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Does Pet Insurance Cover Cancer?

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

We typically think of humans when we hear the word cancer, yet cancer affects dogs and cats as well. It can also be as serious to our pets as it is to humans. Often, pets who are diagnosed and treated early have the best chance for survival. Having pet insurance can make it a lot easier for pet owners to make sure their pet gets early and the best possible cancer treatment. The biggest question is often if pet insurance covers cancer and, if so, what exactly is covered.

What is Pet Cancer?

Pet cancer is the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of tissues in an animal’s body, with the actual growth typically being called a tumor or neoplasm. While we seldom think of our pets having cancer until it actually affects our pet, cancer is actually the No. 1 cause of death in older pets. Of the number of dogs over the age of ten, more than half of them are diagnosed with cancer.

In fact, 25 percent of all dogs receive a cancer diagnosis at some time in their lives. Dogs and cats can develop several types of cancer.

  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma
  • Mast cell tumor
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Lipoma
  • Hemangiosarcoma

Types of Cancer Treatments for Pets

There are a few different types of cancer treatments for pets. The type of cancer treatments the pet receives will depend on the type and severity of the cancer. Although there are several options for cancer treatments, the main types of cancer treatment are chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.

  • Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is a treatment where certain drugs are used to destroy the cancer cells. This treatment is used to destroy, stop the growth of or shrink the cancer. The decision to use chemotherapy is based on the stage of the cancer, the type of the cancer and the animal’s condition. There are few side effects of pets receiving chemotherapy.
  • Radiation Therapy – Radiation sends a field of energy into an organ or specific spot where the cancer is located. It’s often a popular treatment method because it either damages the cancer cells or kills them completely. Radiation therapy is often used with chemotherapy or surgery in severe cases of pet cancer.
  • Surgery – Surgery is the oldest form of cancer treatment and the one most commonly used with pet cancer. When surgery is used, the cancerous part of the body is completely removed. It’s most successful when it’s used on a tumor where cancer has not spread beyond the tumor. Surgery is often used with chemotherapy.

Plans That Cover Cancer Treatments and What They Cover

Most pet insurance companies usually cover cancer treatments as long as they are not pre-existing conditions. What this means is that they will cover cancer treatments as long as the dog or cat was diagnosed after the policy was in place. The amount and type of coverage that’s offered depends on the company and the specific policy the pet owner purchases. Here are some pet insurance companies that cover cancer treatments as well as what they all cover.

Embrace – All types of cancer treatments are covered by Embrace, including the following:

  • Examination/consultation fees
  • Diagnostics and testing
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Follow-up care
  • Alternative therapies

Embrace offers a Nose-to-Tail comprehensive insurance policy that covers almost any illness imaginable, including cancer. You have deductible choices of $200, $300, $500, $750 or $1000. You can choose an annual reimbursement limit of $5,000, $8,000, $10,000, $15,000 or $30,000, and reimbursement amounts of 70%, 80% or 90%.

Healthy Paws – Healthy Paws offers a couple of different pet insurance plans, and cancer treatments are included in each plan. They cover the following:

  • Cancer diagnostics
  • X-ray
  • Lab tests
  • Ultrasounds
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery
  • Prescription medications
  • Hospitalization
  • Rehabilitation
  • Alternative therapies

You have deductible choices of $100, $250 and $500 and reimbursement amounts of 70%, 80% or 90%. There is no cap on payout amounts.

Figo – Figo offers three flexible insurance plans that can be customized to what the pet owner feels they need and can afford. Figo offers a compressive cancer treatment plan that covers the same type of cancer-related services as other companies such as exams, hospitalization, chemotherapy and radiation and also boasts of covering state-of-the-art treatment methods like radiosurgery and CyberKnife™.

You have deductible choices of $100, $250, $500 and $750. You can choose an annual reimbursement limit of $5,000, $10,000 or unlimited and reimbursement amounts of 70%, 80%, 90% or 100%.

Petplan – Petplan offers pet owners a choice of three insurance plans, and they all offer cancer treatment coverage that includes:

  • Diagnostics and testing
  • X-Rays
  • Lab tests
  • Radiotherapy
  • Ultrasound
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Prescriptions
  • Hospitalization
  • Alternative therapies

You have deductible choices of $250, $300 and $500. You can choose an annual reimbursement limit of $5,000, $15,000 or unlimited and a reimbursement amount of 80%.

Trupanion – Trupanion offers one simple plan that covers everything, including cancer and cancer-related services.

  • Examination
  • Imaging
  • Ultrasounds
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Prescription medications
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Alternative therapies

Unlike other pet insurance companies, Trupanion offers one deductible for life for a covered condition. For instance, if a dog has cancer, you only pay the deductible once for cancer-related treatment. Once that deductible is met, you’ll never have to pay the deductible again for any treatments related to cancer. You can choose deductibles from $0 to $1,000, and a reimbursement amount of 90% and unlimited payouts.

Cancer treatments can be costly, but also lifesaving for your beloved pet. Remember that after your pet goes through something like cancer treatment it will be harder to switch pet insurance companies since your pet now has a preexisting condition.