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When looking into medical insurance for your pet, it’s very important to get the facts and read the fine print. Be sure to do your research before making your decision. To make life a little easier, we’ve done some of that for you—read on to learn some of the differences between Trupanion and Healthy Paws.

Direct payment to hospitals We can pay your veterinarian directly within minutes at checkout No automatic process to pay veterinarians directly
Age-based restrictions in payouts and coverage

We don’t discriminate—there’s no limit to coverage or payouts based on a pet’s age at sign-up

Older pets receive limited reimbursement and deductible options at enrollment
Breed-based restrictions in payouts and coverage We don’t exclude issues specific to certain breeds Certain breeds receive limited reimbursement and deductible options at enrollment
Birthday pricing We don’t increase your monthly cost just because your pet has a birthday Rates automatically increase in most states, because your pet gets older
Waiting periods We have one short 12-day waiting period before full coverage begins Full coverage doesn’t kick in until after the first 12 months

We can pay your veterinarian directly

Rather than having the traditional insurance reimbursement model, Trupanion has changed the game and created a process that, once again, puts our members first. We can pay your veterinarian directly, while you’re checking out. We don’t want you to pay out of pocket and we think you probably don’t either. And we don’t want you to have to worry about what’s going to get covered. In many cases, our direct pay option requires no paperwork and no phone calls from the pet owner.

Healthy Paws only reimburses pet owners once they have already paid their veterinary bill, or if you call in during their open hours and request a special pre-approval.

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.

We have no age-based restrictions in payouts or coverage

The Trupanion Plan provides extensive coverage for all pets from birth to 14 years old. We don’t discriminate by decreasing or restricting coverage options for older pets. We have one plan that’s always there, giving all pets the best care we have to offer. You’re always protected when you need it most. See our plan for full coverage details.

Healthy Paws adjusts their coverage amount and deductible options based on the age of your pet at enrollment. So the older your pet is, the lower their coverage percentage options and the higher the deductible.

See this on Healthy Paws’ website:

 AGE 3
Mixed breed dog
(31 - 59 lbs)

If the pet is 3 years old, Healthy Paws reimburses at standard rates.

Healthy Paws mixed breed dog age 3 information

 AGE 7
Mixed breed dog
(31 - 59 lbs)

If the pet is at least 7 years of age, the reimbursement options decrease and the deductible amount increases.

Healthy Paws mixed breed dog age 7 information

 AGE 10
Mixed breed dog
(31 - 59 lbs)

If the pet is over the age of 10, there is only one reimbursement option available, and only one deductible choice.

Healthy Paws mixed breed dog age 10 information

Healthy Paws website, Screenshot taken 11/25/2019.

We have no breed-based restrictions in payouts and coverage

Similar to how The Trupanion Plan doesn’t discriminate in coverage based on a pet’s age at enrollment, it also does not restrict coverage for different breeds at enrollment. No matter what breed or mix you have, your pet will always be able to choose the highest quality coverage that the Trupanion plan offers.

Healthy Paws changes their coverage amount and deductible options based on your pet’s breed. Even if your pet is a mixed breed, like a Great Dane mix or a Bulldog mix, they may not be eligible for Healthy Paws’ highest level of reimbursement or all deductible options.

The examples below show how the reimbursement and deductible options available to pet owners through Healthy Paws change based on both the breed of a pet and their age. All three screenshots were taken on the same day, in the same ZIP code.

Healthy Paws coverage detail screenshot

Healthy Paws website, Screenshot taken 9/5/2019.

We don’t raise rates just because your pet has a birthday

Trupanion is unique because we are the only provider of medical insurance for pets that uses your pet’s age at enrollment to determine your plan’s price—for life. For example, if you sign up your puppy at 8 weeks old, we’ll price them as an 8-week old for their entire life.

This doesn’t mean your rates will never change as a Trupanion member. All insurers must increase or decrease rates due to changes in the cost of veterinary care. And while your pet has Trupanion coverage, your monthly cost will go up or down based upon the underlying costs of all pets within your subcategories. That’s how we share the risk fairly among all of our members.

But some providers, including Healthy Paws, use what’s called “birthday pricing.” Birthday pricing means that an insurer will automatically raise your rate when your pet gets older—on top of all other increases that account for inflation or other factors.

Trupanion considers cost for the entire life of your pet. Our pricing reflects a shared risk with all responsible, loving pet owners like you that sign up their pets at the same age. This is regardless of whether the pet was signed up last month or last decade. When we have a price increase, it ultimately means that we can continue to offer our members the same value as we always have. This is our pricing promise to our members.

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. However, Healthy Paws has a 12-month waiting period for any treatment associated with hip dysplasia, an inherited condition that can affect many dog breeds. If you enroll your pet after their sixth birthday, Healthy Paws will not offer any coverage for hip dysplasia at all.

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. According to Trupanion’s claims data, a Golden Retriever is 3.1 times 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 about $1,900 annually. 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 $5,000.00. 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.

See this on Healthy Paws' website:

Healthy Paws policy information screenshot

Healthy Paws, Pet Health Insurance Policy, page 2, Section II. Exclusions & Limitations, 1. General Exclusions. Screenshot taken 10/24/19.

We love informed decisions. See our plan for full coverage details.

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