When looking into medical insurance for your pet, it's very important to get the facts and read the fine print. What are the top 4 reasons to choose Trupanion over Healthy Paws? Click through or scroll down to learn more:
WE DON'T RESTRICT COVERAGE WITH LONG WAITING PERIODS
WE OFFER FINANCIAL FLEXIBILITY
WE CAN PAY THE HOSPITAL DIRECTLY
You’re a responsible, loving pet owner interested in getting “pet insurance.” You’ve talked to your veterinarian, or maybe a friend or family member mentioned it. You have car insurance and your own health insurance…so this must work just like that, right? Well, not quite.
Trupanion is medical insurance for cats and dogs — we’re NOT pet insurance. The difference is huge, and this classification distinguishes us from other companies. Simply put, Trupanion was built by veterinarians for responsible, loving pet owners, just like you.
We’re committed to helping all pets get the best medical care. We’re committed to being the best value proposition for responsible, loving pet owners. And we’re committed to doing what we say, changing the industry for the better, and focusing on what’s best for pets, pet owners, and veterinarians.
Finally, Trupanion was built for your pet’s entire life. Not for a year. Not just until your policy becomes a burden for us. But for your pet’s entire life, through every tail wag, every kiss, every claim.
So, how does Healthy Paws' “pet insurance” stack up to Trupanion’s medical insurance?
We don't restrict coverage with long waiting periods
Like all companies, Healthy Paws has waiting periods for injuries and illnesses following enrollment. This is completely normal and Trupanion has them too. Waiting periods are necessary and required by insurance regulators to help prevent insurance fraud, which in turn protects all members from unnecessary rate increases. However, what most pet owners may not know is that Healthy Paws has a 12-month waiting period for any treatment associated with hip dysplasia, an inherited condition that can affect many dog breeds.
A year can be a long time to wait, especially since hip dysplasia can be extremely costly to treat once diagnosed, and is most often diagnosed at a young age. A Golden Retriever, for instance, is 3.4x more likely than the average dog to be diagnosed with hip dysplasia before they are a year old, and treatment will likely cost the pet owner nearly $2,000. If hip dysplasia is not diagnosed and treated as soon as possible, it can lead to the need for total hip replacement, which on average can cost nearly $5,000. According to Dr. William Henry, veterinary orthopedic specialist, 1 in 5 dogs that receive a total hip replacement before 1 year of age develop complications and often require second and even third surgeries.
In 2015, Trupanion paid $850,000 toward treatments for hip dysplasia, many of these payouts went to members still in their first year of enrollment, with young puppies just starting treatments.
And the restrictions don't stop there, in addition to the long waiting period, if you enroll your pet after their 6th birthday, Healthy Paws does not offer any coverage for hip dysplasia. This is important, because while this condition is often diagnosed when the pet is younger, some pets may not show signs of hip dysplasia until well into adulthood.
Imagine your veterinarian orders X-rays for your older pet and you discover, not only that they have been living with a painful, undiagnosed condition, but that your insurer won’t even cover it.
Is it worth it to have coverage that restricts your pet’s care in case the unexpected happens? Trupanion covers all hereditary and congenital conditions completely and without limits, as long as they are not pre-existing, including hip dysplasia — no matter your pet’s age. We think that’s simple and fair.
See this in Healthy Paws’ own policy wording:
Healthy Paws, Pet Health Insurance Policy, page 2, Section II. Exclusions & Limitations, 1. General Exclusions. Screenshot taken 5/02/2016.
We offer financial flexibility
Healthy Paws has three deductible options: $100, $250, and $500. This makes it hard to ensure that you can fit coverage into your monthly budget.
With Trupanion you can pick what you pay. You choose your deductible, anywhere from $0 to $1,000, and you can change it at any time quickly and easily. Pretty neat, huh? Medical insurance fits your budget!
And while Trupanion allows you to increase or decrease your deductible at any time, Healthy Paws has a big restriction on this. You can increase your deductible by requesting it in writing at any time, however, once you file just one claim you will not be able to decrease your deductible or decrease your co-insurance amount ever again. Unfortunately, that means you don’t have much choice in what you are paying with Healthy Paws.
See this in Healthy Paws’ own policy wording:
Healthy Paws, Pet Health Insurance Policy, page 4, Section III. General Conditions, 7. Screenshot taken 5/03/2016.
And let’s talk about deductibles for a minute. Trupanion has a lifetime per-condition deductible — so there’s no need to pay your deductible over and over again every year when you’ve already met it for that condition or a related condition.
A lifetime per-condition deductible does not mean you must pay a deductible every time you file a claim, instead your chosen deductible only applies when your pet is diagnosed with a NEW condition. This is great when your pet suffers from allergies, or develops a chronic ailment. So, if your pet is diagnosed with diabetes, for instance, and you have a $250 deductible, once you meet the $250 deductible with Trupanion, you’ll never have to pay a deductible for claims or conditions relating to your pet’s diabetes (like cataracts or a kidney infection) that may occur ever again. For the entire life of your pet.
Now, for a very unlucky pet that experiences several different, unrelated conditions in a single year, say diabetes and a broken leg, the per condition deductible may prove to be a bit less effective. But we’ve found that most pets only suffer a few different, unrelated conditions in their whole lifetime. And pet owners that are concerned about paying a lifetime per condition deductible can choose to not have a deductible at all when they enroll with Trupanion, which is not an option with Healthy Paws.
We're here for you 24/7
Our call center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on holidays. We know that pets can get sick or hurt at any time, and if you need us at 3am on a Sunday because you have a question about the policy or you’re stressing about a treatment — we’re just a phone call away.
Healthy Paws is only available M-F, 6am – 6pm, and Saturday-Sunday 8am – 5pm PT, that means they’re open less than 46% of the week, as opposed to Trupanion being open 100% of the week. Try calling them at 3am on Sunday, and all you’ll get is an automated robot. Trupanion remains committed to our members whenever they need us.
We can pay your veterinarian directly
We mentioned this before. But we think it’s worth repeating.
Rather than the traditional insurance reimbursement model, Trupanion has changed the game and created a process that puts our members first. We can pay your veterinarian directly, before you even leave their hospital. No more filing paperwork, no more waiting for a check — just peace of mind that you are covered.
We don’t want you to pay out of pocket and we think you probably don’t either. We don’t want to waste your time, and we don’t want you to have to worry about what’s going to be covered. In many cases, our direct pay option requires no paperwork and no phone calls from the pet owner.
Ask your hospital if they have the ability to accept direct payment from Trupanion. If they don’t, ask them to contact us so we can work with them to help ensure you’ll have the best experience possible.
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