They really cover what they say they will, fast, easy, helpful personal customer service
After a friend's dog got bone cancer and it cost $12k+ for treatment (and it's not over yet), and her pet insurance helped enormously. I thought, I could never pay that if something happened to my pets, which was a wake-up call to investigate insurance, although I thought my pets might be rejected because they're older (large breed dog 10yrs old, cat 13 yrs old) but Healthy Paws was able to cover them ($750 deductible and 60% reimbursement rate because of their age--for younger pets you can get higher coverage) for about $80 a month combined, so I decided it would be worth it.
And holy smoke was it ever! I just got the insurance about 6 weeks before my cat Newfie went in for a routine dental cleaning and within 2 days was in intensive care with aspiration pneumonia, heart failure, and sepsis. Then he developed hepatic lipidosis from not eating. He was constantly on the verge of death and every day involved discussion with the vets morning and evening and me agonizing over whether to give up on treatment, but there was always a good reason to try one more day. I was incredibly stressed about the money, but thought, hopefully Healthy Paws really WILL cover 60% of this, and bit the bullet. If I had not had insurance I would have had to give up on him within 3 or 4 days.
On the 7th day, he started eating and his blood pressure normalized, he got more stable, and on the 8th day although he was very weak and barely eating, I was able to take him home! He gradually got stronger and now, about 2 weeks out, he is almost like nothing ever happened!
During this time he had multiple chest xrays, many hours in an oxygen chamber, repeated bloodwork, blood pressure checks every few hours around the clock, cardiologist consult/echocardiogram, internal medicine specialist handling his case, a nasal feeding tube, IV fluids, all kinds of drugs, etc. Plus a recheck appointment and ongoing prescriptions at home. The total cost has been almost $11,000. And he will have ongoing meds and follow-ups for the rest of his life for his heart.
Well, Healthy Pets does not have a per-incident or a per-year or even a lifetime cap on benefits. My friend's insurance (24PetWatch) had a $10k limit per year, which she surpassed a few thousand dollars ago and has been paying for chemo, recheck xrays, etc. out of pocket. Then a few weeks ago the metal plate in his leg broke and they had to either do the whole surgery again (about $10k more) or amputate. She chose the second surgery. But now she has thousands and thousands of dollars on her credit cards.
Newfie's invoices were super complicated because of repeated deposits the hospital required, then I'd get a refund or pay more based on the actual cost every 24 hours--they gave me a several pages long statement. I submitted online (Wow, it literally took 1-2 minutes--fill in a few lines and attach your invoice.) But I am new to this, I couldn't figure out how to fill in a couple of the lines and wanted to make sure they wouldn't find some reason to nitpick or delay so I called and asked them to confirm whether I did it right and whether they could use the "statement" instead of individual invoices.
The customer service rep said, "Well let me just look at it while we're on the phone...yes, that's all fine, and we can work with the statement." Because it was his first claim they wanted medical records for the previous 3 years in addition to the current ones, so I asked my vets to send them.
Within a couple days I got an email saying the claim was completed and a check would be forthcoming. (You can also sign up for direct deposit.) They include an easy-to-read interpretation of how they arrived at the reimbursement amount. I thought they would go through line by line and maybe question or disallow certain things especially because I literally had been a client only a few weeks when I had this huge claim. But they didn't, they paid 60% of everything (after the deductible), except for the recheck exam. They don't cover regular visit exam fees. But they did cover the exams during his hospitalization.
Sorry this is so long and detailed, but if you are worrying about the same kinds of things I worried about when choosing insurance, I hope reading this in-depth example will help.
I am so, so grateful that Healthy Pets paid for so much of this cost; by making it financially possible for me to continue treatment long enough for my cat to turn the corner, they literally saved his life.
- POSTED: 11/05/2017
- BY: Diane
- BREED: Domestic Longhair
- AGE OF PET: Over 11 years
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