Due to customer demand, Trupanion, the nation’s second-largest and fastest-growing pet insurance provider, has expanded its core coverage to include therapeutic pet food, supplements and mobility devices, and added optional benefits for alternative therapies, feline kidney transplants, and special disorders associated with working pets. These treatment options, which were once considered unconventional, have become common after years of veterinary advancements, prompting Trupanion to reconsider their exclusion from coverage.
“We always want to give the pet owner the freedom to pursue the best course of treatment for their pet,” said Darryl Rawlings, chief executive officer at Trupanion, “so we are happy to be able to expand our scope of coverage to include these new options that are becoming more commonplace.”
Pets covered by a Trupanion policy are now eligible for the following treatments:
Therapeutic Pet Food and Supplements
Core Trupanion coverage now includes half the cost of therapeutic pet food purchased through a veterinarian to assist in the care of a pet for two months, as well as nutritional supplements purchased through a veterinarian for the treatment of an illness or injury. Therapeutic pet food and nutritional supplements can help improve the health of pets with a variety of conditions, from joint heath to skin health and are often recommended by veterinarians. Until now, the cost of these foods and supplements was always an out-of-pocket expense for pet owners, but Trupanion policyholders will now be able to recover these costs in their core coverage1.
Orthotic Devices, Prosthetic Devices, and Carts
Core coverage has also been expanded to include orthotic devices, prosthetic devices, and carts. These devices are used to either correct or accommodate the limb of a pet that has been disabled through trauma, illness, or old age. They are most often used to stabilize a neurologically deficient limb, provide support for weak joints, protect the limb from self-mutilation, or to prevent the shortening of muscles. Mobility devices are a great alternative to amputation and will help the pet regain its quality of life.
Trupanion now covers alternative therapies including acupuncture, physical therapy, and hydrotherapy at the policyholder’s option with an additional premium. These treatments often complement traditional medical treatments to assist in alleviating pain and focus on individualizing treatments, treating the whole pet, and promoting self-care and self-healing. Behavioral modification, including medications, training and therapy also falls under this category.
Feline Kidney Transplants
Feline kidney transplants will also now be covered as an optional benefit available with an additional premium. Kidney failure is very common in cats and results in the cat being unable to eliminate dangerous wastes from its body. Kidney failure can be caused by poisoning or disease, and the best candidates for kidney transplants are those with an acute case of kidney failure (such as poisoning), or cats who do not respond well to the usual medical management of the disease. The cost of kidney transplants is not restricted to the transplant itself. The recipient will need immune-suppressive medications to prevent rejection of the new organ, which is maintained through expensive oral medications for the rest of the cat’s life. The cat will also need to be monitored for infection and have their blood level periodically tested to ensure the treatment is effective.
Trupanion’s expanded coverage also includes treatment for special conditions associated with working pets. Pets categorized as working pets under the Trupanion policy are: service and therapy dogs; law enforcement dogs; search and rescue dogs; herding, hunting, and sled dogs; guard dogs; and breeding cats and dogs. Previously, accidents and illnesses related to activities performed by working pets were excluded from coverage because of their higher probability to occur. For example, gunshot wounds can occur in dogs used in law enforcement and treatment, including X-rays, surgery, and post-surgical care, can cost thousands of dollars. Formerly excluded from coverage, this treatment is now covered under the expanded policy. An additional premium factor will apply for these pets and pet owners must specify at the time of enrollment which working activities their pet is involved in.
“Working pets often provide a great service to their owners and these owners want to protect them as best they can,” said Rawlings. “We are happy to now be able to offer these pet owners the peace of mind that if their pet becomes sick or injured, their treatment is covered.”
1 Approved in Canada and in the US except for Washington, New York and Puerto Rico.