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Thread: Health Insurance for your Retriever

  1. #21
    Member Gun Dawg's Avatar
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    Ya, I get the dawgs on insurance at 8-wks, so the initian premiums are low then & gradually increase w/age.
    I just checked Petplan's least expensive (Bronze) option via their website questionnaire & was quoted $32.14 ($200 deductable - 80% reimbursement) for my 4-yr old.

    I'll have to look again, but I'm thinking my VPI basic premium is around $16-$18/month.
    VPI has changed benefits, premiums & payout over the years, I'll definitely look around some on my next protégé.

    Cheers
    Last edited by Gun Dawg; 12-21-2012 at 02:16 PM.

  2. #22

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    I had VPI for two dogs over the past decade and did not renew last year after their reimbursements dropped so low it wasn't even justifying the premiums.

    They have amounts they will pay for each little aspect of the procedure so each visit will have 4-6 line items they pigeon hole what they will pay you back for and exclude everything else.

    For instance, if your vet charges more than $20 for iniital exam, they exclude that even though the doc might charge $5 less than they allow for stitches on the next line item.

    I took my senior dog for a tooth surgery in 2006 and they covered slightly more than 50% which justified the cost of the policy, but when I questioned all the charges they didn't cover, I got the explanation above.

    When the next vet bill was drawn up, I asked my good friend the vet to use the VPI payment schedule and make sure we use as much of their coverage as possible. So, if the inital exam was $25 and they only reimbursed $20, he added the $5 to another line item that was less than their allowance. The bill was submitted and they still refused to reimburse about 60% of the bill.

    I called for an explanation and they tried to tell me the same thing, that we exceeded the reimbursement levels on their schedule. I asked them to show me where and they wouldn't have that conversation with me unless I went through a formal appeals process that I would have to pay for.

    Being a lawyer for 20 years, I didn't appreciate the non-answer and discontinued both my policies. I would not recommend using VPI to anyone in the future.

  3. #23
    Member Gun Dawg's Avatar
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    Yo Waterdog....

    x2 - I'm feeling the exact same way about VPI, not sure if I'm gonna jump now, but will prob never sign up w/them again.
    This whole dawg insurance thing has got me thinking about looking into an alternate carrier, that's for sure.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Pupknuckle's Avatar
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    I have 4 dogs on Pet Plan, I had 1 claim just 2 weeks after initial sign up. They were great. Had reimbursement in about 10 days.
    Home of CH Shallcross Lake's Chaamp MH RA WDQ CGC
    Shallcross Lake's Little Rascal MH
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    Bob Louie

  5. #25
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    Ted had the correct information on the Pet Plan Silver. I was just guessing and missrecollected.
    Wayne Nutt
    Go Nutts with dog training

    HRCH Patton's Parker Co. Shadow "Shadow"
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  6. #26
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    I have Pet Plan Gold. Just submitted my first claim. It was for 1400 and according to my calculations I should get about 965 back. I looked today and it was still in the processing phase. I am wondering though if others had found it better to submit in chunks as you go along or wait until the end and submit one huge bill or no difference?
    Mary

  7. #27
    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
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    I have 2 dogs on VPI, but they are old policies. Only had one problem in 10 years, and now I have a personal representative there. There was no cost to appeal. I have one dog on Pet Plan, and have had many problems with them. Mistakes are also common because they require the reps to process a large number of claims per day. The premiums have gone up significantly in the past 5 years. I have 2 dogs on Purina. Very good response from them.
    Susan

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  8. #28
    Senior Member JKOttman's Avatar
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    Just received this notice from Petplan; they are requesting a rate increase of 26%!

    Thank you for being a loyal member of the Petplan family.

    As part of our continued efforts to offer the most comprehensive coverage for our policyholders and their pets, we are delighted to announce that we are increasing the coverage limits on our bronze, silver and gold policies. On average, the annual coverage limit will increase by 15% at your next renewal. This means that as a policyholder, you can have even greater peace of mind when it comes to Hoop, Kate and Lucy's unexpected vet bills.
    We are introducing these increased policy coverage limits to ensure that your pet's protection is in line with advances in veterinary medicine, and the increasing amount spent on veterinary care. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA) 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey, pet parents will spend $12.2 billion on veterinary care this year alone, up from $11.0 billion last year and $8.2 billion five years ago.
    Not only do costs within the veterinary market as a whole change from year to year, but as veterinary technology advances, treatment options become more advanced and thus more expensive. As a company, we, along with our underwriter - AGCS Marine Insurance Company - must adjust premiums to accommodate the ongoing changes in veterinary medicine, and the associated costs for our pets.
    This email is to provide notice as required pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:27EE-51 that AGCS Marine Insurance Company filed on 17th December, 2012 with the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance a request for a rate increase in the amount 26.6% for pet health insurance. Under the proposed filing, the average policy will see a rate change of no more than 25%. The impact of the filing on your rates may vary substantially, depending on the terms of your policy and your individual circumstances.
    The request for a rate increase is subject to review and approval by the Department of Banking and Insurance pursuant to law, and the request ultimately may not be approved or may not be approved for the full amount requested. If approved in whole or in part, the rate change will not affect existing policies until they come up for renewal.
    As always, we're here to help. If you would like to know more about veterinary advancements and how they can help you seek and provide the best care for Hoop, Kate and Lucy, follow along with our team of veterinary experts on our Vets for Pets blog. If you have any questions about this letter, or our proposed policy changes, please contact us.
    Warmest regards,
    Your friends at Petplan
    Josie Ottman

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  9. #29
    Senior Member Montview's Avatar
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    Being in the veterinary field, I have dealt with more than my fair share of pet health insurance companies. There is one that I was recently introduced to by a client that has since impressed me far more than any other with regard to their payouts... a company called Trupanion. She adopted a pet from the shelter that brought home an illness which made her 2 existing pets extremely ill. Over a weekend, with 2 trips to the emergency vet at a referral hospital, they still paid 90% of her bills. Pretty amazing, compared with what we normally hear about our clients' experiences.
    -Julie, Monty (2005 YLM), Rogue (2009 BLM), and Eddy (2013 BLM)

    "To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Anon

    LIFE IS GOOD. "Do what you like, like what you do."

  10. #30
    Senior Member hotel4dogs's Avatar
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    Be careful with Trupanion (and Healthy Paws). They don't pay for the vet exam portion of the bill, which can run very high if you see a specialist. Sorry, but I see that as a sneaky way to add a per-incident deductible on to the regular deductible. Also they charge extra for "hunting dogs", and they don't cover much of anything for intact animals if it might be even vaguely related to their being intact (no prostate problems, mammary problems, injuries resulting from aggressive behavior, injuries from being hit by a car, go figure).

    I have Embrace, which is sold by Cabela's.

    I posted this in its own thread, but here it is again. A very well done website:

    http://www.pet-insurance-university.com/
    Last edited by hotel4dogs; 12-22-2012 at 09:41 AM.

    Barb Gibson
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    (golden retriever) born 3-10-07
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