In light of what Frznbuns and TomAndKing are going through I am just wondering if anyone has health insurance for their dobies?? Or if anyone has any opinions on this insurance... It seems expensive to me but man, oh man, vet bills sure can add up.
I actually had one when I first got Princi. I stopped using it after a few months because they were making it too much of a hastle to get reimbursed(sp). But I could sure use a good reliable pet insurance provider. I will try to get the details of the company I was using.
I have the AKC Wellness plan for both of mine. It is $50 a month each, but it covers 80% of all the expenses, plus all their shots, heartguard, and frontline. Also an annual teeth cleaning, they have been very prompt in sending me the reimburstments. (I think I spelled it wrong too)
The 80% is just a fixed number. Like say I go to the vet and the bill is $100...they will pay $80 of it, and I have to pay the other $20. So for instance..
My vet charges $30 for an office visit, insurance covers 80% of it. So it only costs me $6 to take my dogs to the vet. (And as over paraniod as I am, its a good thing!) ha ha
I originally went with VPI pet insurance, but their customer service was horrible, and they just seemed kinda shady. AKC has been awesome as far as customer service and about reimburting me. They have always paid what I "expected" them to pay, with no problems. In fact, I wish they offered people insurance!!!
I hate that it is more expensive for some breeds too....Sucks. I figured that the reason they did that is because the Heartguard/Frontline/Chemo/Surgery, any medicine really....is going to cost more for larger breeds.
I had Petplan with Damien when i picked him up for 6 weeks, in my case i payed $1000 in vet bills and got $900 back in 2 weeks.. I will probably look into it again. I had no problems with that company.
I also received Petplan when I brought ******* home. I am thinking about continuing it on but am not sure. It's $48.00 a month for the basic plan, and you can start it at any age. So I may wait a few years. If you don't mind me asking what was the $1000.00 in vet bills for?
I just looked up the AKC Wellness plan and it's 52.50/ mo for a dog 2 years of age.
Knock on wood... I have been pretty lucky with my dogs over the years with an annual check up each year and really very few health problems, until they got old. Both dobies had cardiac problems at the ages of 10 and 12. I would say each had a couple of incidents during their lives that required extra vet visits.
I probably spent maybe $3,000.00 on Kali from the time she was diagnosed to the time she died 3 months later. She had cardiac valve disease.
Willie was just diagnosed with DCM 3 or so weeks ago and I have spent about $1500.00 so far, on 2 visits to the Cardiologist and 2 visits to the regular vet. If he does ok on his meds he won't need another visit with tests for 3 months. It seems like each time he has to go in it's been 300 to 450 bucks.
We discussed this on another board a couple of years ago and it seemed like most folks felt that a savings fund was a better deal.
I just figured if I put that 52.50 or a little more away every month that would be at least $630.00 a year and $6300.00 to $7560.00 over 10 to 12 years. I am pretty sure I have never spent more than that at the Vet on any of my dogs over their life time. Just some food for thought. Maybe I have been very lucky in their earlier years.... but I don't consider 2 out of 2 dobies with cardiac disease lucky, then again I guess I'm lucky that they got it at the ripe old ages of 10.5 and 12, instead of 3 or 5.
Out of curiosity, how much are you spending on preventative care for heartworm and flea/tick prevention as well as annual vaccinations, etc? The AKC Wellness program covers that for 12 months/policy period.
I have no idea what the costs are yet for those items nor how often they are occur. The annual fee for the insurance is less than $50/month ($579 when paid annually), but that's still a fair chunk of change.
I've never had pet health insurance before. Neither have I ever had a pure bred or paid as much for a pet before either.
Just getting educated about this right now.
Edit: the savings idea sounds good... if you just follow through with it.
I think if I went with a plan I would go with VPI. I'm not interested in coverage for preventative health care, I'd only be interested in coverage for the unexpected stuff. If my savings were more precarious I would definately have insurance. At my stage of life, sudden costs of $1000 or so can be pretty easily covered without putting them on a credit card.........could not have done that 10 years ago. Middle age does have it's benefits in my case.
So I don't have insurance and sometimes wish I did. Hubby is best not knowing what the bills cost sometimes. Where I am SUPER fortunate is that my vet is on call 24/7 for their own patients and they are reasonably priced. I've had $1000 bills that would have been $2000 - $3000 if I'd had to go to an emergency clinic.
It does add up fast. I wonder if some vet's take advantage of the fact that people or should I say dogs have health insurance? I know here in Canada our own doctors take advantage of it...doing a few more procedures than actually necessary. Knowing that they will be reimbursed fully.
I think it would depend on the vet. Some are not the most honest just the same as doctors.
I have been shooting around about insurance on the dogs for sometime. Instead I just set aside money. I still shoot around the idea. It would have helped when I had the huge lump sum of money with Asher. And it is still going. I don't care much about the preventative though. I figure that I brought an animal home knowing that I have a financial responsibility to them. The least they need is preventative care. If I can not afford that, I should not have brought them home in the first place. Thats just my opinion though.
Regarding the cost of preventative care, that is not the reason for my research into insurance. But if it makes sense to include preventative care, then I'm all for it.
Like Leslie, I am a minimalist when it comes to personal medications. However, I want to make sure we tend to the health needs of our Dobe properly.
My understanding is that we need heartworm prevention in the piedmont area of NC. And with lots of trees around our house, I suspect fleas and ticks will also need prevention. I've heard Frontline mentioned, but know nothing about it.
Other than unexpected events (main reason for health insurance), I'm looking at whether or not it makes economic sense to include prevention.
I agree that one needs to consider the financial implications of a Dobe (or any pet for that matter) before bringing home a pet.