Hot Topic: “Pet Insurance” leading to managed care? Not on our watch!

By: Dr. Steve Weinrauch, Chief Product Officer

There is a concern that if the veterinary community recommends pet insurance, it might take on some of the negative traits that have occurred in human or dental insurance.

The negative sides of human and dental insurance (and outdated “pet insurance”) are related to three specific items:

  1. Dictating the cost of treatment, and sometimes even worse, the type of treatment (directing care).
  2. Dictating where the patient is allowed to go (creating networks).
  3. Annoying paperwork and long accounts receivable.

There is a stark difference between “pet insurance” and quality medical insurance for cats and dogs (Trupanion). Trupanion was created by the veterinary community, for the veterinary community and its clientele. Around 80% of Trupanion team members have veterinary hospital experience and are focused on ensuring our product does not repeat the problems associated with human health and dental insurance.

  1. Trupanion has only one plan and it is a lifetime policy that clearly states we pay 90% of covered conditions off the actual invoice.
  2. Pet owners can choose any veterinarian, referral or emergency hospital in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
  3. Trupanion has the ability to integrate with the majority of practice management software, allowing for claims to be submitted digitally, in less than 60 seconds at the time of invoice. Funds can be electronically deposited directly into the hospital bank account and claims decisions can be made in less than 5 minutes from the invoice creation—before the client even has a chance to pay their portion of the bill. This not only eliminates paperwork but increases hospital profit margin by eliminating credit card fees for up to 90% of the invoice.

We are confident Trupanion has the highest value proposition in the industry. We are simply a cost plus model where we seek to spend 70 cents of every dollar we receive on paying veterinary invoices to the average pet owner. Our job, besides timely 24/7/365 live customer service, is to understand the underlying cost of a dog or cat if they become sick or injured. We then take that cost and add 30%. Those pets that are "average" will receive 70 cents for every dollar back in the way of us paying their veterinary invoices while those "unlucky" pets can receive tens of thousands back.

With Trupanion, the veterinarian can be confident that he/she always owns the doctor-client relationship. Trupanion simply supports the doctors’ recommendations and makes it easy for the pet owner to budget for the unexpected cost that will occur over their pet’s life when it becomes sick or is injured. We will not erode your relationships like “pet insurance” by partnering with online pharmacies, providing 3rd party veterinary consult lines or dictating where the pet owner can go for care.

Simply put, Trupanion is not your grandparents “pet insurance”. It is quality medical insurance for cats and dogs and it is leaps and bounds better than human health insurance.

For the reasons discussed, we believe it’s important that our veterinary colleagues take an active role in informing pet owners that purchasing high quality medical insurance for their pet’s entire life is now a normal part of responsible pet ownership to help budget for the amazing human quality (and beyond) advancements in veterinary care available today for our family pets.

The information within this newsletter contains content that is current as of the publication date. Any information contained herein may have changed since the publication date. If you have questions, please contact [email protected].

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