Pet Insurance with No Reimbursement
Pets, particularly dogs and cats, are playing a much bigger part in the family unit today. Many pet owners even take their family dog with them on vacation, add them to family photos, and care for them as a true member of the family. This is one of a few different reasons why many pet owners are choosing to purchase pet insurance. Having a good pet insurance policy in place can make a real difference in if the owner can afford to provide their pet with the best possible medical care when needed. One reason pet owners may not consider pet insurance is that it usually handled via a reimbursement model. Pet parents foot the bill, and then submit claims for reimbursement to the pet insurance company.
Hard to Pay Vet Bills Even With Pet Insurance?
Having pet insurance can make a big difference in the kind of medical care you can provide for your pet, but sometimes having pet insurance still isn’t enough. If your pet suffers from a serious accident or illness, the vet bill can quickly run into thousands of dollars. Having pet insurance can help you pay the bill, but there’s still a catch. The pet insurance company will pay the bill minus your co-pay and deductible but only AFTER you’ve paid the vet and submitted the bill to the insurance company for reimbursement.
Most vets require immediate payment upon receipt of services. Some may even board the pet there until the bill is paid and add boarding fees to the bill. Are you able to pay a possibly large bill and wait for the insurance company to reimburse you? As unfortunate as it is, many pet owners don’t have that kind of cash on hand or that amount of credit on credit cards. There is one solution to this dilemma. The solution is choosing a pet insurance company that offers Vet Direct Pay.
What is Vet Direct Pay?
Vet direct pay is a unique and beneficial way to get your vet bill paid immediately and/or directly to the vet. Not every pet insurance company offers this service. Those that do offer this service may ask you if you want to add this provision to your pet insurance policy. This procedure is similar to a third-party agreement in that the vet will typically only agree to vet direct pay if they have the assurance between the insurance company and the pet owner that the service is covered under the policy’s coverage and also that the insurance company will pay immediately.
How does vet direct pay work? It’s rather simple once the veterinarian agrees to offer vet direct pay. As soon as the animal is treated, the vet makes up the bill and shows it to the pet owner. The pet owner pays his portion, which is generally the deductible and the co-payment amount. Once that’s been paid, the vet faxes or emails the remaining portion of the bill to the insurance company, and the insurance company electronically pays the bill immediately.
What Companies Offer Vet Direct Pay?
Vet direct pay is such an innovative and beneficial thing, you would think that all pet insurance companies would be on board, but that’s not necessarily the case. Pet insurance claims using vet direct pay are generally paid very quickly but it can take up to five days. This is generally acceptable with the vet as long as the vet receives assurance from the pet insurance company that they will pay the bill and that the service is covered. For whatever reason, only some companies actually offer vet direct pay.
Pets Best – Pets Best offers vet direct pay with all of their policies. They only require a signed copy of the vet’s reimbursement claim along with the pet owner’s claim. You don’t have to actually have vet direct pay until you’re suddenly hit with a large vet bill. As with all insurance claims, you will have to first pay the co-pay, deductible and any parts of the bill that are for uncovered services.
Companion Protect – Companion Protect offers its version of vet direct pay, which is called Companion Protect Coverage. They offer this service through any veterinary hospital in the United States. Even if the vet isn’t part of the Vetwork Partner, they will still pay the bill within five days.
Trupanion – Trupanion is one pet insurance company that does offer vet direct pay. They even advertise that they’ll pay the bill regardless of the total as long as it’s for covered services. They also will pay at any pet hospital in North America. With this provision, you’ll be able to benefit from vet direct pay even if it’s not offered at your local vet.
Healthy Paws – Healthy Paws may not directly advertise that they offer vet direct pay, but they do work directly with the pet owner and vet and inform them if the service is covered or not. If it’s a covered service, they will provide the vet with the assurance of instant payment.
Petplan – Pet Plan also works with veterinarians and agrees to pay them directly for all covered services minus the deductible and co-payment amounts.
As more and more pet insurance companies at Vet Direct Pay, or whatever their version of no-reimbursement pet insurance is, you can expect to pay less out of pocket for each vet visit.