Love My Pet plans vs. pet insurance: Which should you get?
Veterinary costs can be significant – a routine exam reveals dental problems and you suddenly have an unexpected dental procedure on your hands, or an upset stomach turns out to be too many ingested socks and suddenly, your dog is in the middle of an emergency surgery to remove them.
Access to veterinary care is vital to your pet’s health – not only for routine visits, but for any emergencies that may crop up. But when the costs are high, it can prevent you from providing your fur babies with the best possible care. Luckily, you have options for keeping your vet costs reasonable and, more importantly, more predictable.
1. Love My Pet plans
With our Love My Pet plans, you pay a monthly fee for a plan that covers expected annual veterinary needs, including:
- Annual wellness exams plus a couple of additional exams
- Your pet’s core vaccinations
- Parasite screenings
- Heartworm tests
You can even choose plans that include heartworm and parasite prevention, nail trims, and dental procedures (including anesthesia, radiographs, IV catheter and fluids, and hospitalization).
As your pet gets older, the plan adjusts to include an additional two exams, blood pressure measurement, preventive radiographs, and more. The monthly fee varies depending on the plan you choose.
The benefit of using a Love My Pet plan is that you tailor it to fit your pet’s exact needs. You adjust it as your pet grows, and add on other items you need, such as microchipping or flea and tick prevention, and you get a discount on services outside the plan (excluding food and grooming).
Another benefit: you can budget your pet’s routine vet costs either monthly or annually, and never have to come into our office wondering how much your visit will cost.
2. Pet insurance
Pet insurance is not quite the same as human insurance. With human insurance, you must find a doctor in your insurer’s network, then, when you arrive for your appointment, you hand over your insurance card and pay any copay. Any charges not covered by your insurance are billed to you later.
With pet insurance, you pay for your policy each month – typically between $3 and $50 per month – just like you do for your own insurance. Instead of finding an in-network provider, you go to any veterinary office near you! However, you don’t simply pay a copay and go about your way; instead, you pay for your pet’s medical bill upfront, then submit the receipt to your pet insurance company for reimbursement.
Most pet insurance policies have a limit for how much you can claim each year, and for what types of procedures or visits (some costs for pre-existing conditions, for instance, may not be covered). Like human insurance, you must meet a deductible before you can be reimbursed.
Pet insurance is another great way to keep a handle on your pet’s vet costs. You know exactly how much you’ll have to pay each month, and how much your deductible is each year, allowing you to accurately budget for unexpected vet costs.
Remember, though, you’re still on the hook to pay the vet bill upfront. Keep a small savings or a credit card available for vet costs, and replenish the fund or pay the credit card bill once you’re reimbursed.
Which should you get?
The Love My Pet plan is the best option for all the routine stuff. All pets need regular exams, vaccinations, regular internal parasite testing, nail trims, and dental cleanings. With the Love My Pet plan, you can budget with precision and never be caught by surprise when you take your pet in for an annual exam.
Pet insurance is better for unexpected costs, such as emergencies. You hope you’ll never need it, but if your pet does need emergency surgery, you’ll be glad to have it. So, should you get it?
Bottom line: pets come with various costs, and veterinary bills make up a sizeable portion of those costs. At the least, you want to be able to budget for routine visits, and our Love My Pet plans are a great way to do that.
Adding extra peace of mind with pet insurance is extremely valuable. You don’t want to opt out of the best care for your pet simply because it’s too expensive. However, you have other options for those costs, including a credit card or savings, CareCredit, or Scratchpay.
Talk with one of our team members about Love My Pet plans and other options for covering your pet’s vet costs!