Posts Tagged ‘money management’

     If your pet has a medical emergency, are you prepared to authorize treatment which can run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars? Would you care if you never recouped any of the cost? Or is there a chance you, like many others, may opt for euthanasia if the cost of treatment is out of reach? Maybe it’s time to consider pet health insurance.

     Pet health insurance is like a forced savings account for medical emergencies. You pay a monthly premium, secure in the knowledge the policy will be there for your pet in an emergency, all the while hoping nothing bad ever happens. But bad things do happen, even to good pets.  

     Residents of Virginia can choose from among six state-approved insurance companies. I recommend stopping by our office to pick up their brochures so you can keep track of the companies as you research them. For now, here are the six:

     One way in which pet insurance differs from human health insurance is expected payment. In a human health setting, it is common practice for a doctor to bill the insurance company first and then bill the patient for the remainder. In a pet health setting, the pet owner may be required to pay the full cost of service upon check-out. At our office, full payment is required at the time of service. We then file your claim for you (there is no fee for filing) and the insurance company reimburses you directly.     

     Part of preparedness in an emergency is knowing what is expected of you financially. Pet insurance can certainly help put money back into your bank account after an emergency, but depending on hospital policy, it may not be a magical elixir you can use to pay your bills at check-out. Because of this, I recommend you check with the local emergency hospital so you’ll know whether full payment is expected at the time of service or whether they will file the insurance claim first. Do not be surprised if it is the former.

     Only you can decide if pet health insurance is a wise investment. I can offer that I have witnessed cases in which I was happy to see that a client had pet insurance and cases where it was a shame they did not. In every case, the money was spent – but only the clients whose pets were insured recovered some of that cost.  ~~  Jen

This article was originally posted on August 16, 2010.

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