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Monthly prepayment plans for vet care-worth it?

This is a discussion on Monthly prepayment plans for vet care-worth it? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; It's not a hypochondriac to take your animal to a vet if they're sick. All recommendations are to go once or twice a year. I ...

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Old 01-09-2018, 12:26 AM
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It's not a hypochondriac to take your animal to a vet if they're sick. All recommendations are to go once or twice a year.
I used to go never go and brought in a cat that looked sick that had been feral that I couldn't handle easily let alone get in a carrier.
The cat would up being diabetic but needed regular vet visits to monitor and regulate his diabetes and insulin doses. Wound up in a diabetic crisis once. At the first vet visit the stupid vet called the SPCA and reported me for neglect because the cat had not seen a vet for years and was sick, ignoring the feral part. The investigator said the vet was an idiot and it was fine.
The whole country requires dogs to have annual licenses and rabies vaccinations, vets require a exam for that.
When your dog has severe diarrhea every day and won't eat I bring it in. That's from ibd and food allergies, needs meds since he won't eat his special food.
When he destroys the house and tries to jump out the third floor window from separation anxiety he needs meds to calm down. That's a behaviorist visit.

My cat was covered with constantly bleeding sores from what turned out to be allergies to everything before I brought him in.

None of that is being a hypochondriac, it's caring for your animal.
I personally haven't had a physical in at least three years and am allergic to one medicine. Had a cough for months and didn't go in until family was here over the holidays and forced me to because I was up coughing literally all night and kept them up too. Finally went in and antibiotics helped in a week. I've ridden and jumped horses and cleaned stalls when my knee was dislocated. I have to be very miserable or severely bleeding to go to a doctor myself. So I'm not a hypochondriac.
But getting reported for neglect and bring investigated scared me, not because I question my care of my animals or trust vets but because I don't want to risk losing them.
Don't forget cats and dogs hide pain and sickness as an evolved survival mechanism until they can't anymore. By the time we notice symptoms they've already been silently suffering more months or longer.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:37 AM
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For my beautiful cat who died of a sudden massive infection, I owned her for ten years. If I'd had insurance the whole time it probably would have been $2400 total at $20 a month when I enrolled her when she was younger and healthy. For ten years I would have spent $2400 just on insurance.
Her vet hospital bills in five days just from cleaning and treating the infection and medication and fluids, no advanced diagnostics, were $8000. I wouldn't have had to come up with that much money fast and been worried about money while trying to decide to let her go.
Two other cats who got very sick and I put to sleep in just two days after learning of advanced cancer diagnosis each ran up $2400-$3000 bills just from being in the hospital from a day or two and diagnosing enough to find cancer so that I knew they wouldn't survive. The insurance was very helpful on that. Neither of them saw vets that often but when they stop eating and act distressed and lose weight, it's necessary.
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:32 AM
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Any insurance is based on your betting against yourself and the insurance company betting nothing major will occur. What it does is to make expenses more predictable over a period of time, which allows you to better plan financially. If you are financially able to 'roll the dice' and can absorb the unpredictable major expense, an insurance policy for your pet is probably not what you should do. If you will sleep better knowing that major expense, should it occur, will be covered for you at some level, then that pet insurance is something you should pursue. I so far have been able to recover my premium or close to it, each year, but since that premium increases as Samantha ages, that will probably not be so much the case in the future, as long as she stays healthy, hopefully.
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:56 AM
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Trupanion says their premiums don't increase over the life of the pet. That's why it's better to enroll them as young as possible. I enrolled a young cat with no issues at age 4 or 5, $20 per month. Luckily it was right before he started showing symptoms of allergies. Big raw bloody spots everywhere that won't heal. 2 years later he's got environmental and food allergies to basically everything. Several thousand dollars they paid, I paid ten percent and an exam fee. His premium stays $20 a month for life.

When I enrolled my older dog at age ten it was $50-60 a month but worth every penny for the degenerative myelopathy he came down with a year later.
Same with the 14 year old cat, it was $40 or more a month, but asthma and cancer was over $30,000. Just doing basic treatments nothing heroic.
My sixteen months old dog I adopted I enrolled right away. Several months later he started showing severe separation anxiety signs, and a year later ibd and food allergies. Several more thousand dollars on a pet under three. Daily diarrhea even with meds. I wouldn't have been able to treat or keep him and the cat if not for the insurance.
His premium stays the same for life too. The only time the premium increases with trupanion is if vet care in the area increases. Happened once so the premiums increased a few dollars, not substantially.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:15 AM
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I actually am a hypochondriac in that I have GAD and part of my anxieties (not all) have historically been health related. I have a psychiatrist, take medication, and have been to therapy several different times - I still go for yearly checkups and the consensus is that's recommended. In fact, deliberately avoiding doctors is a symptom of health anxiety as well - many will just refuse to go because they are nervous in the environment or are afraid of what they will be told.

Sorry to get off topic, haha.

To the OP: I think pet insurance can be a really good idea, but I don't really see the benefit in the three vet-sponsored plans you listed. The first two seem to just cover routine things, and you can easily just budget for those. It might even work out to be cheaper.


@Shadowmom - I looked into Trupanion, so can I ask: do you just mail your covered vet bills into them and they reimburse?
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:53 AM
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Poppykenna, some vet clinics and hospitals in my area will bill trupanion directly and I just pay the ten percent, tax and exam fee, if any. Otherwise I email or fax my receipt in to trupanion. I'm sure regular mail is fine too, just slower. They direct deposit the reimbursement directly into my account, but if people aren't comfortable with that they mail a check.

As far as hypochondriac vs being afraid of bad news or being afraid of the environment, I'll go if there's something really wrong. I've had falls off horses where I went in to get x rays or once an allergic reaction that scared me a bit.
I've just had bronchitis a lot and know when a cough is really bad or not. If there's no fever and it's not a really deep cough I usually get told to take OTC meds so why drive thru traffic and pay for parking.
If I think it's serious I go in. But I know how I feel, I don't know how my animals feel. Seems cruel to not take them when they're telling me clearly they're sick and I can't otherwise help them.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:11 PM
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I have to say your conversations are as enlightening as your answers themselves. Thans everyone for your responses. I'll be getting insurance, and starting a VET fund
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