Think Twice if You're Considering Healthy Paws!

Out of 10

According to the Healthy Paws web site, the company covers up to 90% of the cost of treatments and provides coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions. REALLY??? This was NOT my experience!
I recently adopted two special needs puppies. Kobi, a mixed breed, was born blind (congenital condition) and I have taken him to the opthamologist at Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston TWICE in his young life of 7 months old now. Both times his tests were normal, including intra-ocular pressures, and there have not been ANY signs of glaucoma, cataracts, conjunctivitis, uveitis, dry eye or any other eye condition that requires treatment. He is blind...that's it. He is on NO medications for his eyes or anything else. Because he is congenitally blind from malnutrition of his mother which caused impairment of his eye development and resulting blindness, I was told by a Healthy Paws representative that they would not cover ANY eye issues. Really? Healthy Paws advertises that it covers congenital conditions! And while I understand that it does not cover pre-existing conditions, Kobi has NONE, outside of blindness. So I could understand if they wouldn't cover an operation to restore his sight (which the opthamologist already told me does not exist), but I cannot understand why the company has determined that it will not cover ANY eye problems. He has no pre-existing or current eye issues as I mentioned. After the "waiting period," the company will cover hip dysplasia in breeds known to

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Coverage issues: Congenital and Pre-existing
Claim Amount
Under $100

Mixed Breed

Age of Pet
Under a year

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Posted: 05/09/2014

Good comment, Mike!

Posted: 05/09/2014

Well written, Mike!

Posted: 03/04/2011

Rob,Could you please explain how the conditions of uveitis or glaucoma are "pre-existing" in a dog who does not have them? Or how seizures is "pre-existing" in a dog who does not have them? I can understand the issues here, but cannot understand the explanations provided by the insurance company. How can something be called "pre-existing" if it does not yet exist??? Thanks.

Posted: 03/07/2011

Mark, our medical records reviews process is based on what is noted by the veterinarian in the pet’s medical records. In this situation, the veterinarian noted "multiple eye abnormalities” in the pet’s medical records. This notation can be used to describe any number of different eye conditions. This is why our write up on the medical records review letter was vague listing "eye abnormalities" as a policy exclusion. We used the same language that the veterinarian wrote up in the records.
For pets that have a medical condition that is undiagnosed or still being worked up, we list the symptoms and/or rule outs the veterinarian writes in the medical records as pre-existing until the condition is diagnosed. When we get additional information, such as additional medical records or a letter from a veterinarian with a diagnosis, we will prepare an addendum to the medical records review letters and revise any policy exclusions that were originally noted.

In this case the veterinarian diagnosed the pet with Central Nervous System (brain) disease. CNS can have different signs and symptoms including seizures, which the veterinarian noted in the medical records.

Posted: 03/30/2011

To Kevin:
Like Diane M. I am shopping around for pet insurance and negative reviews - even if it's just one - always make me weary. Unfortunately for you and Healthy Paws it sounds like your dog's "pre-existing condition" is due to what your vet put on their write up. The same thing happened to my brother who has a very serious heart condition while my family was in the process of switching health insurance. It sounds to me like Healthy Paws is a fantastic insurance provider and your vet should be more careful about exactly what he puts on his medical records. Because the vet included "multiple eye abnormalities" I'm sure the insurance company's hands are tied. That phrase infers your dog has a pre-existing condition, whether or not he/she actually does. I understand your frustration, but it seems it should be aimed at your vet, not Healthy Paws.

Posted: 01/11/2014

I have been shopping for a new insurance company after being with another company with whom I had to fightfor years through the appeals process to finally get my claims paid properly according to their own policies' language time and again. While the truth on this particular claim may be somewhere in the middle, most of the complaints on this and other review sites indicate that Healthy Paws frequently sites pre-existing conditions for suspect reasons. For this reason I am now thinking of taking HP off the top of my list of choices. If my dog has a stomach ailment would he not be covered for bloat in the future? If she has a UTI which is common in puppies would pyometra not be covered in the future? We as customers are tired of insurance plans that always play "gotcha". We don't have control of how they say they are interpreting something. We are at their mercy and in my experience most insurance companies, human and pet alike, are in it for the bucks. Their goal is to minimize payouts so they can be more profitable. Every insurance company says they raise rates or don't raise rates for certain reasons: age, payouts on claims in "your area", reasonable and customary charges, etc. But in actuality they can say they are raising them for any reason they so deem, but there is no proof of any of it. If an insurance company says they don't raise your rates due to numerous claims, but your rates go up yearly, how the heck would any of us know what it's based on? Many vets aren't much better - I noticed year over year the same dental procedure my dog had went up 65%. Really? I am a small business owner and think very carefully before raising prices even 2%. The oncologist I saw when my last dog was dying told me he had 4-6 weeks to live then promptly wanted to schedule my dog for another $1,000 procedure which would include a stressful and painful trip back to the facility. Again, really? What can be read into this other than they want to gouge us at our lowest time. I took my dog home and took vacation time to stay with him for his last calm and peaceful days.

Posted: 10/12/2013

The reason Rob goes to such lengths to respond to low rated comments is NOT because he is so caring, but rather a marketing ploy to try to downplay a customer's TRUE experience and balance negative comments so Healthy Paws looks like a caring insurance provider. It is clear to me that they make every claim "pre-existing" whenever possible as a way to avoid payment. Their definition of what is pre-existing is extremely GLOBAL and apparently includes things that haven't yet occurred but might some day. So I guess a puppy being born is pre-existing and ANYTHING that happens to it is pre-existing...LOL! Seems unfair that they don't cover things that haven't happened yet on the basis that they might! Just sayin'

Posted: 01/17/2011

Healthy Paws does indeed cover hereditary and congenital conditions provided that no clinical symptoms are present before the enrollment date.
Because these we were special needs pups, Healthy Paws offered to provide Mr. Kelley with a complete medical records review during our 30-day money back guarantee period. This review process provides an accurate assessment of any restrictions in future coverage due to pre-existing conditions. With that information in hand, Mr. Kelley could then decide whether it made sense to continue coverage.
We carefully reviewed our assessment with him and noted that blindness existed before enrollment and would be considered pre-existing and any related eye conditions would not be covered in the future.

As a result, Mr. Kelley decided that it wasn’t worth keeping the coverage in force. We refunded 100% of his first month’s premium as promised and he appeared to appreciate our efforts to be totally clear and honest with him up front regarding his pup’s medical condition.

Given our efforts we were very surprised to see his poor review of Healthy Paws.

Posted: 01/17/2011

I am not sure of Mr. Kelley's beef with HealthyPaws given that they were completely upfront with what they would and would not cover - and then refunded his premium upon his request! He is free to go elsewhere and has not lost one dime in the process! No insurance company covers everything. If they did, they would be out of business very quickly. My own experience with HealthyPaws has been extraordinary, and I also had them review my dogs' histories within the 30 day review period. Ziggy had heartworm at the time of his rescue and I was told that this wouldn't be covered, which is what I expected. Honesty and integrity is what I want in an insurance company and it's what I've found with HealthyPaws!

Posted: 01/23/2011

Unfortunately my review was cut off and shows as incomplete. Here's the crux: Kobi is blind (congenital) and has NO pre-existing issues of any eye diseases such as uveitis, cataracts, glaucoma, etc. as documented by an opthamologist, and Healthy Paws stated they will not cover ANY future eye problems that might develop. They claim to cover congenital conditions and issues that are not pre-existing, but this is not the case for Kobi! Blindness does not cause other eye diseases. It is a condition, NOT a disease. Maggie was dropped on her head at two weeks old and has NO neurological disease, including seizures, yet Healthy Paws states it will not cover ANY future neurological problems of any kind, even though they are not present now! How can Healthy Paws advertise that it covers diseases that are not pre-existing, and then not do so? The company stated that it would not cover potential eye issues in a dog with no pre-existing eye condition other than blindness, and it won’t cover future seizures if they developed in a dog with no pre-existing seizure disorder. Is that honesty in advertising?

Posted: 01/23/2011

Regarding Rob’s comments, I must reiterate that NO CLINICAL SYMPTOMS of eye disease in Kobi, or seizures in Maggie, were present before enrollment, so why would restrictions be placed on either puppy? Kobi has no pre-existing eye disease other than congenital blindness and blindness is not a disease, nor does it cause future eye diseases. Maggie has no pre-existing symptoms of seizures, yet all future neurological diseases including seizures would not be covered. I must also say that I sent both puppies’ medical records immediately and Healthy Paws had them for a month. I received no communication from them until I called the day before the end of the 30-day free trial period. Jen advised me that she was busy working on “bigger claims than just premiums.” And that is a quote!! I also emailed Jen on 12/21/10 requesting further information, and as of today, 1/23/11, have had no response. Is that good customer service??? Yet Rob immediately responded to my review! Given their poor communication efforts and questionable practices, I’m very surprised Rob would expect a different review.

Posted: 01/25/2011

Rob, I am new to Healthy Paws. Am I understanding correctly that if Mr. Kelley had stayed with Healthy Paws and his blind dog later on developed an eye condition unrelated to the blindness that it would have been covered?

Posted: 01/27/2011

Linda, our medical records review process is based on what is noted by the Veterinarian in the pet's records. What Mr. Kelley is not sharing with all of us is that his dog's medical records also noted multiple eye abnormalities. These eye abnormalities were the main reason that future eye related conditions would not be covered. This was shared with Mr. Kelley in our review of the medical records with him.This is why we offer to do medical records reviews, so that a pet parent knows up front if there will be any restrictions in future coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

Posted: 02/12/2011

Don't really understand what Mr. Kelley is saying, but I just want to say that Healthy Paws company and staff are genuine in their love for and efforts to help animals. Clearly Healthy Paws went out of their way to work with this unusual case and spent alot of time trying to get it to work. Healthy Paws staff went way behind any level of service I've ever seen when my ACD had a very expensive surgery (TPLO). They even paid for water therapy, which helped her recover so much faster. Thanks Healthy Paws!

Posted: 02/19/2011

I almost didn't look at this insurance because your review dragged down their overall rating and I was narrowing my search based on the absolutely top-rated companies. I'm sure glad I read your actual review and the company's response, because it's clear that your review is totally unfair. The company even told you in advance that eye issues would be excluded, so you could get your money back and not spend a dime!!! Without your sour grapes review their rating is a straight 10, the best possible and the best of all companies on this site. I still have to sleep on it but after evaluating and getting quotes from 5 different companies, Healthy Paws looks like the best deal to me, plus they work to help homeless animals.

Posted: 02/26/2011

I am shopping for pet insurance and read the story of Kelley's story verses healthy paws. I was very impressed with Healthy Paws reply. I think they acted up-right and honest. I hope the best for Mr KElley and his wonderful animals. Sam

Posted: 01/19/2012

Some people are never satisfied and seem to have a beef with every company they deal with.

Posted: 02/06/2012

I have been trying to find the best insurance for my 8 month old white german shepherd, i'm currently under Banfield right now, which was one of the biggest mistakes. although they are good for routine shots, that is about all. i've read about healthy paws and their 9.8 ratings... i'm just nervous to commit now, because everywhere out there has plenty sides of the story.... is Healthy Paws one of the good guys? i just want the best for my puppy

Posted: 09/13/2012

well i'm not surprised! he states clearly that he had to call the day before the 30 days was up to check on the records review because he had received no info, and didn't still receive it that day. if your company is at fault for not providing the review in time then the company should extend the money back period to whever they provide the records review in full plus at least 24 if not 48 business hours to digest the information and come to a decision. rob, what do you specifically say to this??

Posted: 02/08/2013

Mr. Kelly,Do you have a better Pet Insurance recommendation?

Posted: 02/23/2013

For Rob to go to this length shows true effort onthis companies part, which I feel should be applauded.
How many other reviews concerning other pet insurance
places even respond or comment once on low ratings?
As you can see this is impressive to me.

Posted: 02/03/2017

I am looking for pet insurance for my puppy. She is a sweet rescue from a rescue sanctuary. She was born without her right back paw. She has the leg and part of the foot We wanted to give her a great life so we adopted her. My fear is that because she was born without her back paw, the insurance company will determine that ANY injury to her in the future and most illnesses could be attributed to her missing right back paw so they won't cover. I called Healthy Paws today and got a rep who is truly reading a script and asked questions that I had already answered more than once during the call. Disappointing especially since they got number 1 insurance for 2017. Also, our rescue gave me their pamphlet saying they're great. Ugh.