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Discussion Starter #1
I have been thinking, and I realise that dog care can get quite a bit more expensive than cat care. I called my vet to ask about prepayment options, so that I can bring him in if I need to, without worrying about funds. And they have monthly plans available to cover vet essensials. Is it worth it, or should I plow money onto my credit card for when I need it?

Plan one: $49/month
routine exams, fecal exam, heartwom test,mani pedi, shots, bloodwork

Plan 2 $79
vet checks, routine exams, fecal, heartworm, manipedi, shots, bloodwork

Plan3 $99
all of the above, and incidentals
 

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That depends on if you see it being worth is. I don't see a need to check there stool or blood that often and if your okay with trimming your own nails then I wouldn't pay for it.

Imo I would set money aside each week or month in a savings account for emergency vet funds. Normally you only have to take a healthy dog for a yearly or bi yearly visit, and routine shots and that shouldn't cost more then 200 a year unless your vet charges a lot, but that also depends in what your doing each time you visit and how offten.
 

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I carry a Medical Insurance plan for Samantha, pay the premium once a year. I usually always get back, or very close to, my premium back during the course of the year. This year I will more than get that, since Samantha just had minor surgery to remove a growth, fortunately non-malignant. For us this seems the best way, & I sleep better knowing that if something catastrophic should occur that coverage is there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I carry a Medical Insurance plan for Samantha, pay the premium once a year. I usually always get back, or very close to, my premium back during the course of the year. This year I will more than get that, since Samantha just had minor surgery to remove a growth, fortunately non-malignant. For us this seems the best way, & I sleep better knowing that if something catastrophic should occur that coverage is there.
Who do you use, and do they pay up front, or do you? My biggest concern is the possibility that time will come to take him in, and the money won;t be available. for the cats, I used the Credit card, and my worst bill was $600, plus the $375 to neuter and vet the new kitten, who may or may not have made him sick(stay baby)...that alone in a single month was crippling but I paid it willingly. Dogs are more expensive, I know
 

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Our policy is with Nationwide. They do not pay directly to the Vet, they reimburse. Just having the growth removed, including anesthesia, pain meds, antibiotics, biopsy costs, and the checkup and removal of stiches was in the neighborhood of $800.00. I am aware that costs are higher in Southern California, but since that is where we live, those are the costs we have to deal with. Since we consider good medical care for Samantha as important as for us, the cost for will be something we must deal with, hence the insurance plan.
 

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I bought the vet puppy plan at VCA. It covered the neutering and shots which I was planning on doing plus some tests and visits. If he was already neutered I probably would not have purchased it. Right now, I think I am about even.
 

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I use trupanion per insurance you can choose how much you want your deductible to be which affects your monthly payment. They cover ninety percent of illnesses and accidents with no limits which is worth it as the pets gets older. I had a cat with cancer that was thirty thousand dollars alone just to treat the cancer which had a ninety percent survival rate with low chance if recurrence. Unfortunately he was one of the few that it returned fast and metastasized so he died.
The younger the pet is the cheaper it is to enroll and mutts are cheaper than purebreds. They don't cover exam fees or routine vaccinations or wellness care or neuters. But they covered a lyme test when my dog had symptoms had symptoms of Lyme so if the vet can say it's diagnostic due to clinical signs they'll cover it.
My dog was diagnosed with ibd and food allergies at only 2 and that's the only way I could Accord all the ER trips and extensive testing and scope to diagnose it and now his continued medications. Same with my cat who has many allergies and had extensive testing and now long-term immunotherapy injections for months.
I didn't expect either pet to get health issues so young, cat is seven now but started getting symptoms at five.
All my previous pets never got sick before age ten so I'm very glad I got insurance so early.
Learned the hard way after spending eight thousand dollars trying to save one cat for a major abscess and infection in just five days in the hospital. After five days and eight thousand dollars I couldn't spend any more and she was getting worse not better so I had to euthanize her anyway. The prognosis when I first brought her in was they were just going to clean the infection give her antibiotics and send her home and she'd be fine. Couple of hours in the ER and few hundred dollars for me. It skyrocketed from there but didn't seem fatal til the last day or two. She was sixteen and had no health issues, never been sick a day in her life. Completely out of the blue. If I'd known about pet insurance then she still would have died but I wouldn't have had the financial stress on too of it.
I signed up all my remaining pets within two or three weeks after that. Every new pet since then I sign up the day I get them.
It was also invaluable helping pay for my last dog's degenerative myelopathy. An MRI alone is several thousand dollars and he needed all kinds of expensive tests and medications. Not to mention sedation since he hated vet and at that point the last thing I wanted was him stressed.
Routine visits and vaccines aren't that much compared to one major illness or injury. When my last dog tore his ACL the surgery and aftercare we're at least $6000. An injury can happen in one misstep or slip in all this snow and ice.
 

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The problem with doing a prepaid plan at your vet is that you can only go there for services. What happens if it's the middle of the night and you need to go to the emergency clinic? Or your vet office to unable to get you in for an appointment and you have to go to a different vet? Or they make changes to how things are done at their office and you want to change to a different vet? Personally I would take that money put it in a bank account alotted specifically for vet care; that way you earn interest on your money and you can use at any vet office.
 

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Pet insurance pays anywhere you take your pet. Some vets and hospitals will bill the insurance directly so you just pay the ten percent, exam fees, tax and deductible. Once deductible is met you just pay ten percent, tax and exam fees if any. Other vets won't directly bill insurance so you get reimbursed but they'll do direct deposit. This is for trupanion insurance.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I was looking at Trupanion last night, I thnk I'll ask my vet about them. They dont cover pre-existing, so if Shamas's occasional limp turns into something, I have a problem...but if he developed Cancer, or hip displasia, or elbow problems, it could mean the difference between losing him or treating him. I'm pretty sure we qualify for CareCredit on our income, but I'm not sure...hubby's income went up this year
 

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I shopped around and looked at several different pet insurances because they considered my old cat's diabetes pre-existing and wouldn't cover it, which got pretty expensive. They considered his chronic ear infections pre existing too, until it was diagnosed cancer, new diagnosis so they covered it which was the most expensive.
I couldn't find any pet insurances that covered pre existing conditions.
If you haven't already sought vet treatment for the limp I'd enroll and wait the thirty days before doing so. If you have very records for it already then it's pretty existing, but if the vet said it was a sprain and then he gets a new diagnosis of something else your vet could appeal it if necessary or they might just approve it but it has to be a new diagnosis after the thirty days waiting period
 

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Most if not all pet medical insurance exclude any pre-existing conditions. Because Samantha had an ear infection when we adopted her, insurance considered that pre-existing. Once she went six months with no sign of an ear infection, they removed the exclusion. She has since had a couple of ear infections, which were covered.
 

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As others have noted, I don't think any insurance plan covers pre-existing conditions. I've never seen a prepayment plan that made any sense for me. The way I see it, there are three options:

1. Simply pay whatever expenses come up. This works if money isn't very tight and you can comfortably afford a few thousand bucks, should that come up.

2. Figure out how much you can budget for healthcare each month and put that money away in a special account. This is just self-insurance and what you are betting is that you won't have big expenses that exceed the money you have saved up.

3. Get a health insurance plan. You still generally need to budget for routine and preventative care that the plan doesn't cover. Add the monthly premium to the estimated monthly costs not covered, and compare this number to #2 above. With insurance, you are betting that you will have big expenses that exceed what you would have saved up on your own.

For me, I got insurance for my puppy who will, in all likelihood, have many healthy years where I am paying out more than I am claiming. And, when all is said and done, the odds are that I will have lost money. That's how insurance companies make their money.

But, for me, having the insurance means that I am much less likely to be put in the position of having to consider financial factors when deciding on healthcare, should something unexpected and expensive come up. I know that insurance is, on average, a losing bet, but I'm willing to risk that loss.
 

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It's not at all a losing bet once that puppy develops IBD, gets one major injury, or lives to old age and gets cancer, and arthritis and degenerative myelopathy, and kidney issues, and liver issues, and stomach issues as a result of all the meds.
Then like me, you're looking at two or three $500 deductibles and the difference between knowing you've done absolutely everything you could to keep your believed partner happy and healthy, with hydrotherapy and acupuncture and better treatment options than I get, or putting him down because you can't afford to treat him when he maybe is telling you he still has many good days and eating and drinking well and a bright sparkle in his eye.
I'm sorry I don't mean at all to be pushy but my two cats and dog cost in total $120 a month, with all the extra coverages of lost dog and acupuncture and hydrotherapy and rehabs. The knowledge that I can try everything in my power to help them after watching six pets die in two years of awful cancer and degenerative myelopathy, is comforting beyond words even if I can't actually do any more.
The difference is, my options are not limited by money but by what's truly best for each beloved pet.
For $20-$40 a month per pet, that knowledge is crucial to me personally.

I view my pets as family so just my perspective. I could never live with myself for killing a beloved family member to save money, but that's me. Others obviously feel differently.
 

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I looked at pet insurance for my guys, but found several of the ones I was looking into would not cover any injury sustained by my guys during "work" (Herding, agility, or other dogs sports).

Since we are heavily into dog sports, it didn't make sense for us. Instead we put what we would normally pay monthly for insurance into a bank account designated for vet treatment.

So, I'm in the camp where if you're going to get insurance ask ALL the questions you possibly can.
 

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I'm not trying to be sneaky but I don't think I would ever even think to tell them that. My horse was injured several times competing at horse shows and her insurance at the time covered her treatment. Most big competition horses have insurance as they are more valuable and it wouldn't make sense to have it if they weren't covered during competition. Maybe it's different for dogs vs horses?

Dogs naturally like to run and jump and my last dog liked to jump horse jumps both at horse competitions and on trails. I don't think I would have thought to say how he got hurt, just that he did.
The medical conditions my various pets have had like cancer, diabetes, arthritis and degenerative myelopathy at end of life cost way more than his injuries though.
 

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My experience with insurance, is they do not necessarily take into account only what you tell them. They will want Vet records, and can at their discretion require an exam by one of their Vets. I don't think that happens that often, but it is something they can require.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Lucky for me, we have NO vet records to date, other than the invoice from the pound from the work done there. So when we see our own vet, as long as his leg is in good shape(weather is nice) he shouldn't have an issue. His teeth look good so far as I can tell- very little discolouration and none of that buldup that my cat has. We're aiming for about March if all goes well for his first Vet checkup. The vet's out at the city limits, and I dont trust the roads ATM but by then we'll be able to get there easily, and weeather will be clearer. He was cleared in October, having just come out of surgery(neuter) and had all of his vaccinations.

I might go ahead and enroll him as we stand, if they let me, until then I'll put money away for incidentals.
 

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It's not at all a losing bet once that puppy develops IBD, gets one major injury, or lives to old age and gets cancer, and arthritis and degenerative myelopathy, and kidney issues, and liver issues, and stomach issues as a result of all the meds..
No, of course not. It's just that, on average, people pay out more in premiums than they get back in benefits. That's how insurance companies make their money. They are betting that nothing major happens, and you are betting that it does. They stay in business because they win that bet more often than they lose it.

If something major comes up, it is really nice to have made that bet. And, if it never does, in my view, it's not so much money that I regret having effectively donated it to the insurance company.
 

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I opt for a loan application if need arises. For my GSD i lost to cancer. Spent $ on a quick bucket list n pain relief to do it. PTS when pain killers not effective enoug for quality of life. If ur the sort that sees a dr more than once every 5 yrs. And take antibiotics like sweets, chances are you hyperchondriac tendencies will include ur dog. If thats the case-get insurance cover.
 
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