Pet Insurance Wellness Plan
What does a pet wellness plan cover?
A pet wellness plan is either a standalone plan or a part of a bigger pet insurance plan that covers routine pet care such as vaccinations, spay and neuter, heartworm tests, fecal screens and more.
Typically, the way a pet wellness plan works is by providing coverage up to a certain dollar amount. For instance, with ASPCA’s Routine Wellness plan, you get $40 annually for annual exams, $15 toward a fecal screen, $80 toward spay/neuter and $20 toward a microchip all for $10/month. With their Advanced Wellness plan at $25/month, you get up to $400 in annual benefits toward your pet’s wellness care.
In these cases, you are still responsible for paying the difference between what your pet wellness plan covers and what the vet charges.
What does a wellness plan not cover?
Pet wellness plans usually do not cover things like dental care, 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 for 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 it is with the unexpected that 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 and flea, tick and heartworm prevention.
Pet insurance plans cover accident and illness, emergency and specialist care, prescriptions, orthopedics and hereditary and congenital conditions.
We took a look at several pet wellness plans to see what they offer:
Embrace Wellness Plans
Embrace offers Pet Wellness Rewards, which is their version of a pet wellness plan. They offer reimbursement at $250, $450 and $650 per year, and they recommend that you start with the higher plan for puppies and then work your way down.
You will get reimbursed for a variety of items, ranging from wellness exams and vaccinations to chiropractic care and Reiki. Microchipping, grooming, medicated shampoos, teeth cleaning and prescription diet food are some of the everyday necessities that some pets have that are considered reimbursable expenses under Embrace Wellness Rewards. Embrace also reimburses for some unique things like training (obedience and behavioral) and massage therapy.
Pets Best Wellness Plans
Pets Best has two different options for pet wellness: EssentialWellness at $16/month and BestWellness at $26/month. All plans work on a benefit schedule, and do not apply to the deductible and the deductible does not need to be met for these to take effect.
Here is a look at some of what the plans cover:
The total annual coverage for the Essential plan is $305, and the Best plan is $535 in benefits. Rates are slightly different in Washington, but when you get a quote, you will enter your zip and see exact amounts.
PetPremium Wellness Plans
PetPremium has two options for pet wellness: Basic and Prime. The monthly premiums are $9.95 and $24.95, respectively. You will receive $250 or $500 in annual benefits.
The PetPremium benefits schedule includes things like wellness exams, vaccinations, deworming, dental cleaning on most plans, and blood tests, Bordetella vaccine, and urinalysis on the Prime plan.
With PetPremium, there are item limits, which means there is a maximum amount they will pay toward a certain service, such as $25 for a Rabies vaccination on the Prime plan or $20 toward the same vaccination.
Banfield Wellness Plans
Banfield offers pet wellness plans only, not pet insurance. Their 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 of the services or the monthly cost won’t make sense. They have three wellness plans for dogs: Essential Wellness, Active Prevention and Special Care.
The Essential Wellness plan covers vaccinations, diagnostic testing, a comprehensive physical exam (2 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 test, ECGs, as well as 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 to pay 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 are able to get your pets the care they need.
Healthy Paws Wellness Coverage
Healthy Paws is one of the few modern plans that does not offer coverage for preventive care. You can, however, pair it with a plan like Banfield or PetAssure, or you can pay out-of-pocket for wellness care.