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
|No age-based restrictions in payouts and coverage||
Does not discriminate based on pet's age at enrollment
|Limits reimbursement and deductible options at enrollment for older pets|
|No breed-based restrictions in payouts and coverage||Does not discriminate based on pet's breed||Limits reimbursement and deductible options at enrollment for certain breeds|
|No birthday pricing||No rate increases just because your pet has a birthday||In most states, they will automatically increase rates because your pet gets older|
|Complete coverage||You're fully covered after 30 days||You're not fully covered for the first 12 months|
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.
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.
We love informed decisions. See our policy for complete coverage details.
Mixed breed dog
(31 - 59 lbs)
If the pet is 3 years old, Healthy Paws reimburses at standard rates.
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.
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.
We love informed decisions. See our policy for full coverage details.
Breed-based restrictions in payouts and coverage
Similar to how a Trupanion policy 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 policy 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 change based on both the breed of a pet, as well as their age. All three screenshots were taken on the same day, in the same zip code.
1 year-old mixed breed dog
1 year-old Bernese Mountain Dog
8 year-old Bernese Mountain Dog
We don't raise rates just because your pet has a birthday
Trupanion is unique because we are one of the only pet medical insurance company to always use your pet’s age at enrollment to determine your policy’s price.
In most states Healthy Paws, like all other pet health insurance companies besides Trupanion, use what is called “birthday pricing.”
Birthday pricing means that an insurer is likely to automatically raise your rates when a pet has a birthday, on top of any rate changes for inflation or other factors.
If your pet has a Trupanion policy, in our eyes they will always be the age they were when they enrolled.
For example, if your dog enrolls when they’re 8 weeks old, we’ll price them as an 8-week old for their entire life. They’ll be a puppy forever—both in your heart and your monthly cost.
When it comes to pricing, Trupanion is different. We know medical insurance is for the life of your pet, so we share the risk with all responsible, loving pet owners like you that enroll their pets at the same age, regardless if they enrolled last month or last decade.
Now, we aren’t saying that your rates will never change if you enroll with Trupanion. Like Healthy Paws or other companies, we too must increase or decrease rates due to changes in the cost of veterinary care.
During your time as a Trupanion member, your monthly payment will go up or down based upon the underlying costs of all pets within your sub-categories. That’s how we share the risk fairly among all Trupanion members.
A price increase ultimately means that we can continue to offer our members the same value as we always have. It’s not about making money, it’s about providing our members what we said we would.
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:
Healthy Paws, Pet Health Insurance Policy, page 2, Section II. Exclusions & Limitations, 1. General Exclusions. Screenshot taken 5/02/2016.