The best insurance plan I've found for my clients.

10
Out of 10

1. If you look at the ratings, the only one higher is PetPlan USA. Pet First has an excellent rating!2. Routine care coverage is built into PetFirst. There is no routine care coverage for PetPlan.
3. Low premiums and deductibles are standard with Pet First. Rates do NOT go up with claim submission. PetPlan's monthly premium is twice as much as PetFirst.
Yes, pre-existing conditions are excluded from the insurance, but most insurance plans have this. If you pet already has a condition, use PetPlan and pay more. If your pet doesn't have a condition, you now can have an affordable comprehensive policy.

Here's how I see it:
The disadvantage to most pet insurance is that they don’t cover pre-existing conditions. Most people ask about insurance once their pet has been diagnosed with a life long problem. Most insurance will not cover that problem.
Pet insurance also does not cover long-term conditions that “manifest in a previous policy year.” This is true for every pet insurance policy that I’ve evaluated. This seems sad, but it’s not that bad. Let’s take diabetes for example. Upon initial evaluation of a newly diagnosed diabetic you may spend $200. You pay the $200 to the veterinary office, and then get 90% of the $150 remaining after the $50 deductible. Your pet comes back for more bloodwork and evaluation in regards to the diabetes in 1 month. The same diagnosis of diabetes applies, but it’s still covered and paid up to the “per incident” limit. For the basic plan, this is $1500. You’ve already paid your deductible, so 90% of this next visit is reimbursed and so on and so forth as long as you own the policy on this pet until $1500 has been paid to you for the diagnosis of diabetes over the course of time. Once the limit has been met and more health care is needed, they no longer pay. For this reason, I recommend the middle plan, called the preferred plan with the $2500 per incident limit. $2500 of coverage for one diagnosis is more complete for most problems. Some orthopedic conditions that happen may exceed this with a specialist, but it is still much more complete coverage.
The other thing to consider is secondary problems. If we take our first example, diabetes, we know that urinary tract infections are more common in diabetics. If a diagnosis of urinary tract infection occurs, it is separate with a PetFirst insurance plan (It's considered an excluded coverage with some other insurance companies). It is paid at 90% after the deductible is met even if it’s a result of the other condition, diabetes. Once the infection is deemed cleared upon re-evaluation of the urine sample, another infection may happen, but it too would be covered. It was cleared, and then happened again, so again applies to the $50 deductible and 90% coverage again the next time. You don’t have to worry about lifetime diagnosis per incident caps unlike other long-term conditions.

Routine care:
Routine care benefits are on services and products should be done each year for the pet’s health. For example, a cat’s annual vaccines may cost somewhere between $60 and $95 depending on their age eligibility for the three year rotation vaccination program in our office. There are no deductibles on routine care, so reimbursement would be what you paid up to $70. If you did all of the yearly needs for a pet (worm checks, bloodwork, teeth cleanings, etc…), you would be reimbursed $220 for the year for the pet. An average pet with the basic plan pays about $25 per month for the insurance. That’s $300 for the year. When you keep your pet healthy with the routine preventative care, you get $220 back (assuming your pet needed and you elected to do all of the routine care benefits covered); thus spending only $80 to cover your pet for any other visit. If your pet had all of the routine care and had another visit that cost over $139, you are getting reimbursed more than you paid for the insurance for a year. If your pet ever came in for anything else during the year, that visit is covered at 90%. Let’s say your pet got a urinary tract infection. You may spend $200 in exam, urinalysis, meds, etc… There is a $50 deductible, then 90% of the remaining ($150) is paid. In this example, that’s $135 that is reimbursed. Insurance does allow you to afford the best care for your pet.

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Posted: 06/17/2008
By:  

Dr...you are so wrong on many of your points....but I will stick to the major point. This plan offers NO COVERAGE for any condition that is carried over into the next policy year. So your brilliant example of diabetes will be covered for the first policy year, but then considered pre-existing when you renew your policy. Even if your pet is diagnosed 1 month before your policy ends, it's pre-existing when you renew a month later. I haven't yet heard of a cure for diabetes...unless you are holding back on us Dr Emerson and you've discovered a cure? Why would anyone pay good money, when the company is not going to pay if your pet develops a chronic condition? Isn't that what insurance is really for? To pay the chronic, expensive conditions? Routine care coverage is nice, however you are charged more in premium to cover the payouts. Besides, you can only spay or neuter your pet once, so why would you pay more every year? I'll tell you why...because you're paying for all the other people who are spaying their pet. There are companies that cover chronic conditions...Petplan and Embrace for starters. This company does NOT cover chronic conditions. Do your clients a favor and conduct some more research on the available plans out there, and find out where pet owners are spending the most money. Hint...it's really not on routine care.

Posted: 03/20/2009
By:  

Sounds like the "Doctor" has a personal problem with Pet Plan insurance to me...also being concise (ie: short and to the point) is a virtue when writing reviews, by the way! My advice is always to read ALL fine print in every policy or contract you are considering with ANY business. The Doc's review makes me NOT want to choose PetFirst...

Posted: 04/07/2010
By:  

thanks Kim & Debbi i almost believed the doc's wordy reply.

Posted: 09/15/2009
By:  

I called and asked if a condition is preexisting the next year, PetFirst said no. If a pet breaks it's leg with a week left on a policy, they said it would be covered into the next policy. They said that with chronic condition, they cover it the year it started and then 6 months into the next policy year. You can purchaser a rider to cover it for life.

Posted: 11/15/2010
By:  

PetFirst refused my claims on Both of my dogs, one with Addison's Disease (very expensive to diagnose and treat), and my other dog, who tore his ACL, and eventually had to be euthanized as an indirect result of that. I got about $40 bucks for both claims. When I first got this insurance, The claims were to be gathered until the 'end' of the incident, and we had 180 days to submit them. This was changed to 90 days, at some point, with NO notification. Stay away from this company!!!!!

Posted: 03/19/2012
By:  

Recent claim of blaming Post Office for failure to refund clients on a claim submited. Any body encountered this problem?

Posted: 04/14/2011
By:  

I guess my vets are sponsored by the these companies?

Posted: 07/14/2011
By:  

I live in Iowa, like this doc, and am embarrassed for her.
There are two components to insurance company expenses: claims and overhead.

Insurance should not cover routine care costs. Why? Because then the company also has to charge for the overhead. The consumer will pay for both the cost of care and the overhead in moving paper around.

Insurance should "insure" for unexpected or unmanageable costs. Pet owners should budget for a couple hundred dollars per year in routine vet care. It is the non routine costs that should, or should not, be insured.

The rest of the doc's comment is too verbose for me to care enough to read, when the person clearly does not understand insurance.