Perhaps you are one of those Americans who has a health savings account along with a high deductible health insurance plan. I’ve had one of these policies for several years and I like it. In theory, this costs less in the long run because the premium for a high deductible insurance policy is lower.
The insurance is bought to protect you from financial ruin in case of a very large hospital/doctor bill (a catastrophic illness). You use the savings account (which is tax deductible and the interest builds tax free) to pay your deductible associated with the insurance policy and any smaller healthcare expenses. You can even use it for expenses that aren’t necessarily covered by your health insurance e.g. the services of your dentist, chiropractor, eye glasses, etc. If you are healthy and don’t spend much on healthcare, the money builds up for when you do need it. Because the contributions to an HSA are tax deductible, it somewhat like an IRA.
The savings account and insurance policy complement each other. It’s nice to have the money already set aside when a healthcare expense occurs. You can even have the money for the insurance premium and the deposit into the savings account automatically deducted every month from your checking account. That way the money is budgeted month by month.
There are some companies and individuals who counsel people to put all their money into a savings account and forget the pet insurance. In my opinion, this would be unwise. People who recommend this don’t understand the purpose of insurance. What if you are $200 into your savings plan and your pet gets ill or is injured and the diagnostic/treatment plan is $5000 with a prognosis of a complete recovery? Do you really want to be faced with the decision of whether you can afford that or not? That’s why you should have other financing options e.g credit and/or insurance.
While starting your own pet health savings account isn’t tax deductible at this time, it’s still a good complement to pet insurance and/or credit to help pay for those random, unexpected and potentially expensive pet healthcare bills. Many of the pet insurance companies allow you to customize your policy choosing from a range of annual maximums, deductibles and coinsurance so you can match your coverage to the amount of money you have saved, available credit and also your budget.