Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws

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.

Are these features important to you?

Vet Direct Pay Can pay participating hospitals directly No automatic process to pay veterinarians directly
Complete coverage You're fully covered after 30 days You're not fully covered for the first 12 months
No age-based restrictions in payouts and coverage Does not discriminate based on age Limits coverage for older pets
Flexible monthly payment Pick your price by selecting a deductible from $0 to $1,000 Only 3 deductible options available and they are difficult to change
24/7 support  Award-winning customer care available 100% of the week Open less than 46% of the week.
M-F 6am-6pm, Sat-Sun 8am-5pm

Vet Direct Pay 

Only Trupanion can pay veterinarians directly with our unique software system that can close claims in as little as 5 minutes.

There’s no more paying out of pocket and waiting for a reimbursement check. All you have to do is pay your portion of the bill, and we cover the rest directly with your veterinary hospital.

In many cases, our direct pay option requires no paperwork or phone calls from the pet owner.

Healthy Paws only reimburse 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.

Complete coverage

Waiting periods are normal with pet health insurance companies.

After a waiting period of 5 days for injuries and 30 days for illnesses, the Trupanion policy covers all hereditary and congenital conditions without limits, as long as they are not pre-existing.

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 6th 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. 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 more than $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.

See this on Healthy Paws' website:

A screenshot of Healthy Paws' exclusions and limitations

Healthy Paws, Pet Health Insurance Policy, page 2, Section II. Exclusions & Limitations, 1. General Exclusions. Screenshot taken 5/02/2016.

Age-based restrictions in payouts and coverage

A Trupanion policy provides 90% coverage for all pets from birth to 14 years old and never decreases or restricts coverage options at enrollment. We have one simple plan that gives all pets the best care we have to offer, so you’re always protected when you need it most. No matter what deductible you choose (from $0 to $1,000),

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. These restrictions apply to pets five years and older.

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.

Reimbursement Option Image

 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.

Reimbursement options for ages 6 & 7

 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.

Plan for Pets Age 8+

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

Flexible monthly payments

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. 

Healthy Paws has three deductible options: $100, $250, and $500. 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. This makes it difficult to ensure that you can fit coverage into your monthly budget.

See this on Healthy Paws' website:


Healthy Paws, Pet Health Insurance Policy, page 4, Section III. General Conditions, 7. Screenshot taken 5/03/2016.

We're here for you 24/7

Our call center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on holidays. Try calling them at 3am on Sunday to see if your emergency treatment is covered, and all you’ll get is an automated robot. Trupanion remains committed to our members whenever they need us. We know that those midnight calls can make a difference to the way your veterinarian treats a life-threatening situation and that’s why we make sure we’re there for you whenever you might need us.

Healthy Paws is only available for coverage questions 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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