Pet Wellness Guides > What Pet Insurance Pays Vets Directly? - Pet Insurance Review

What Pet Insurance Pays Vets Directly?

Posted: 04/03/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Pet care , Top Tips , Vets

What pet insurance pays vets directly? We hear this question a lot! And we understand why people ask it. There’s no denying that pet insurance can be an absolute Godsend should your fur baby become suddenly ill or injured. Imagine getting a bill for $5,000 but only being responsible for paying $500. 

But as awesome as pet insurance is, it has one drawback. You’re required to pay all costs upfront, then file a claim. For people who have a credit card or a healthy savings account, waiting for reimbursement isn’t such a big deal. But what are your options if you don’t have a line of credit or cash in the bank? 

Fortunately there are a handful of pet health insurance providers who pay the vet directly so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of submitting claims and waiting to be reimbursed. And the good news is, we’ve done the research for you so you don’t have to. We’re going to share the 3 providers who offer vet direct pay.

What Pet Insurance Pays Vets Directly?

How Does Vet Direct Pay Work Exactly?

There are countless heartbreaking stories online of pet parents having to say goodbye to their fur baby because they didn’t have the money to pay for the life saving treatment. We simply can’t think of anything sadder.

Most pet insurance policies work very similarly to homeowners insurance in that you are expected to pay out of pocket for any vet bills you receive, then make a claim and wait to be reimbursed. Over the years, many policyholders have requested a better payment system, and rightly so. Not everyone has the ability to max out their credit card or drain their bank account. Many people are living paycheck to paycheck and even if they can get a line of credit, it may not be enough to pay for an emergency surgery to save their dur baby’s life.

A handful of pet insurance companies have begun offering vet direct pay, which is typically easier, more convenient, and faster to deal with. 

How it Works

Vet direct pay works more like human health insurance than a homeowner’s policy. When you are handed the bill at the vet’s office, you give them your insurance information and the amount that can be covered in your policy will be covered. You are responsible for paying the balance.

So as an example, you find yourself at the emergency clinic at three in the morning because your dog ate one of your kid’s socks and developed a life-threatening intestinal blockage. The surgery itself cost $3,500. When you add on the medications and overnight hospitalization, you’re left with a bill for $4,800.

The next day you pick up your sweet pup, who is wearing the dreaded cone to keep him from licking his stitches open. You give the nice lady at the front desk your insurance information and she runs it. Your policy requires you to pay a deductible of $250 but has a reimbursement percentage of 90% (Good thing you went for the higher monthly premiums because they are now really paying off!) 

Once you meet the deductible, your provider pays a percentage of the remaining cost DIRECTLY to the vet or ER clinic and you pay the balance. In the above scenario after you pay the $250 deductible there is a balance of $4,550. Your policy will pay 90% of that bill, leaving you with a balance of $455.

What Pet Insurance Pays Vets Directly?

Do All Vets Take Pet Insurance?

Nearly all vets accept pet insurance, but not all of them accept direct payments from providers. Some vets have their own reasons for not accepting it and some may not have been approved for direct payments from all or certain pet insurance companies. 

Always check with your vet before enrolling your pet into any policy. If your vet does not accept direct pay and this is a requirement for you, you may have to switch vets to work with one who does accept it.

What Pet Insurance Pays Vet Directly?

We’ve researched the top providers in the country to see who offers a vet direct payment option. Based on company reputation, ease of process, customer service and coverage options, Trupanion, Healthy Paws, and Pets Best made the cut. 

Let’s take a look at each company separately to see what they offer:


Trupanion has always been a standout in the industry and their vet direct pay feature is no exception. Called Trupanion Express, it is the only vet direct pay option that facilitates a quick payment at time of checkout.  This is mostly due to the fact that Trupanion Express is a web-based application where users can manage their own claims and reimbursements are usually settled within minutes. 

However, as we mentioned earlier, not all vets may currently be participating in this program. If your vet and local ER clinic do not currently accept Trupanion Express, you may want to speak to them about getting it set up at their clinic. 

There are a few other bragging rights to mention with Trupanion, namely, extensive coverage, a set 90% reimbursement, and an unlimited annual payout limit.

Visit the Trupanion page to find out more.

How does vet direct pay work?

Healthy Paws

Healthy Paws has a great ranking among our pet insurance reviewers. They don’t advertise their vet direct payment feature as much as the other two providers on this list. However they are usually able to pay directly on a claim-by-claim basis. If your vet or the ER clinic near you accept direct payments, you can simply contact Healthy Paws by phone and a claims representative can work with your vet to quickly process your claim and get their portion of the bill paid. 

This option would only be available during business hours  (Monday-Friday from 7 am to 4 pm PST and Saturday from 8 am- 5 pm PST).

What we would say is, it’s worth looking into Healthy Paws because their coverage options and customer service are some of the absolute best in the industry. And if you did decide to go with their regular policy (not direct pay) they usually reimburse policy holders within 2 days.

Visit the Healthy Paws page to find out more.

Pets Best

Pets Best vet direct pay works a little bit differently than others. Essentially, you must send them a signed copy of their veterinarian reimbursement release form along with your completed claim. Once Pets Best has processed your claim, they will send the agreed reimbursement amount directly to your vet’s office. Again, your vet or ER clinic must agree to accept direct payments.

how to find vet direct pay providers

Final Thoughts

If it’s difficult for you to cover the upfront costs of your vet bills, vet direct pay can work well. Compare the three providers we listed to see who offers the plan that best suits your needs.

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The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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