Pet Insurance and Your Veterinary Practice
Pet Insurance Facts Less than 1% of Cats and Dogs are insured in the United States – about 800,000 pets insured in 2008 Packaged Facts estimates North American Pet Insurance sales will more than triple in the next five years from $248 million in 2007 to $1.1 billion in 2012
How Pet Insurance Works 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Get quote & buy policy Waiting period Get treatment Pay veterinary invoice File a claim Receive check
Pet Insurance Has Matured More companies selling pet insurance A wider variety of conditions covered The internet facilitates pet owner education and awareness “Not your grandfather’s pet insurance any more”
Not Managed Care Client can go to any veterinarian in US Veterinarian and client determine treatment protocol – not a third party No pre-authorization required
What Is Covered? Generally… Illnesses and injuries Prescription medications Surgeries and hospitalization Cancer treatments After-hour emergency & specialist visits Diagnostics, MRI, CAT scans and X-rays Wellness/routine care (optional)
What Is Not Covered? Generally… Pre-existing conditions (unless cured) Congenital conditions (present at birth) Preventative, elective and cosmetic procedures Boarding and grooming Food, including prescription food Supplements and vitamins
Major Differences Between Plans Are hereditary conditions covered? Are chronic conditions covered after 1st year? What is the reimbursement based on? The vet bill; or Usual, Customary, and Reasonable charges; or A benefit schedule
Pet Insurance Plans
Why Consider Pet Insurance? Veterinary costs continue to rise Accidents and illnesses happen and are inevitable Economic realities of treatment can cause conflict with the pet bond Pet insurance gives pet owners the ability to afford needed veterinary care with a manageable monthly premium
Procedures (And Their Cost) Have Advanced
Stop Treatment Point 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% <$249 DVM Newsmagazine, 2006
$750-$1000 Over $1000
Insurance Raises the Stop Treatment Point Amount client can afford
Insurance pays 80%
Stop Treatment with Insurance
Savings Account vs. Insurance Insurance vs. Savings Account
$3,500 $3,000 $2,500 $2,000 $1,500 $1,000 $500 $0 1
$35/month premium vs. savings account
Advantages of Pet Insurance ďƒ˜Allows pet owners to budget for veterinary care ďƒ˜Provides higher limits than most clients can afford ďƒ˜Can be used for their regular veterinarian, emergency clinics, referral centers or when traveling
Advantages of Pet Insurance (continued) ďƒ˜Reduces the need for available credit ďƒ˜Offsets the rising cost of veterinary care due to better technologies and treatment options
Advantages for Pet Quicker Owner Response to Symptoms Increased Owner Compliance Eliminates Economic Euthanasia Overall Better Health of Pet
Rex Relinquished because his owner could not afford PU surgery
With Pet Insurance… The best possible treatment options are affordable Pets receive needed diagnostics and indepth care Better pet health results from greater care Euthanasia for economic reasons less likely Reduced need for veterinary financing
Should I Recommend Pet Insurance? Pet insurance is the one thing you cannot buy when you need it the most. Pet insurance can help your clients in their time of need.
Advantages To Your Practice Increases client compliance with your recommendations Provides clients a ready means of affording health treatments Reduces your accounts receivable Eliminates conflict between clients’ financial limitations and providing the best of care Improves pet health and client satisfaction
Making Insurance Work Pick a limited number of companies to support Train the hospital staff Actively educate clients Mention pet insurance to every client Exam room / lobby materials News letters / client communication Telephone recordings
Promote to your clients Staple brochures to invoices Include brochures in puppy/kitten kits
Summary More companies offering comprehensive care Insurance removes the unpredictable financial strain caused by a large health expense Insurance provides opportunity for the best care Insurance allows you and your client to focus on care, not cost
NAPHIA For more information call Loran Hickton, Executive Director, NAPHIA (412) 319-7730
Glossary ďƒ˜Coinsurance The percentage of the costs of services shared by the carrier & policy owner. ďƒ˜Deductible A fixed amount of dollars that the policy owner must pay before the health benefits begin.
Glossary (continued) ďƒ˜Benefit schedule An itemized list of available reimbursement amounts for specific medical diagnoses. ďƒ˜Usual, Customary, & Reasonable Charges The charge for health care that is consistent with the average rate or charge for identical or similar services in a certain geographical area.