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Trupanion Blog

Trupanion's Blog is dedicated to help educate people with pet insurance and pet health information, but more importantly, to have fun!

A Blessing in Disguise

black-lab-trupanion-testimonial“Brewer was a gift from Santa for our three boys on Christmas Eve 2012. He truly became our fourth son and the boys’ baby brother.

This past Father’s Day, my husband was playing with Brewer in the backyard with a blower and Brewer kept trying to bite it. When he opened his mouth my husband saw a huge growth in his mouth. We took him to Estrella Veterinary Hospital the next day and they removed it via surgery.

Within a week the growth was back. That same week we received the call that Brewer was diagnosed with oral fibrosarcoma, a very deadly cancer. Our family was devastated.
Thankfully, six months prior to this Brewer ate a chocolate cake resulting in a very expensive veterinary bill. We consider that cake to be our blessing in disguise! Brewer’s doctor suggested Trupanion and it was that moment that we decided to purchase our Trupanion policy.

Without Trupanion, Brewer would be gone today. Trupanion’s policy allowed Brewer to have radio-surgery and chemotherapy at the Veterinary Cancer Group – two very expensive treatments. We are so grateful for Trupanion! They have paid for 90% of his medical costs; the radio-surgery was $14,000 alone! Every employee I have worked with at Trupanion has been incredibly friendly and easy to work with. I share our story with every person I meet that has a pet and tell them to purchase Trupanion!

Thank you, Trupanion – because of you Brewer has a chance at life, which means the world to our boys and our family.”

Corrie B.


Brewer

San Clemente, California

Enrolled: February 2015
Condition: Cancer
Trupanion Paid: $19,748.56

 

The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke in Pets

danger-of-smoke-in-home
When it comes to our dear pets and keeping them as healthy as possible, I think two simple words illustrate the way we should think about secondhand smoke –and our pets: Yes, dangerous.

Or maybe a few more words: Please limit your pet’s exposure to secondhand smoke.


How to Create a Valentine’s Day Date With Your Dog

valentines-date-with-dog

No one loves you like your dog. They never judge you, you don’t have to worry about how you look with them and if you’re in a bad mood, they have the uncanny ability to make it all better. So why, when February 14th rolls around, do we ditch our furry BFF and celebrate this traditional day of love with a two-legged companion? One who’s probably never kept our feet warm on a cold night or stayed right next to us during an unpleasant bout of the flu? This line of thinking explains why almost 40% of pet owners would prefer to spend Valentine’s Day with their pet rather than their significant other.

This year, show Fido how much you love him by making a Valentine’s Day date with your favorite canine companion. Here’s a whole day of activities you can do with your pup to make it a special date they’ll be sure to enjoy.


Ask a Veterinarian: Dental Care for My Pet

shi-tzu-small-dog-teethFebruary is “National Pet Dental Health Month” so it is the perfect month for you to get your beloved pet to the veterinarian for a dental check-up. This trip to the vet is the most important first step when it comes to getting great information about dental care and dental cleanings. Your veterinarian will be able to review the benefits that a healthy mouth has for your particular pet! I say, “your particular pet” because each of our dogs or cats are individuals, and while a blog can have great information, there is absolutely no replacement for a real-life examination and discussion with your veterinarian.


My Visit to Trupanion

6a011279048cad28a401bb08b4b165970dLast week, I visited Trupanion in Seattle. I was invited and hosted by Dr. Steve Weinrauch – the Chief Veterinary Medical Officer at the company.

I was joined on the visit by Robin, the practice manager at Advanced Animal Care of Colorado. I had interviewed the owner of that practice, Dr. Heather Steyn, for a podcast episode in 2015 about how they were using Trupanion Express to promote pet insurance in their practice.

Traditionally, the way pet insurance has worked is the client pays the veterinarian for the services rendered in full, and then files a claim with the insurance company to get reimbursed for whatever is covered under the terms of the policy minus the deductible and copay.

I’ve always maintained that many pet owners cannot afford to pay a large bill out-of-pocket and then wait for reimbursement. So, Darryl Rawlings, the Founder and CEO of Trupanion, put together a team several years ago to come up with an alternative to the traditional reimbursement model.

In early 2013, the company introduced Trupanion Express which allows the company to pay the veterinarian directly up to 90% of the bill. The pet owner would only have to pay the deductible, copay and anything not covered under the terms of the policy out-of-pocket.

The claim is filed electronically by the hospital before the client checks out, and amazingly most decisions about coverage, payments, etc. are decided within 5 minutes so that the client can pay their part of the bill and Trupanion pays the hospital the rest when the client actually checks out.

Robin gets to see how Trupanion Express works on the hospital side at Advanced Animal Care, but we got an in-depth look at what happens behind the scenes at Trupanion when trial policies are initiated, medical records are reviewed and claims are filed, etc.

6a011279048cad28a401bb08b4b123970dOn any given day, employees will bring up to 200 pets to work with them at Trupanion. I met many of them during the tour of the offices. Here you can see “Thea” who wants to play ball and belongs to Hillary, a Veterinary Systems Specialist who works to support hospitals with Trupanion Express.

Trupanion also recently started an in-house day care facility for their employees with young children – provided at no cost.

Robin and I ate lunch with Steve, Renee (the first employee at Trupanion), Darryl Rawlings and a few others. It was good to finally meet and chat with Darryl after talking with him on the phone for several years, emailing each other and interviewing him on a podcast.

I appreciate the invitation to visit Trupanion and the hospitality extended to me by Steve, Darryl, and all the other folks I met while there. I also thoroughly enjoyed meeting Robin from Advance Animal Care and the insights that she shared about her experience using Trupanion Express. Interestingly, she came to veterinary medicine after working in the human health field (managed care) and gave Trupanion Express an enthusiastic endorsement.

Check out the following podcast episodes:


About the Author: Dr. Doug Kenney is a veterinarian in Memphis, Tennessee, and owner of the Pet Insurance Guide website, where you’ll find unbiased coverage of pet insurance from a veterinarian’s perspective with a focus on companies that offer policies to pets in the United States. See the original article here.