Best Pet Wellness Plans for Routine Care (2022)
While pet health insurance popularity is on the rise, there is a lot of misinformation out there about what all is covered. For instance, pet wellness plans are usually an add-on cost on top of your monthly payments for accident and illness insurance. So what is a pet wellness plan, and what pet needs does it cover?
Most add-on wellness plans cover a certain percentage (or provide an annual limit) for the following preventative care benefits:
- Wellness exam
- Vaccinations and titers
- Flea and tick prevention
- Heartworm prevention
- Spay/neuter surgery
- Grooming fees
- Fecal exams
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Best Pet Wellness Plans for Routine Care
We’ve looked at the top pet insurance providers to see how they ranked in terms of overall wellness coverage as well as how much each pet insurance plan would run you per month. While most insurers offered some sort of pet wellness plan, we’ve found that the coverage provided by some was more extensive than others. Additionally, most pet insurance providers offer differing levels of coverage to allow you to customize what works best for your pet care needs.
|Provider||Wellness Coverage||Average Monthly Wellness Cost|
Spot pet insurance offers coverage for a variety of issues such as hereditary conditions, behavioral issues, alternative therapies, and chronic conditions to ensure your pet is able to get the quality medical care they deserve. Spot was founded in 2019 and receives its insurance from Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group, which has been around since 2006.
- Offers accident-only coverage for those on a budget
- Provides an option for unlimited annual benefits
- Average cost for monthly premiums are a little pricey
- Does not cover cosmetic procedures
Spot offers a gold preventative care plan for $9.95/month and a platinum preventative care plan for $24.95/month. Each plan offers a set amount for reimbursement for each wellness benefit. The plans provide a total annual reimbursement benefit of $250 for the gold plan and $450 for the platinum plan. Besides the difference in reimbursement amounts between the two plans, the platinum plan gives you benefits for spaying/neutering, blood tests, urinalysis, and deworming.
Its accident and illness coverage will run you around $40/month for dogs and $22/month for cats. While Spot doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, it will cover pre-existing conditions that have been cured and symptom-free for 180 days.
Here’s a look at what the Schedule of Benefits for the Spot wellness plans looks like:
|Dental Cleaning||$100||$150 (can choose dental cleaning or spay/neuter)|
|Canine DHLPP or Feline FVRCP Vaccine/Titer||$20||$25|
|Rabies and/or Canine Lyme or Feline FIP Vaccine/Titer||$20||$25|
|Canine Bordetella or Feline FELV Vaccine/Titer||$0||$25|
|Canine Heartworm or Feline FELV Test||$20||$25|
This NYC-based insurance company provides coverage for not only your pet but also offers homeowners, renters, car, and life insurance. It has an easy-to-use app for submitting and checking claims and offers an annual deductible of $500 or less.
Lemonade pet insurance stands out from the crowd with its extensive wellness coverage. It offers two different levels of coverage with additional add-on options available. The base plan starts at only $10/month for cats and $15/month for dogs. With this package, you will get one wellness exam covered, one fecal exam or parasite test, one heartworm test, one blood test, up to three vaccinations, and medical advice chat.
The next level of wellness coverage offers all that plus flea and tick medication, dental cleaning, microchipping, and spaying/neutering. If you want even more covered, you can also purchase extra individual add-ons like vet visit fees associated with accident and illness exams and benefits for physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care.
The average cost to cover dogs for accident and illness coverage is $37/month and $15/month for cats. Typical accident coverage will pay for items related to accidents such as hospitalization, diagnostic X-rays, lab work, and surgeries. Accident and illness coverage will cover all that accident plans cover, plus illnesses like cancer, hereditary conditions, and physical therapy pet care needs. Reimbursement rates range from 70-90%.
- Option to save money when you bundle your pet insurance with one of its other insurance options
- Offers one of the shortest waiting periods for accidents at only two days
- Medical chat not offered with regular coverage
- Not offered in all 50 states
Embrace pet insurance has been around since 2003, so you can be confident that it knows a thing or two about how to handle insurance. Embrace offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and offers not only a 10% multiple pet discount but a 5% military discount as well.
Embrace’s wellness plans work a little differently than other pet insurers. It offers a variety of reimbursement levels that range from $250, $450, and $650 a year. This money can go to out-of-pocket costs associated with wellness exams, vaccinations, flea/tick prevention, spaying/neutering, microchipping, grooming, teeth cleaning, prescription diet food, training, and more. The rate you pay will vary anywhere from $18.75-$52.09/month. Embrace recommends you start with a higher level of wellness plan coverage when your pet is a puppy or kitten and then decrease your coverage as needed, which only makes sense as your young pet will be needing lots of vaccinations at that age.
Average monthly rates for its accident and illness coverage will run you around $35 for dogs and $18 for cats.
- Covers curable pre-existing conditions provided your pet is symptom-free for 12 months
- Offers a Healthy Pet Deductible, which decreases your yearly deductible by $50 when you don’t receive any insurance claim reimbursements
- Annual reimbursement limits cap out at $30,000
- Six-month waiting period for knee ligament issues
Healthy Paws pet insurance has been one of the top-rated pet insurance companies from 2010-2021, according to its website. It stands out for its charitable giving and fast claim processing. In fact, most claims are processed in as little as two days. Healthy Paws offers not only unlimited annual payouts but unlimited lifetime payouts as well, which is pretty impressive in our book.
Healthy Paws is the only provider on our list that does not offer wellness coverage of any kind. In fact, there is only one accident and illness insurance plan available for purchase which keeps things simple though prices and details will vary based on your pet’s age. For example, dogs and cats under 5 years old have deductibles that range from $100-$500, and reimbursement rates will range from 70-90%. Dogs and cats 6 to 7 years old have deductibles of anywhere from $250-$750 and 60-80% reimbursement rates. As you can see, the older your pet gets, the higher the deductible becomes and the lower your reimbursement rate will be. This coverage trend continues as your pet’s age increases though the maximum age of coverage for pets is 14 years old. The average monthly insurance cost is $12/month for cats and $39/month for dogs.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Offers customizable coverage based on your pet’s age and breed
- Does not offer wellness plans
- No multiple pet discounts are available
United States Fire Insurance Company provides the underwriting for ASPCA, which was founded in 2017. ASPCA does not require your pet to have an exam before enrollment, and all coverage starts only 15 days after your policy’s start date. Most other pet insurance companies require at least a six-month waiting period for knee ligament injuries and hip dysplasia, so if your pet’s breed is prone to these conditions, ASPCA may be the way to go to obtain speedy coverage.
ASPCA offers two plans of wellness coverage called the basic and prime plans. The basic plan runs around $10/month and has set rates to reimburse you for a portion of your out-of-pocket costs for things like dental cleanings, wellness exams, vaccinations, deworming, and fecal tests. The next step up is the prime plan which averages around $25/month. The prime plan includes a few extras such as flea and heartworm medication, a health certificate, blood tests, and urinalysis.
Lastly, the average cost for accident and illness coverage from ASPCA is $49 for dogs and $29 for cats. You have the option to customize your deductible and your reimbursement rate and annual limit.
- Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
- 10% discount awarded when insuring multiple pets
- Does not cover cosmetic procedures or breeding costs
- Low annual limit, which maxes out at $10,000
Here’s a look at some of the coverage you get with each plan:
|DHLPP Vaccine or Titer||$20||$25|
|Rabies/Lyme Vaccine or Titer||$20||$25|
|Bordetella Vaccine or Titer||$0||$25|
|Total Annual Benefit||$250||$450|
Founded in 2018, Prudent Pet offers some pretty impressive extras for your pet, such as access to 24/7 vet chat and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Not only can you customize your deductible and reimbursement percentage to suit your budget, but pet owners also have the option to purchase the accident-only plan for even more savings.
While the average cost for accident and illness coverage is around $39/month for dogs and $23/month for cats, wellness coverage is an additional add-on cost. Prudent Pet has three levels of wellness coverage to choose from that are named corresponding to how much the plans cost.
The low plan runs around $7.95/month for cats and $11.95/month for dogs and offers a set amount of reimbursement per wellness benefit. The medium plan will offer a higher level of reimbursement for each wellness benefit and costs $13.95/month for cats and $19.95/month for dogs. Offering the highest level of coverage is the high plan which will run around $19.95/month for cats and $29.95/month for dogs. It offers extras like coverage for Lyme disease vaccination and a wellness blood screening.
- Offers discounts for insuring multiple pets
- Behavioral disorders are covered
- Six-month waiting period for cruciate ligament injuries
- Only covers dogs and cats
Standalone Pet Wellness Plans
Banfield Wellness Plans
Banfield offers pet wellness plans only, not pet insurance. Its plans are designed to help you maintain and keep optimal pet health with preventive pet health care. We checked to see what it would cost to get our Newfoundland covered under a basic pet wellness plan (the Special Care plan) plus dental cleanings plus other care, including flea and tick prevention, and the cost came to $48.95 per month.
With Banfield, you need to use all the services, or the monthly cost won’t make sense. It has three wellness plans for dogs: Essential Wellness, Active Prevention, and Special Care.
The Essential Wellness plan covers vaccinations, diagnostic testing, a comprehensive physical exam (two a year), fecal exams, and deworming. Active Prevention covers the same as well as dental cleaning and urine testing. The Special Care plan covers the same as the others, plus preventive X-rays, eye pressure tests, ECGs, and a higher discount on other Banfield products.
With Banfield, you can also add spay and neuter, parasite control, genetic analysis, chronic care options, and more. You will enter into an annual agreement, with the monthly cost spread over 12 months. You can upgrade or downgrade at any time with your 12 months starting over from that point, and if you do cancel before the 12 months is up and you have used services, you are still responsible for paying for the services for as many months as that takes.
PetAssure is an alternative to traditional pet insurance, where it offers a discount on veterinary insurance. This works well if you have a pet with pre-existing conditions, need wellness care, and your plan does not have it, or you simply want to use a discount plan for your pet care needs. While pet insurance can cover 75-90% of veterinary visits, you must also meet a deductible and make sure your visit is considered a “covered instance.” For this reason, the PetAssure option is a good add-on, alternative, or solo policy to make sure you can get your pets the care they need.
VCA Care Club
VCA Care Club is a plan you can get directly through VCA that covers wellness care on a Schedule of Benefits. With VCA Care Club, you can get different levels of care, depending on if you have a puppy, an adult dog, a senior dog, a kitten, an adult cat, or a senior cat. Usually, coverage will include vaccinations, wellness exams, fecal exams, and more, depending on the animal’s age. VCA does not have a pet insurance option, so its coverage is purely preventive and diagnostic. If any issues are found, those will need to be taken care of out of pocket.
What Do Pet Wellness Plans Cover?
Pet wellness plans are either a standalone or part of a bigger pet insurance plan as an add-on that covers routine pet care such as vaccinations, spay and neuter, heartworm tests, fecal screens, and more.
Typically, a pet wellness plan works by providing coverage up to a certain dollar amount. For instance, with ASPCA’s Basic Wellness plan, you get $50 annually for annual exams, $20 toward a fecal screen, $100 toward a dental cleaning, and $20 toward a rabies vaccination or titer, all for $9.95/month. With its Prime Wellness plan at $24.95/month, you get up to $450 in annual benefits toward your pet’s wellness care.
In these cases, you’re still responsible for paying the difference between what your pet wellness plan covers and what the vet charges. Some insurers will cover the full amount of care, and you will need to verify this before signing up and submitting claims, so there are no surprises.
What Does A Pet Wellness Plan Not Cover?
Pet wellness plans usually do not cover things like accidents, illness, or injury. They are not pet insurance, so unless you bundle them with a true pet insurance plan, you are still on the hook for high vet office bills if something goes wrong with your pet’s health.
We recommend making sure that your pet is covered by an accident and injury plan along with a wellness plan. When we bring a new pet into our family, most of us make sure that wellness care is within our budget, but with the unexpected, we run into trouble.
Pet Wellness Plans vs. Pet Insurance
Wellness plans typically do not factor into your deductible and rather are on a benefit schedule with an agreed-upon amount paid for certain services. They cover routine exams, vaccinations, spay/neuter, routine blood work, fecal exams, teeth cleanings, flea, tick, and heartworm prevention.
Pet insurance plans cover accident and illness, emergency and specialist care, prescriptions, orthopedics, and hereditary and congenital conditions.
If you are interested in a standalone wellness plan, then there are options for you with Banfield and VCA Care Club, but if you are looking to add on insurance at any point, you may want a plan that has both wellness and insurance. Wellness plans can help diagnose issues early, but they won’t cover your pet if anything is found.
We took a look at some pet insurance companies to see what pet wellness plans they offer:
|Pet Insurance Company||Wellness Coverage|
|Companion Protect||Exams only|
Wellness coverage gives pet owners a lot of bang for their buck when it comes to insuring their pets, especially for a puppy or kitten needing all those shots and vaccinations. Adult dogs and cats will need extra coverage when they reach their older years as vet visits and vet bills will start to increase.
As you can see, each pet insurance provider offers its own version of wellness care plans, so it’s only a matter of finding the benefits you need at a price point you can afford. Look for extras that are covered, like grooming costs, heartworm prevention, and dental care to maximize your reimbursements. Even if you are on a tight budget, you can easily find a wellness plan that works for your pet. As a pet parent, knowing your pet’s necessary vaccinations and well checkups are covered provides you with peace of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Wellness Plans
Are pet wellness plans worth it?
If you are the type of pet parent that places importance on catching health issues before they arise, you will likely find pet wellness plans are a good value. Wellness exams can help catch things like parasite problems, weight issues, and dental ailments on your pet’s physical exam, which can negatively affect your pet’s health causing major problems down the road. Most of the base levels of wellness care plans will cover one wellness exam vet visit and up to three vaccinations per policy term. Usually, these reimbursements alone can make purchasing your wellness add-on plans worth it.
How do you submit claims for wellness plans?
Wellness claims are typically submitted the same way you would submit a claim for your accident/illness policies. Most insurance providers have an online portal or handy app to upload your proof of purchase and start your claim. Or, you can simply download a claims form online, fill it out, and send it back in either via fax or mail. Your insurance provider will review your claim and then, if approved, reimburse you either through direct deposit to your bank or by check in the mail.
What is the difference between pet wellness plans and pet insurance?
Pet insurance and pet wellness plans generally work the same way in that your pet insurance provider reimburses you for covered expenses. The difference between the two types of insurance lies in what is covered. Your pet insurance will typically cover expenses related to accidents, emergencies, hospitalizations, surgeries, diagnostic X-rays, prescription medications, and illnesses such as cancer care and hereditary illnesses. Pet wellness plans will usually cover things like wellness exam fees, vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, dental care, and heartworm prevention.
The 365 Pet Insurance research team looks at all pet insurance policies and comes up with our reviews based on coverage, plan options, cost, reputation, customer service, and species eligibility. We’ve also created a rating system to score pet insurance brands.
We’ve consulted with pet experts and dug into plans to develop what we think are the best overall plans, complete with ratings on coverage, how they handle claims, reimbursements, deductibles, limits, and more.
To make our list, pet insurance companies must have:
- A variety of plan options
- Affordable monthly rates
Our team revisits each company’s information at the end of every month to make updates and ensure the information is as accurate as possible.