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postheadericon There are many issues to consider when purchasing health insurance for your cat or kitten

There are many issues to consider when purchasing health insurance for your cat or kitten. Purchasing health insurance for your pet can help you afford a procedure that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive. Accidents or disease are events that we can’t anticipate or foresee, but we can safeguard against them – if we choose the right plan.

“How Do I Choose a Plan?”

Many variables need to be considered in choosing the right pet health insurance plan, including your financial circumstances, the environment in which you live, whether or not you have other pets, and what veterinary service you do business with.

First, if you already have a vet with whom you have a trusting relationship, you need to find out what pet health insurance companies they accept. Most vets limit the number of insurance companies they work with, as doing so makes it easier for them to recommend a treatment course of action that they know will be a covered expense.

“What Procedures Are Covered by my Plan?”

Another point to consider stems from the fact that depending on the procedure that is recommended for your pet, a referral to another specialist, animal hospital, or veterinary school may be necessary. In this case, you want to be sure that the services of the referred specialist are also covered by your plan.

Naturally, you also need to weigh the various insurance options available to you. There are various levels of coverage available, with some being far more comprehensive (and somewhat more expensive) than others. Make sure that you fully understand what is covered under your plan. While surgical procedures following an accident may be covered, for example, other conditions may not – such as pre-existing conditions or disease that may be related to a hereditary condition.

“What Level of Deductible is Appropriate for Me?”

In choosing your plan, you will be given a choice of the level of deductible. This is the amount of money that you will have to pay before the insurance kicks in. Generally speaking, the higher the amount of the deductible, the lower your monthly premium will be. Sometimes the deductible may be per-incident, or in other cases, there may be a yearly deductible. One plan may offer 90% coverage with a 10% deductible, for instance. Since it’s impossible to know which option would ultimately be the least expensive, most people choose an option that represents a compromise: a monthly premium that can fit into their budget, and a deductible that will be affordable if the situation arises.

“Are Prescription Medications Covered?”

Prescription medicines are usually not covered as a matter of course, though some companies may offer this as an option for an additional fee. Chronic conditions such as feline diabetes require medications that can be quite expensive, so this may be an option worth considering. Bear in mind that this coverage may only include the cost of the medication alone, and not the cost of the corresponding office visit to your vet.

“Do Insurance Plans Offer Wellness Treatment?”

More comprehensive pet insurance plans may include coverage for certain preventative procedures. This ‘wellness treatment’ may include certain procedures such as vaccination shots, or neutering and spaying. The costs of these treatments are fairly predictable, and so this coverage may not save you money in the long run, but it would allow you to amortize the costs of these procedures over time, making budgeting for them a little easier.

“What Course of Action is the Least Expensive?”

Ultimately, we can never be certain about which course of action will be the least costly to us. Taking out insurance is really no more than placing a bet – but it’s a bet that we hope to lose. We don’t want to have accident or a fire so that we can take advantage of our auto or home insurance policies. Similarly, we may choose health insurance for our pet, but we want our pets to remain healthy. At the very least, pet health insurance can afford us peace of mind.

“What Must I do to Determine if This is Right for Me?”

It would be wise to research and understand insurance options for your pet before you need it. If your pet is robust and healthy, it may make sense to hold off. If your pet is older or more prone to illness, having health insurance may save you a lot of money. Prepare yourself with the necessary knowledge so that you can make an informed decision. Find out what insurance companies are accepted by your vet. Get information from those companies, comparing plans, costs, and coverage. Determine what you can afford based on your financial circumstances. In this way you will be prepared to best deal with lapses in your pet’s health in a way that is compatible with your budget.

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