Do All Vets Take Pet Insurance?
When many pet owners get their pet, the concept that the animal may develop a serious illness or have a serious accident requiring expensive medical care from a veterinarian seems unfathomable. Unfortunately, all too often, this happens and leaves the pet owner feeling helpless because they can’t cover the veterinarian’s bill.
More and more pet owners are choosing to purchase pet insurance to offer them extra protection should the unthinkable happen. The big question is do all vets take pet insurance? If you’re a pet owner contemplating purchasing pet insurance, it will be beneficial to do your research prior to choosing a veterinarian to service your animal all through its life.
Do All Vets Take Pet Insurance?
According to a recent survey, four out of every ten pet owners are not financially stable enough to pay for a large (more than $1000) veterinary bill. As unfortunate as this is, many pets have to be euthanized because they become seriously injured or ill. As much as they love their pets, they often are just unprepared for a large vet bill.
Preparing for the future with a pet is often done by purchasing pet insurance. While pet insurance doesn’t pay everything, it pays a large portion of the most common pet ailments and injuries. In most cases, all the pet owner has to pay is the deductible and co-pay. Considering the option of purchasing a pet insurance plan often has the owner asking, “Do all vets take pet insurance?”
The good news is that any licensed vet will take pet insurance, and this includes emergency, specialty, and even university hospitals. Not only will they take pet insurance, but they’ll generally accept pet insurance from any pet insurance company. Unlike human health insurance, pet owners, in most cases, can take their pet to any licensed vet and not have to stay within a certain network.
Many vets are happy to see that the pet owner has pet insurance for two reasons. One, they know they’ll be able to provide the animal with the necessary treatment it needs, and two, they know they’re going to be paid.
Pet Insurance Reimbursements and How They Work
Pet insurance is similar to human health insurance in that they both charge you a premium and will pay for certain medical conditions. One major difference between the two is in how the reimbursements are handled. In the case of insurance, reimbursements are only used with pet insurance.
When you go to a medical doctor, the healthcare facility will bill your health insurance for their services. Minus any deductible you may have to pay, the insurance company will send payment directly to the healthcare facility. When you take your pet to the vet, you will have to pay the vet directly in most cases. Once you pay the vet, you must complete and submit a claim to the pet insurance company.
Once the claim has been processed by the insurance company, you will be reimbursed for whatever you paid. Many pet insurance companies offer you the option of getting your reimbursement through a check or direct deposit into your bank account.
Major Pet Insurance Policies and Their Claims Process
Pet owners all look for different things when choosing a pet insurance company. One thing worth looking at is the company’s claims process.
- Do they pay quickly?
- Is their claims processing hassle-free and easy?
- What is all required for reimbursement?
- Do they offer vet direct pay?
Below are some major pet insurance companies as well as how they handle claims.
As with most pet insurance companies, Embrace will reimburse you after you first pay the bill. Embrace offers pet owners two ways to submit their claims. You can get a copy of the itemized invoice from the vet as well as a claim form. You can submit these two items to Embrace through, email, the Embrace app, physical mail, or fax.
They also offer a feature called MyEmbrace, which allows you to view your account, monitor your pet’s history, and submit your invoice. If you use MyEmbrace, you will not need to submit the claim form. Embrace will typically process your claim in 10 to 15 days.
When you submit your claim to Pets Best, you can use your phone, laptop, or home computer. You go directly to the Pets Best portal and upload your claim, the vet’s invoice, and proof that you paid the bill. Once they determine your deductible and the reimbursement level you’ve chosen, they will check to make sure the services are covered services.
The claim is usually processed in a week. Pets Best also offers Vet Direct Pay, which is a service where you upload and submit the claim as well as a reimbursement form signed by the vet, and they will send the reimbursement directly to the vet. This method typically allows for faster claims processing.
With Nationwide, pet owners can choose how they wish to submit their claims. They can send a hard copy of the bill and claims form to Nationwide through U.S. mail, fax, or email. The other way is by logging into their Nationwide account online. They can fill out the claims form, take a picture of the paid invoice, and submit the forms. This way usually results in faster reimbursements.
When you file a claim with SPOT, it’s a very simple process. You log in to the SPOT website, take a picture of your invoice and upload it with the claims form. You will receive an email confirming that they received the forms. You have up to 270 days from the day of treatment to submit the form. Sending in your pet’s medical records can speed up the claims process, which usually takes from a week to ten days.
Figo Pet Insurance offers a relatively easy claims process. You log onto the Figo Pet Cloud for your phone, laptop, or computer. In addition to answering a few questions, you’ll have to submit your claim and an uploaded copy of your invoice. They also ask that your vet send them your pet’s medical history to expedite the claim. Although they guarantee to have your claim paid in 30 days, most claims are paid in seven to 10 days.
What Pet Insurance Policies have Vet Direct Pay?
Vet direct pay is a popular service offered by some pet insurance companies. The benefit of Vet Direct Pay is that the insurance company pays the money directly to the vet so pet owners won’t have to at the time of service. This can be a lifesaver if the pet owner is financially unable to pay the bill upfront.
However, they will have to pay the deductible and copay. Another benefit of Vet Direct Pay is that, in some cases, the reimbursement may come to the vet in minutes. Here are some pet insurance companies that use Vet Direct Pay.
Choosing the Right Pet Insurance Company
If you’ve purchased pet insurance in the past, you’re probably all too aware of how difficult it can be to choose the right pet insurance company. If you’re a first-time buyer, you’re in for a surprise. First of all, you’re going to be amazed at how many pet insurance companies there are out there. What do you look for?
One of the best ways to choose a good pet insurance company is to check its reviews as well as the reviews for any other companies you may be considering. There are certain things that most, if not all, pet insurance companies won’t cover. One of them is pre-existing conditions. Some policies will cover pre-existing conditions if you can prove that the animal has gone treatment-free and symptom-free for a certain amount of time.
Other things that most pet insurance companies won’t cover are routine wellness exams, vaccinations, parasite control, and prescription food. Many of these items may be covered under wellness or preventative plans, which must be purchased in addition to the regular policy. A good pet insurance company should cover the following things.
- Illnesses and accidents
- Diagnostic testing, like x-rays, blood work, and ultrasounds
- Cancer treatments
- Prescription medications and food
- Hereditary conditions
- Alternative treatments
With pet insurance, all vets will work off the reimbursement model, but if you do your research and are willing to use a certain vet, you can find a vet that gets paid directly from the insurance company and not have to pay out of pocket.