Italian Greyhound after surgery

Is it a yes or no for you?

For me…its a hell yes!  If you are like me, you may sometimes unknowingly, even place your dog’s health before your own.

WHAT I HEAR PEOPLE SAY

“Well my dog is not a puppy anymore, so I am not sure if it is even worth it for me to get insured.”

It is a myth that you have to get your dog covered the minute they come into your life.  Your dog does not have to be a puppy to receive pet insurance coverage either.

Michelle and Max on the Beach

Although if you do have a puppy… I recommend purchasing an insurance policy asap!

There is a waiting period (see below) once you sign up for MOST pet insurance policies.  Usually 10-15 days.  So even if you enroll and pay today, the coverage will not start until weeks later.

Maximus, my Italian greyhound, did not get medically insured until he was 6 going on 7 years old.  We have had pet insurance on him now for over 2 years, and boy has it come in handy!

dog insurance

WHY PURCHASING PET INSURANCE IS A NO BRAINER

The main reason I got pet insurance is out of fear.  I saw my mother spend 10’s of thousands of dollars on her two boxers when they were sick.  I have also watched my sister on many occasions rack up $1500-$3000 bills with single trips to the animal ER for her french bulldog.

Do you have an extra $10-25k lying around to spend on your pooch?

I didn’t.  And it scared the holy crap out of me that something could happen to my fur baby soul-mate and I couldn’t afford to take care of him.   insurance for your dog

ALL THE NEED TO KNOW JUICY DETAILS

When I googled all the Pet Insurance carriers I could find, two years ago, one particular name kept popping up.

My choice was Healthy Paws.   Their glowing reviews and impressive coverage plans hooked me.  Healthy Paws was named the top customer-rated pet insurance the last 3 years running (2016-2018).

♦I am not getting paid by Healthy Paws for this post♦

This

is how it works…

I go to any Vet or Animal hospital.  I pay my bill and get a print out a receipt with the information and description of what I have paid for.

    • I go home and take a photo of the receipt, and save it to my phone.
  • I open the Healthy Paws APP on my phone, hit start a new claim, and upload the photo(s).
That’s it!  Super Easy…you can expect to receive a refund in about 7-21 days via check in the mail or direct deposit (faster).
Dog with donut on after surgery
THE PLANS70%, 80%, 90% coverage…$100,$250, $500 deductibles
Obviously, if you choose the 70% coverage plan with the $500 deductible you will be paying the least amount monthly.
This could be a good option for you
→ if you do not think you have a strong need for pet insurance.  I think you do, but hey that’s just me.
You will be paying the most monthly if you choose 90% coverage and a $100 yearly deductible.
This is good for you if you are less worried about monthly costs and more worried about sticker shock on your doggies late night run to the hospital or random surgery they may need.
⇒This coverage is music to my ears.  I am only paying 10% of my pet’s total bill plus $100 if I haven’t met my deductible for the year yet.

What is Covered?

  • X-rays
  • Ultrasounds
  • Accidents
  • Blood Work (Diagnostics)
  • Surgeries and Surgical Supplies
  • Hospitalization (including trips to the 24 hour ER Animal Hospital)
  • Prescription Meds (this is a wallet lifesaver, medications tend to be very expensive and your pet may have to take them on an ongoing basis)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Congenital and Hereditary Conditions
  • Rehabilitation/Acupuncture/Alternative Treatment (love this)
  • Taxes on all products and services

What is not Covered?

  • The Office Visit Fee or Examination Fee (This is a flat rate, my vet, charges every time I see her…I’ve seen prices vary from $30-$80 depending on where you go)
  • Pre-existing Conditions (See below…VERY IMPORTANT EXCLUSIONS)
  • Wellness/Preventative (Flea Meds, Dental Cleanings, Grooming, Vaccinations, Spay, and Neutering)
  • Illness related to hip dysplasia (that occurs within the first twelve 12 months of pet policy effective date or dog older than 6 years old when the policy was purchased)
  • INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL EXCLUSION Your dog is only covered under the policy while in the US, or temporarily away in Canada.
Example 
If you go to Healthy Paws
the website, which I did on 8/22/18, and give them your pup’s name, bday (I said my dog was 2 years old), address (Orange County), size (medium dog 31-59 pounds) and email… they will give you rates right away.
The cheapest rate was $29 per month and the most expensive for a dog that age and weight with our zip code would cost $56.  Prices vary on your address, dog’s size, age, etc…
Michelle and Winston Huntington Dog Beach
important

Pre-existing Conditions

Just like our human medical insurance, most pet policies do not cover pre-existing conditions.  Meaning if your dog has already been to the vet before for a chronic problem, they are not going to cover any upcoming trips to the vet for that same problem.  That issue arose pre-pet insurance coverage.
If this is a concern…best to call and talk to someone about what they will and will not cover, to see if this is the right option for you.
Still, I would not be dismayed.  Your dog is growing older by the minute and just because insurance may not cover a pre-existing problem, it can still save you money in the long run.

The Waiting Period

WARNING→PLEASE READ…
“Waiting Periods After Enrollment. Your Healthy Paws Pet Insurance policy has a fifteen (15) day waiting period after your policy effective date for accidents and illnesses. Your policy is effective 12:01 a.m. of the day after the date you enroll your pet.” QUOTE FROM HEALTHY PAWS
Read the fine print!  Unfortunately if you don’t, it could cost you.
Someone I know got a puppy and signed them up for Healthy Paws.  She even purchased the policy before she picked the pup up.  Two weeks later, and about 40 minutes before her policy went in to effect, her puppy became extremely ill and had to go to the ER.  The puppy was there for 2 days.  Healthy Paws did not have to cover any of it, because it is now considered pre-existing.  Her bill was 1000’s upon 1000’s of dollars.
What was most worrisome to her, was she was going to have this dog for many years to come.
If anything looks similar for insurance purposes to this specific illness again in the future…does she have to worry this cute little puppy could put her in the poor house?
Italian Greyhound in Bed

I AM SCARED THIS COULD HAPPEN TO ME

You are concerned this could happen to you, so try a Pet Insurance Carrier that does not have a waiting period.  They most likely will not cover pre-existing, but your pup is insured as soon as you enroll.  

MY POSITIVE EXPERIENCE

Maximus and I have had nothing but great experiences with our pet insurance coverage.  Every time a reimbursement check comes through,  I am always pleasantly surprised.  So much so, in fact, I tell my friends,

“Max has better medical than I do.” 

IN CONCLUSION

No one ever said having a dog was cheap.  There are always expenses you forget to factor in your budget as a pet owner, but the unconditional love you receive from that animal is priceless.

I don’t mind paying $59 per month for peace of mind.

If my pup gets sick, I will not go into serious debt because of it.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Maximus is so cute! He definitely looks like he has a happy life and such a good mommy! I agree insurance is worth it. After my first dog broke her leg and I paid over $2,000 for surgery I decided to get insurance (a little too late!). I do have insurance for my dog now, but only for accidents. I might have to consider upgrading, last two vet visits cost me about $750.

    • Awww Heather thank you so much! That just made my night! I think Pet Insurance is such a wallet saver and I know a lot of people don’t know much about it so I felt the need to spread the word. Contact me if you have any questions. Xoxo MICHELLE

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