The Importance of Pet Insurance - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums


SpoiledMaltese.com is the premier Maltese Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Spoiledmaltese is a resource and forum for information and help with your Maltese. We do not support or endorse the selling of animals on this site.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-16-2011, 11:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
Maltese Guru
 
Bailey&Me's Avatar
 
Name: Nida
Dog's Name: Emma Charlotte (CloudClan Maltese) and Bailey (Honorary Maltese)
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: VA/DC
Posts: 4,075
Default The Importance of Pet Insurance

Hello everyone! For a while now, I have been meaning to post about the importance of pet insurance, and how it much it has helped me with Bailey. As some of you may know, Bailey got very sick in January of this year. He had some severe symptoms which started off with loose stools but escalated quickly, within about a day (throwing up, very blood stools, not eating, pain) so I was petrified and had to rush him in to the vet. He had numerous tests done, including a blood panel, normal x-rays, barium x-rays, stool sample, a test for pancreatitis, etc. Everything led to his vet suspecting that he had ingested something and had a foreign object in his stomach. He had to be hospitalized overnight at an emergency clinic and was scheduled for an exploratory abdominal surgery the next day. Well, when they did the surgery, they did not find any foreign objects in there – either he had passed it by then or it had been something else that had caused him to be so sick. So unfortunately, we did not get any answers. For about a week after that, he was still very sick – he wouldn’t eat anything and even when I got him to eat/drink something, he would throw up. He couldn’t even keep down his pills. He had to be kept at the vets office all day for about 3 days after surgery so they could monitor him, give him his medications by injection, keep him on fluids, etc. He got better slowly after about a week. We never did figure out what exactly caused him to get so sick. And although I still question if I did the right thing by rushing in to surgery, I did what I thought was best at the time, based on the vet’s recommendation.

As you can imagine, this was an extremely expensive ordeal for us. Between all the tests, the surgery, the overnight stay at the emergency clinic, all-day hospitalization, medications, etc, I paid about $3,500. Luckily, I had pet insurance! When I first adopted Bailey, I wanted to make sure that if there was ever an emergency, I would be able to pay huge vet bills – so getting pet insurance was one of the first things I did after Bailey came home. I got the basic PetPlan insurance which covers, I believe, 80% of your costs up to $8,000 a year. It cost about $12 a month when I first signed up (it’s a bit higher for Maltese – Bailey is a mixed breed pup). After I submitted my claim and PetPlan sent me my reimbursement, this whole ordeal ended up costing me only about $500. That is a HUGE difference from approximately $3,500! (I don’t remember the specific amounts though)

I am so extremely thankful that I had pet insurance at the time that Bailey needed urgent vet care. When I was trying to decide whether to do the exploratory surgery, the vet told me about other cases she’s had in which she had suspected a foreign body blockage but the owners did not have money to do surgery (or even do the appropriate tests, in some cases) so the dogs ended up getting worse and worse – and by the time the owners did decide to move forward with surgery, the foreign object had done so much damage to the intestines, that it required extremely complicated and risky surgery to save their lives. In some cases, the dog didn’t make it. That scared me. Even though I knew that we did not have a definite diagnosis in Bailey’s case, and that this was just an exploratory surgery that could turn up nothing (which it did!), I decided not to take any chances. That decision was easier to make because I knew I would be covered financially, for the astronomical costs of the surgery. Had it turned out to be a blockage and I had elected not to do the surgery because of financial reasons, I never would be able to live with it.

I wanted to share this story with others in order to convey how important it is to have pet insurance or some other in-case-of-emergency plan to account for large, unexpected vet bills. Of course, there are some who can afford to pay thousands of dollars in the event of an emergency and they might feel that insurance is not necessary – I am not one of those people. While I will do anything and everything for my dog to make sure he gets the vet care he needs – it would be hard for me to come up with thousands of dollars at such short notice. Having pet insurance gives me the peace-of-mind and comfort of knowing that I can provide for any kind of vet care Bailey may need in the future – whether that’s an emergency or an illness. This will be especially important as he gets older. I never want to be in a position where I have to decline medical care for Bailey because I can’t afford it.

So – for all the new pet owners out there, please, please consider either getting pet insurance OR making arrangements otherwise so you are prepared to deal with any unexpected medical costs (a separate savings account or credit card, etc). It can make the difference between life and death for your pet. You might not think your young, healthy pet will ever have a need for costly vet care but it’s a good idea to be prepared, just in case! Also, if you decide to get pet insurance, it’s best to do so when your pet is young and healthy – your rates will be lower and you won’t have to worry about any pre-existing conditions not being covered.

I am sharing this story in hopes that it will help someone. I hope that other members who have pet insurance will share their experiences here as well. You can always PM me if you want any further information.

Thanks for reading this LONG post!
__________________


CloudClan I'll Be There For You - "Emma"
Honorary Maltese - Bailey

Follow us on Facebook: The Adventures of Bailey & Emma

Last edited by Bailey&Me; 05-16-2011 at 11:49 AM.
Bailey&Me is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-16-2011, 01:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
Maltese Guru

 
edelweiss's Avatar
 
Name: sandi
Dog's Name: Kitzel & Liesl
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 11,391
Default

I am overseas but still interested in what plans people prefer & why so this is a GREAT thread Nida. I may try to insure Kitzi for care in the US when I am state-side. So come on folks who have insurance, which company, why, costs per year, what it covers & to which percent?
Thanks!
__________________
Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.), - St. Bernard
"Life without a maltese is like summer without ice-cream." - St. Edelweiss
"Until one has loved an animal,
part of their soul remains unawakened."
"Wag more Bark less"
edelweiss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2011, 01:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
Maltese Guru

 
Snowbody's Avatar
 
Name: Susan
Dog's Name: Tyler
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 20,694
Default

Nida - So glad you posted this after seeing that a lot of newbies and oldies lately have faced costly medical procedures. I feel absolutely the same way. I got PetPlan shortly after I got Tyler. I thought of it more for catastrophic instances. My plan doesn't include wellness visits which is fine. Those normal visits are usually around $100-$200 a year. What I worried about it something that could cost thousands and also worrying that I can't give Tyler any care he needs because it costs too much.

Well, last year as some of you know, I left town for CA and my DH was putting Tyler down off the couch when he leapt out of his hands. He called me to say that Tyler "landed kind of funny" and that he was limping. I told him to wait until the next morning and he was still limping so he took him to the vet. They ran x-rays and luckily nothing was broken. But this was one of those unforeseen cases where in the blink of an eye you start running up expenses. It cost somewhere around $350. So I got back about $130 from that one visit.

I picked Pet Plan because they don't exclude hereditary health issues like the other plans, that are common to your breed. I have a $20,000 annual max policy with a $200 deductible per illness or injury (if you go back about the same condition it's a zero deductible) and I think a 20% co-pay. It also has advertising and reward $, vacation cancellation of $1000 if you can't go away because your pet is ill, theft or lost pet $ and $1000 death payment if you dog dies from injury or illness. I pay about $300 a year but they have all kinds of variables in what you can set up and you can even change your policy. They were prompt and you can always get someone on the phone. If anyone wants anymore info you can PM me.

I just feel like I would never let my skin child or myself go without insurance, why would I let my pet? The old days of low tech pet care is gone - our pets have procedures similar to our own with diagnostics and hi tech surgery and the costs are very high.

Hope this helps so that you don't have to decide if your fluff can get a procedure or not, just because of finances.
__________________

Snowbody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2011, 05:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
Super Moderator

 
Lacie's Mom's Avatar
 
Name: Lynn
Dog's Name: Lacie,Tilly,Secret(Ch Angels Top Secret of Khanthav) & Breeze(Ch Angels Heavenly Breeze of Linmont)
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Posts: 16,286
Send a message via AIM to Lacie's Mom
Default

Nida -- thanks for posting this. I did NOT have pet insurance when Tilly got HGE and had a $1,500 overnight stay at the ER clinic. This was about 3 1/2 years ago.

Right after that I found that the company that I work for offers VIP Pet Insurance as a benefit. Employees not only receive a 20% cost reduction on the insurance, but we also can opt to have the monthly premiums come out of our paychecks (which is what I do). It seems painless because it's just another deduction from my check.

Secret's teeth extraction was a pre-existing condition, however, everything else is covered for all 3 girls (no other pre-existings). I use it for their annual vet visits, heartworm tests, vaccinations, heartworm meds, dentals, etc.

But primarily I have it for peace of mind for catastrophic expenses that might come up. I would never want to decide about treatment for my babies based on expense.

I use VIP because of the ease I have due to my company, however, I have reviewed a number of plans and pet insurance continues to get better and better. There are several good ones to consider that, imho, aren't all that expensive.

I probably do a littler better than "break even" between the premiums I pay and the annual items that the insurance covers, however, should anything major happen, the insurance would be a lifesaver!!!

I would also encourage new pet owners to check out the plans that are now available. Even AKC has a good plan.

Nida -- thanks for the reminder.
__________________
Lacie's Mom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2011, 08:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
furevermy2luvs's Avatar
 
Name: Diana
Dog's Name: Buddy and Mia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 77
Default

So glad to see this thread! After reading this I enrolled in Pet Plan. It is not expensive and gives you peace of mind should anything major happen. We have been lucky with Buddy so far, but you never know what might happen. It's good to have the recommendation of this company, knowing that it actually does pay off and is not a rip off or a scam. We love Buddy so much that I guess we would sell our home if we had to pay for thousands of dollars in Vet bills, but it's good to know that we would not have to do that. Thanks so much for posting this thread!
furevermy2luvs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2011, 08:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
Maltese Guru

 
pammy4501's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Moorpark, Ca.
Posts: 4,213
Default

I could not agree with you more! As you know my Lola has GME. AKC Petplan has paid about $5000.00 just to the GME claims thus far. I simply would not have been able to afford to treat her without the insurance. Simple as that. She is doing well for now. They continue to pay for her meds, and have covered her yearly blood panel, flea protection, teeth cleaning and all the other little things. I have policies on all three of mine. Is it costly? Not nearly as costly as one big event! I never want to deny my dog good medical care in the event of and illness or injury! I know some here say that they put aside an amount of money for vet care if they need it. That is fine, but you better be able to come up with at least $3000 - $5000 per pet. Vet care today is nearly as costly as human care.
__________________
Frank, Truffles & Emma's Mom

Please donate to GME reseach.
Lola's GME Research Fund
http://maf.convio.net/goto/lolagme.fund
pammy4501 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2011, 08:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
Member
 
furevermy2luvs's Avatar
 
Name: Diana
Dog's Name: Buddy and Mia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 77
Default

Pammy, is the AKC Petplan different than just Pet Plan? The reason I ask is that from what I read online they don't cover routine dentals, only extractions and root canals and such. Also, do they really pay for the flea protection? That would be great!
furevermy2luvs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2011, 10:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
Maltese Guru

 
pammy4501's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Moorpark, Ca.
Posts: 4,213
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mybudboy View Post
Pammy, is the AKC Petplan different than just Pet Plan? The reason I ask is that from what I read online they don't cover routine dentals, only extractions and root canals and such. Also, do they really pay for the flea protection? That would be great!
Detailed Plan Comparison - AKC Pet Healthcare Plan

Check the two prevention plans. They cover dental, flea, titre testing and more.
__________________
Frank, Truffles & Emma's Mom

Please donate to GME reseach.
Lola's GME Research Fund
http://maf.convio.net/goto/lolagme.fund
pammy4501 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2011, 10:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
Maltese Guru

 
Snowbody's Avatar
 
Name: Susan
Dog's Name: Tyler
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 20,694
Default

Just to clarify, Petplan and the AKC Plan which is called AKC Healthcare Plan are two different plans.
__________________

Snowbody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2011, 10:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
Member
 
furevermy2luvs's Avatar
 
Name: Diana
Dog's Name: Buddy and Mia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 77
Default

Thank you Susan. I just realized that. What I signed up for is Pet Plan and they don't cover preventive.
furevermy2luvs is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:19 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
PetGuide.com
Basset.net DobermanTalk.com GoldenRetrieverForum.com OurBeagleWorld.com
BoxerForums.com DogForums.com GoPitbull.com PoodleForum.com
BulldogBreeds.com FishForums.com HavaneseForum.com SpoiledMaltese.com
CatForum.com GermanShepherds.com Labradoodle-dogs.net YorkieForum.com
Chihuahua-People.com RetrieverBreeds.com