Not All Insurance is Created Equal
Submitted by Lisa A.Yackel, CVPM, PHR
Hospital Administrator of Case Veterinary Hospital
There is nothing more disheartening to veterinarians or their healthcare team than to know that a patient will have a good prognosis if the recommended treatment plan is authorized but the client has to decline due to financial constraints. We understand this, but we hate that reality in veterinary medicine. Letâ€™s face it, quality veterinary care is expensive. At Case Veterinary Hospital, we have an exceptional technician team, responsive and caring receptionists, a clean facility, the most advanced monitoring equipment and surgical equipment, and veterinarians who go over and beyond to care for their patients. We try to keep overhead expenses down so we can charge fees that are reasonable, but the bottom line is that it is costly to be able to afford such outstanding care.
Imagine our excitement when we were exposed at our monthly staff meeting (continuing education is another item we feel must be present to keep our staff informed and yet, adds to the expense of doing business) to a product/service that will help our clients pay for unexpected health care for their pets and allow them to say yes to our treatment plans. The speaker was a representative from Trupanion, one of the many pet insurance companies that are available today. Dr. Case McCorvey had first heard about this company at one of her continuing education weekends and, at a similar conference for managers, I had heard glowing reviews as well.
We have always had information available to our clients about pet insurance and we have tried to limit the brochures to companies with good reputations who have been in the pet business for awhile. But choosing which insurance company to go with is an overwhelming task for many of our clients and it can be confusing to pick the right plan for their pet. We have tried to be â€śSwitzerlandâ€ť in the process and offer clients www.petinsurancereview.com. Most veterinarians understand the value of pet insurance, yet they are reluctant to recommend a particular insurer to their clients. They feel they don't know enough about the various companies and plans to make an informed recommendation and many are also fearful that, should a client become disappointed by their coverage, they will blame the veterinarian. PetInsuranceReview is an objective resource that veterinarians use to help clients find the policy that is right for them. It provides information on each pet insurance company, explains the coverage details and costs, and offers the largest database of reviews and ratings.
Pet insurance is all about risk management. It is about peace of mind. Pet insurance companies are for-profit entities, and clients wonâ€™t know how much coverage theyâ€™ll use when they sign up for pet insurance. What they need to have assurance of, is that if they do their homework and pay their premiums , they will be able to pay for necessary veterinary care if something catastrophic happens to their pet. Just as we have all been conditioned to pay for auto and homeownerâ€™s insurance, even though we rarely make a claim on it.
So, back to the excitement about Trupanion. Their policies:
Â· Do not have a wellness portion to their policy (their presumption is that most clients can predict and budget for routine, preventative care)
Â· They keep it simple and do not have a lot of the exclusions and hereditary condition exclusions many plans have.
Â· They pay out 90% of your actual fee (not â€ścustomaryâ€ť fees that may not be your areaâ€™s average fee).
Â· You can adjust your rate by adjusting your deductible
Â· Premiums donâ€™t go up every year just because your pet gets older
Â· Premiums donâ€™t go up just because you made a claim
And the best news yet, we can offer our clients the service free for thirty days after having a physical exam with one of our veterinarians.
We love it when we can care for a patient without worrying about cutting costs by cutting corners on our Standards of Care. This gives our clients another option to be able to afford the best care for their pets. We love being able to offer solutions that will give our clients the peace of mind that they did everything possible for their pet when they were ill and we love being able to do everything within our power to give that owner more time with their pet by bringing them back to a healthy state.