The news is full of stories these days about the rising cost of health care. Routine hospital visits and surgical procedures that could once be paid with a personal check can now cost as much as a new car. The problem continues to get worse, as the cost of health care is increasing at a rate that is several times that of inflation. While the cost of health care for humans is frequently a topic in the news, few people realize that the cost of healthcare for pets is rising at a similar rate.
One possible solution to the rapidly increasing cost of health care for pets is to purchase pet insurance. Health insurance for pets has been around for several decades, but has only recently started to become popular with pet owners. As with health insurance for humans, coverage for pets covers a portion of the cost of many common and uncommon treatments for illness or injury.
In past years, veterinary science often involved a lot of guesswork, as the patients are unable to offer detailed descriptions of exactly what ails them. Modern medicine makes it possible for vets to perform CAT or MRI scans on ill or injured pets. While these cutting edge technologies are a tremendous help in diagnosing problems, the costs of performing them can easily reach four figures. Pet insurance can help with that in reducing out of pocket costs for the owner. Having insurance also helps make health care decisions easier. Having a policy in place could allow a beloved pet to receive treatment that might otherwise be considered unaffordable by their owner.
The cost of pet insurance can vary widely, depending on the type of pet. The annual cost of insuring a dog or a cat typically runs in the neighborhood of $ 200 to $ 500. Smaller animals tend to be less expensive to cover than larger ones. Preexisting conditions are generally excluded, so it may be in your best interests to begin insuring your pet while they are young. Many policies also have a waiting period of 30 days or so from the time the policy is purchased until the time the company will pay for treatment. Policies include deductibles, but will typically cover 80% -90% of the insurance company's allowed fees for particular procedures.
Paying $ 400 per year to insure a family cat or dog may seem like an outrageous expense. On the other hand, such premiums are small when compared to the cost of a $ 2500 operation. Currently, some 3% of all pet owners have policies for their pets, but as the price of health care continues to rise for animals, more owners are likely to buy policies to keep the costs manageable.