedures
  • Chemical, biological or nuclear events

Trupanion Pet Insurance

http://trupanion.com/

  • Trupanion covers 90% of injuries and illness covered under your plan.
  • Deductibles are applied per condition. This means if you have a $200 deductible, and your pet comes in for an ear infection, you would need to reach your deductible before coverage for that condition. If your pet is also diagnosed with an eye infection, you will have to meet the deductible for that condition before coverage begins for said condition. However, these deductibles are met for the lifetime of your policy.
    • Deductibles are offered on a custom basis. Price varies from $0-$1000.
    • Trupanion is one of the only insurances that offer a $0 deductible. This is useful especially with Trupanion Express, a veterinarian tool which allows us to receive payment directly. In turn, with a $0 deductible you are liable to pay only what Trupanion does not!
    • You may change your deductible at any time. However, if a condition was clinical before the change, your previous deductible would be applied.
  • Allows the owner to add ‘enhancements to the plan’, such as:
    • Recovery and Complimentary Rider: adding coverage for
      • Acupuncture
      • Chiropractic
      • Behavior Modification
      • Homeopathy
      • Hydrotherapy
      • Physical and rehabilitation therapy
      • Naturopathy
    • Pet Owner Assistance: adding coverage for:
      • Cremation or burial
      • Holiday vacation cancellation
      • Boarding
      • Advertisement (if pet is lost or stolen)
      • Liability coverage for third party damage
    • Breeding Rider
      • Injury or illness related to breeding, whelping, and queening
  • There is a 30 day enrollment period for illnesses and a 5 day enrollment period for accidents
  • There is no limit to reimbursement. No payout limit.
  • Offers a 30 day free trial

What is covered:

  • Non pre-existing accidents,illnesses or injuries. Even chronic.
  • Dental illness and injury : if your pet has a yearly dental exam & your follow advice given by veterinarian. (Dental disease will not be covered if clinical signs pre-exist coverage)
  • 50% of prescription food costs for up to two months when being used to treat (not prevent or maintain) an illness
  • Herbal therapy: as directed by veterinarian
  • Supplements recommended by a veterinarian to treat an injury or illness.
  • Prosthetic and orthotic devices
  • Diagnostic testing (blood work, radiographs, etc)
  • Medications
  • Surgeries that are not caused or adhere to a pre-existing condition
  • Congenital or hereditary diseases that are NOT clinical pre existing
  • Hospitalization (not medical boarding)

What is not covered:

  • Office exams of any type
  • Injury or illness that arises from repeated neglect or abuse
  • Routine dentals
  • Routine annuals and wellness: vaccines and preventative care
  • Spay/Neuter
  • Supplements for routine and preventative care
  • Pre-existing Conditions (the policy has many exclusions, please view a detailed pdf underwritten by Trupanion)
  • Wellness or preventative care
  • Elective or cosmetic procedures (ie dotting the dail)
  • Boarding, medical boarding, or transport expenses
  • Racing or injuries pertaining to
  • Cremation and/or burial
  • Parasite control
  • Any illnesses that arise from nuclear or radioactive involvement
  • Any illnesses or injuries that arise from war , rebellion, foreign enemies, etc
  • Non veterinary services (waste removal, administrative fees, etc)
  • Non veterinary items (toys, leashes, cages, etc)

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

https://www.healthypawspetinsurance.com/

  • Paperless claims
  • Unlimited coverage. No payouts
  • 70%, 80%, or 90% reinbursement
  • $100, $250, or $500 annual deductible
  • 15 day enrollment period

What is covered:

  • Hereditary and Congenital conditions (as long as clinical symptoms do not pre exist)
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Cancer
  • Diagnostic treatment (MRI, CATscan, etc)
  • Labwork
  • Surgery
  • Prescription medication
  • Specialty care
  • Emergency care
  • Hospitalization
  • Alternative Treatment
  • Hip dysplasia (if no occurrence for first 12 months after coverage; and older than 6 years)

What is not covered:

  • Pre existing conditions: any condition that shows clinical signs before coverage begins.
  • Preventative or routine care
  • Office visit fee
  • Spay/neuter procedure
  • Intentional or neglectful cause to injury or illness
  • Cosmetic or aesthetic surgery
  • Boarding or transport fees
  • Pre-existing cruciate ligament problems to one leg as respects the cost of future treatment for problems of the other leg
  • Diseases prevented by parasite preventative, vaccines, spay/neuter
  • Pet food & supplements
  • Bathing/shampoo
  • Any illnesses that arise from nuclear or radioactive involvement
  • Any illnesses or injuries that arise from war , rebellion, foreign enemies, etc
  • Breeding
  • Experimental treatment/surgery
  • Behavior modification
  • For working pets, no coverage shall apply for any condition resulting from activities related to racing, breeding, law enforcement, guarding or for any commercial use.

 

ASPCA Pet Insurance

https://www.aspcapetinsurance.com/

  • Customizable insurance plan:  
    • Annual limits available: $5000, $10000, $15000, $20000, or unlimited
    • Coverage up to 70%, 80%, or 90%
    • Annual deductibles: $500, $250, $100 (not per condition)
    • Two varying plans: Accident only or Accident and Illness
      • You can add one of three preventative care plans
  • Two week waiting period
  • Covers microchip implantation, not online membership

What is covered under accident:

  • Alternative therapy
  • Euthanasia
  • ASPCA poison control consultation fee
  • Prescription food if used to treat a medical illness (will not be covered for preventative or maintenance)
  • Prescription medication
  • Stem Cell Therapy
  • Supplements to treat a covered condition (not for preventative care)
  • Surgery and hospitalization
  • Tooth extraction
  • Veterinary Treatment: exams, consultations, laboratory fees
  • Diagnostic testing: CATscan,MRS, etc

What is covered under illness:

  • Behavioral treatment is conducted by veterinarian
  • Cancer treatment

What is not covered:

  • Aesthetic or cosmetic surgeries
  • Breeding, pregnancy, or related
  • Preventative anal gland expression
  • Routine dental
  • Pre-existing conditions: any condition that shows clinical signs before coverage begins.
  • Herbal treatments
  • House call fees or travel expenses
  • Prescription food used as maintenance or prevention
  • Non veterinary services (waste removal, administrative fees, etc)
  • Non veterinary items (toys, leashes, cages, etc)
  • Preventative diagnostic that is not linked to clinical sign
  • Supplements for preventative care
  • Racing/organized fighting animals
  • War, invasion, revolt or quarantine
  • Experimental procedures
  • Chemical, biological or nuclear events

Preventative care plans vary. Please research to see if these plas suit your needs. Note that they do not cover full preventative expenses. Instead, ASPCA pet insurance will pay up to a maximum amount for select care; for instance $175 towards a dental or spay/neuter.

Embrace Pet Insurance

http://www.embracepetinsurance.com/

  • No waiting period, coverage starts immediately
  • Annual deductible $200-$1000
  • Annual Maximum up to $15k
  • Reimbursement up to 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Choice for options prescription coverage (additional cost)
  • Routine care up to specified maximum

What is covered:

  • Accidents
  • Illnesses
  • Genetic Conditions (such as hip dysplasia)
  • Chronic Conditions (such as asthma)
  • Dental Trauma
  • Cancer Treatment incl. Chemotherapy
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Exam fee
  • Laboratory tests and biopsies
  • Hospitalization and surgeries
  • Diagnostic testing (MRI, ultrasound, etc)
  • Specialist and emergency care
  • Acupuncture, holistic, and chiropractic medicine
  • Hydrotherapy and physical therapy
  • Laparoscopies, Laser Surgery
  • Preventative care with added package
  • Euthanasia and cremation with Last Rite Package
  • Behavior modification (unless pre existing)

What is not covered:

  • Pre-existing conditions: any condition that shows clinical signs before coverage begins.
  • More than one foreign body removal per cycle
  • Boarding
  • Dental illness
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Inhumane treatment such as neglect and abuse
  • Racing/organized fighting animals
  • Cosmetic or aesthetic surgeries
  • Treatment for illness in which a vaccine is available
  • Prosthetic limbs
  • Organ transplant
  • Genetic hormone testing
  • Cell replacement therapy
  • Breeding, whelping, or pregnancy
  • Epidemics such as influenza
  • Any illnesses that arise from nuclear or radioactive involvement
  • Any illnesses or injuries that arise from war, rebellion, foreign enemies, etc

Laser Therapy and Digatherm: the noninvasive treatment to reduce pain, inflammation, and speed healing!

images

We are happy to be able offer your pets laser therapy, a new and exciting alternative to traditional therapy for arthritis and joint pain. Laser treatment is suitable for dogs and cats, is free from side effects and produces a mild soothing heat over the treatment area. The essence of the treatment is that the laser light is able to penetrate deeply into the tissue and provide energy that stimulates cellular respiration to promote healing. The light energy also affects nerves directly reducing the transmission of pain signals to the central nervous system. The result is increased rate of healing and decreased pain. Laser therapy will be used in conjunction with our Digatherm screening system. Digatherm will locate your pet’s pain and inflammation and ultimately display before and after results of laser treatment. Please contact our office if you are interested in scheduling a laser consult or have any questions regarding treatment. We look forward to helping you and your pet discover the benefits of laser therapy soon!

Heartworm, Fleas, and Ticks – OH MY!

There are two parts to your pets’ annual visit.

First off, there are all the things we take care of in the exam room – physical exam, vaccinations, stool test, heartworm test, and sometimes annual blood work. Then you have to consider all of the monthly preventatives you are advised to go home with.

If your pet needs grooming, special food, or has a chronic condition you surely have a cell dedicated to them on your monthly budgeting spreadsheet. It is not cheap to maintain the health and wellbeing of a pet, no matter what age, breed, or size.

With that said, the monthly preventatives recommended at their annual visit are often overlooked, as this expense can seem excessive after an often hectic trip to the vet. However as the days get warmer, there are three major cringe-worthy threats that make the preventatives worth reconsidering.

 

Let’s start with the least conspicuous and potentially most fatal– Heartworm.

Heartworm can be transmitted to your pet by mosquitos. Your pet is especially at risk for getting heartworm when they’re exposed to the ideal environment for mosquitoes – wet, warm, swampy areas. However this does NOT mean that your pet is safe in the winter. The biological function of heartworm prevention along with the fact that mosquitoes can still survive in your house during the winter means that veterinarians recommend year-round prevention without pause.Heartworm

Heartworm, to put it bluntly is, is a disgusting parasite. It takes up residence in your pets’ heart and can grow remarkably if left without treatment. If pet has heartworm and they are given the preventative, parts of this worm can break apart and create a clot elsewhere in your pets’ circulatory system – certainly a scenario that has the potential to be fatal. This fact alone is why heartworm tests are required annually and after lapses in monthly doses.

Fortunately for everyone involved, it is entirely preventable!

 

Ready to talk about something else? Ok, ok on to fleas.

These little critters can be found anywhere outside. They feast on your pet and can make them incredibly itchy. In some cases, they can even cause your pet to have an allergic reaction, leaving their skin very irritateflead or even infected.

There’s some more bad news about fleas – brace yourself.

So if you were to count all of the fleas on your pet’s body, that is only approximately one tenth of the total fleas in your pets’ immediate environment. So, nine tenths of the infestation isn’t even on your pet – it is hiding in your linens, couch, carpet, and dare I say even your bed! It takes an extensive amount of laundering, vacuuming, and patience to take care of an infested household.

 

I have one thing to mention as an aside – if you’re thinking to yourself “PHEW good thing my dog is the size of a peanut and only goes outside once in a blue moon”. Yes, your pet definitely has decreased exposure. However, fleas can enter your house on your shoes, through screens, or via any other critters that might come into your household or apartment building.

On to the good news. Fleas are also preventable! We used to recommend Frontline across the board, however today it seems that the fleas are somewhat resistant. The newest, latest, most effective product is called Nexgard. It’s chewable, just like Heartgard, and will kill fleas that try to bite your furry friends. It is worth noting though, that if you already have an infestation you will have to treat your house in addition to your pet!

One other bit of good news – when the winter is coming, all fleas must die. No really, if you live in a place where the temperature drops below freezing then you are in luck. You can get away with just treating your pet seasonally. Definitely don’t forget to restart your monthly preventative in the spring!

 

Last, but certainly not least. Ticks.

You and your best furry friend are cuddled up after a long day in the wilderness, and as you’re giving him a good pet you realize there is a blood-sucking tick burrowed in his skin. Ticks can transmit a number of different diseases to your pet, including Lyme, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichia.

tick-imageThere are many different kinds of ticks found in a variety of places, but your best bet is to ensure your pet is on a monthly tick preventative in the warmer months. If you notice a tick on your pet, you should call up your veterinarian to remove it to ensure that it is done so properly.

Nexgard also has a component that acts as a tick preventative – but you should always check with your local veterinarian to ensure that your pet is  protected against all the most popular ticks in your area!

Thanks for tuning in and feel free to submit any lingering questions you have about these creepy crawlers and their preventatives.