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Pet Health Insurance Month

Rochelle, just rochelle (Rochelle Hartman) [Flickr]

September is Pet Health Insurance Month, a great time to consider whether insurance is a good option to help keep your pet healthy and happy.


Advances in veterinary science can result in a better chance for your pet to recover from an illness or injury, but it may require expensive tests, procedures and medicines. There are veterinarians who specialize in such things as cardiology, orthopedics, ophthalmology. So what’s an owner to do when faced with the decision regarding just how much veterinary care is enough for your pet?

Some pet owners are opting for pet health insurance. Many policies offer a reimbursement program. You pay the vet and then file with the insurance company to get paid back. Premiums can vary depending on the age and health of the animal, and the level of deductible you choose. Like human insurance coverage, it’s cheaper to insure healthy young animals.

Some folks want a policy that covers routine vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and annual checkups. Other owners, especially those with older pets, may elect to forgo the basic health care insurance in favor of one with catastrophic coverage - policies with high deductibles that will pay in the event of more costly veterinary treatment for injuries or extended illness.

The decision whether to buy pet health insurance is not just an economic issue; knowing you won’t have consider euthanasia just because you can’t afford the necessary treatment for your best friend offers many owners peace of mind.

September is Pet Health Insurance Month. You can go online to find a lot of great information, but your veterinarian may be your best advisor, based on his or her experience with companies that write health insurance coverage for pets. Just be sure you know what is - and is not - covered by the policy. Almost all require co-pays. And many have limits on what they will pay out each year. It may be more difficult to find an affordable policy that will cover an older pet, or one with existing health problems. But you may be able to get a discount if you are insuring more than one pet.

Pet health insurance may be just what the doctor ordered. It is one more way we can make sure our best friends are protected and well-cared-for, when we’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.
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