After over a year of rancorous and fiery debate about reform for the American people, the next front in the fight over health insurance looks to be at an even more animalistic level: insurance reform for the American pet.
On Tuesday the California State Assembly passed a bill requiring pet insurers to disclose any limits to its offered coverage on the main page of the company’s website (some of Trupanion’s coverage limitations and exclusions guidelines can be found here: http://trupanion.com/pet-insurance/policy-basics/exclusions-and-limitations. The bill, proposed by Democrat Dave Jones, also stipulates that insurers state whether or not they deny coverage of pre-existing conditions.
In a mirror of the battle over human reform, the issue of pre-existing conditions was controversial. An early version of the bill banned pet insurance companies from excluding animals with pre-existing conditions, but this requirement was eventually removed. Almost no pet insurers in North America cover pre-existing conditions.
The California bill now moves to the state Senate for a final vote. If the bill passes (and it cleared the Assembly easily, by a 43-16 margin), it could open the door for further pet insurance legislation around the country. In the meantime, Trupanion’s California customers could see a change in website but no change in the quality of service.