The Importance of Pet Insurance
More than ever, people are choosing to purchase pet insurance to cover their pets’ medical expenses. Without pet insurance covering major mishaps and illnesses, many pet owners would struggle to afford the veterinary bills. However, pet insurance for pre-existing conditions is not always a sure thing. For the purposes of pet insurance, pre-existing conditions are defined not only as conditions your pet was diagnosed with before the insurance went into effect, but also conditions for which your pet showed symptoms.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-existing Conditions?
Most of the time, pet insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions. However, there are some exceptions, depending on what the insurance company defines as pre-existing conditions. In some cases, you can still get coverage from pet insurance with pre-existing conditions that are hereditary, congenital, or curable. Hereditary or congenital pre-existing conditions, for instance, are generally covered if your pet hasn’t shown any symptoms or been diagnosed when coverage begins. Your vet can help you find the right pet insurance, based on your pet’s specific needs. Let’s look a little closer at the different types of pre-existing conditions.
Curable Pre-existing Conditions in Pets
No matter how well you take care of your pet, sicknesses happen. If your pet has had a medical condition or illness and been cured of it, insurance will probably cover it the next time. Generally, insurance companies require 180 symptom-free days for a condition to be considered cure, although some companies require an entire year. Curable conditions include illnesses like urinary tract infections, upper respiratory infections, and vomiting or diarrhea that are not related to a chronic illness.
Incurable Pre-existing Conditions in Pets
Some conditions cannot be cured and must be managed instead. These types of conditions are generally excluded from pet insurance coverage if they were diagnosed before the policy went into effect. Examples of incurable conditions include osteoarthritis, cancer, allergies, diabetes, hip dysplasia, many types of heart disease, epilepsy, torn cruciate ligament, and intervertebral disc disease.
Are Bilateral Conditions Covered with Pet Insurance for Pre-existing Conditions?
Bilateral conditions are health conditions that can happen on both sides of a pet’s body. While it might not seem like this would impact insurance, it does, because if the pet was diagnosed with the condition on one side of the body before insurance went into effect, the insurance company won’t cover it, even if the next occurrence is on the other side of the body. For instance, if your pet has hip dysplasia on the right side, it is likely that it will develop on the left side as well. Knowing this, and knowing that hip dysplasia is incurable, the insurance company will exclude it. However, if your pet has a bilateral condition that is curable, it may be covered.
Examples of How Pre-existing Conditions Affect Pet Insurance Coverage
There are many different examples of pre-existing conditions, and they can affect pet insurance differently. Maybe your pet was found to have allergies before your policy went into effect. Even if he or she was not diagnosed, but was exhibiting symptoms, allergy treatments would not be covered under pet insurance. Another example would be a pet with inflammatory bowel disease. Maybe your vet noticed signs before you applied for pet insurance, but did not confirm a diagnosis. Even though the diagnosis was not official, because your pet showed symptoms before you signed up for your policy, neither diagnostic testing nor treatments would be covered. If your pet is prone to a condition like hip dysplasia because of the breed, hip dysplasia may not be covered by your insurance policy, even if there were no signs before the policy became effective. However, there are certain policies that have specific rules about hereditary conditions, so it’s best to check your individual policy to make sure.
Still Not Sure about Pet Insurance That Covers Pre-existing Conditions?
How does pet insurance work? Typically, you will need to pay for your pet’s treatment and be reimbursed by the insurance company. Especially if your pet has pre-existing conditions, you might want to consider alternative options, like a savings account, a medical credit card, or crowdfunding. How do pet insurance companies know about pre-existing conditions? When you file a claim, the insurance company will request your pet’s medical records from the vet and carefully review them. It is important that you be perfectly truthful on your application and your claims, because failing to disclose information is insurance fraud, which is very serious. Even if your pet insurance won’t cover certain pre-existing conditions, it’s still a good idea to get insurance, because it can save you a significant amount of money on vet bills.
Reed Animal Hospital’s Dedication to Providing Exceptional Care and Insurance Assistance
It’s smart to talk to your vet about insurance recommendations. At Reed Animal Hospital, we are happy to provide insurance assistance, as part of our commitment to always providing exceptional care. No matter what your pet needs, you can trust Reed Animal Hospital to treat your pets as if they were our own. Our goal is to help you and your pet enjoy a healthy, fulfilling life together, and in pursuit of that goal, our extraordinary team offers a wide range of services. We’ve got veterinarians, technicians, assistants, and client service representatives, all prepared to help you and your pet. We even help with referrals to specialty surgeons, many of whom will travel to our office to consult with your pet. For more information or to make an appointment, call us in Campbell at 408.369.1788, or in Saratoga at 408.647.2906, or contact us through our website.