Pet Healthcare & Insurance

While my pets have never had chronic conditions or long-term illnesses, I have spent a lot of money on vet bills for preventative care and wellness checks. 

 

I recommend getting pet insurance BEFORE ever bringing the pet in for an exam.  That way, owners with pet insurance are able to make decisions based on expected prognosis rather than cost when they know that some or all of the veterinary care is covered.

Once a medical condition is entered in the file, however, it may become a “pre-existing condition.” It's too late if you have a sick pet and, after discussing the diagnostic tests and treatment plan, you say, “Do you think I should get that pet insurance now?” as most insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions.  Just as you want to have health insurance for yourself prior to needing medical care, the same is true for your pet!

And, it's not just the expected medical expenses year to year; Intske's eye treatment and enucleation (removal) after an injury to her eye as a 12 week old puppy cost about $5,000 over 6 weeks, as an example.  

 

Last year I signed up for pet insurance and then switched companies when I found out that dog breeders prefer and recommend Nationwide Insurance.  We have the Whole Pet With Wellness Plan with a $250 yearly deductible.  It costs us $77 per month.   It covers this and more: 

  • Exams, lab tests, X-rays

  • Prescriptions

  • Surgeries & hospitalization

  • Chronic conditions

  • Hereditary conditions (no waiting period)

  • Wellness

I get reimbursed for 90% of our veterinary expenses that I incur for the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of my dog's condition. 

 

There are other plans which cover less and cost less.  

Nationwide Major Medical covers: 

  • Exams, lab tests, X-rays

  • Prescriptions

  • Surgeries & hospitalization

  • Chronic conditions

  • Some hereditary conditions (waiting period applies)

And, Nationwide Pet Wellness covers: 

  • Wellness exams & tests

  • Flea/heartworm prevention

  • Vaccinations

 

When I file a claim, I photograph my invoice from the vet, open the Vitus Vet app on my phone and fill out a easy claim form and upload the photo of the bill to Nationwide.  About 3 weeks later, I am electronically reimbursed.  I've been very satisfied with their coverage and their ease of use, and it has helped tremendously with the cost of the many tests and services needed for Intske prior to and with breeding, from OFA eye exam to progesterone tests and artificial insemination.  

The biggest benefit for me is the peace of mind I have, knowing that I can afford to treat my animals whenever they need treatment, prevention care or in an emergency.

"The biggest benefit for me is the peace of mind I have, knowing that I can afford to treat my animals whenever they need treatment, prevention care or in an emergency."