IMHA & cancer but considered as single incident

Out of 10

Dog was feeling dumpy. Vet did bloodwork. Low hematocrit was noted among other things. Brought him home with meds but he wouldn't eat or drink and was obviously not well. Went to Iowa State Lloyd Veterinary Hospital. It was determined he had IMHA. After 3.5 weeks in ICU, 9 transfusions, as a last ditch effort a splenectomy was performed. After a rough go, he got better quickly but biopsies taken during surgery showed that he had cancer. Now began treating the cancer. Pets best considered cancer, IMHA and reactions to meds, transfursions etc all as one incident. That is like saying if you have pancreatic cancer and you break your finger, or something else unrelated, they just ignore the facts and say it is related and the reason for this is that they had a SINGLE INCIDENT PAYOUT in their policy which benefitted them since it limits their liability by saying everything that happened is all related. This just isn't true. Some dogs have IMHA and never get cancer and vice versa. There is no data that shows they have to be related but Pets Best chose to ignore this Trupanion apparently has no limit per incident.

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Claim Amount
Over $1000


Age of Pet
1 - 8

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Posted: 06/04/2013

I had Pet's Best for years. I had a few incidents where they denied something and I appealed and had the vet talk to them in some cases and they resolved EVERYTHING, and did it pretty quickly too. Just saying, don't just shake your head and get mad, DO something about it. They actually do have really great customer service. They always got back to me the next day or the same day in some cases, by email or by phone. In contrast, I have had a horrible time with Pet Plan, which has unlimited coverage but horrible customer service and claim payment (well I'm still waiting after 5 weeks..). As for Chryssa's reply, I just now looked at Pet's Best website again and there is NOT $20,000 per incident coverage. In fact, when I got a quote for my new dog, they didn't even let me have a quote for their highest level of insurance! So I'll have to call them and discuss it. At least I know they will talk to me and explain right away, and not put things off.

Posted: 07/10/2013

Since my comments and your reply, Boomer has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I have just submitted to you information that refutes your claim as well as the doctor's statement refuting it as well. He wasn't necessarily misdiagnosed...he had many thing going on in his body just as some of us humans do. Sometimes there isn't just ONE (1) thing wrong causing ALL of your problems. Sometimes there are many thing wrong. When your air conditioning stops working, and the upholstery on your seat tears, and your door gets stuck you don't fix one have to fix many things. It is really no different with the health of a human, a dog or a cat. He had many issues and it should be treated as such. I hope you do the right thing here and restore my faith in Pets Best as the Best in pet insurance. Period.

Posted: 04/24/2013

Hi Harold, it appears as though the IMHA was an incorrect diagnosis and cancer was the cause of your dog’s health problems from the beginning. For this reason, your claims were considered together under the cancer diagnosis. Our records show you’ve been in touch with our Customer Care team recently and have the necessary forms should you choose to appeal our claims decision.
Pets Best Insurance plans have typically offered some of the highest coverage limits in the industry. Under our previous underwriter, coverage was available up to $14,000 per incident. Our new plans, available in most states, offer up to $20,000 in annual coverage.

We hope your dog is doing well!

Posted: 07/22/2013

I have now submitted an appeal to Pet's Best. The attending Dr. has indicated that there is no proof nor any study that supports IMHA being a secondary issue when hystiocytic cancer appears. She indicated and supports the position that IMHA and Hystiocytic Sarcoma are unrelated. Let's wait and see how they decide to handle this situation. I will keep everyone posted regarding the outcome. I, Iowa State University and any interested new customers I am sure will be interested to learn how this is handled. Thank you

Posted: 08/29/2013

It is now 8/29 and Pets Best has finally given their response to my 2nd level appeal. In short, they are sticking with their initial ruling and considers IMHA and Hystiocytic Sarcoma related incidents. Again, I repeat there is no information anywhere that links these 2 diseases. It is like saying that your air conditioning in your car isn't working due to the flat tire you have. But, regardless they are sticking to their guns. Unfortunately their 2nd level appeal appears to have gone to the lawyers instead of the doctors because if it had, the decision would never be that these are related diseases. Not sure what to do at this a website that comes up before theirs in a search so others will know that another choice such as Healthy Paws is the better way to go? Appeal again? Anybody have suggestions. Iowa State University would certainly be happy to hear that the remainder of their bill is on the way!