What Is a Pet Wellness Plan?
You want your pet to always be safe and secure, no matter what. Just like with people, our animal companions need a medical safety net in case they get sick or injured. However, insurance premiums can be very expensive even for animals that spend most of their time safely indoors.
Fortunately, a pet wellness plan offers a cheaper alternative for routine medical visits that every animal needs. In this article, we’ll be going over pet wellness plans and how they differ from traditional pet insurance.
What PWP Cover: Expected Veterinarian Procedures
Pet wellness plans spread the costs of annual routines, dental cleanings, and other expected medical costs over the course of a year. You’ll pay small amounts every month, usually landing around the lump sum you would pay at a regular vet appointment. Pet wellness plans are designed for costs that you expect to have, not medical emergencies.
The way this works is that wellness plans will reimburse you based on a list of procedures that every animal is expected to have.
Here are some examples of procedures wellness plans may cover:
- Annual checkups
- Blood work
- Dental care
- Heartworm test
Wellness plans will have a set amount of money that they’ll reimburse you for, depending on the procedure. For example, you may receive a $30 payout for a routine heartworm test.
Keep in mind that many wellness plans will have a maximum payout dollar amount per year. Meaning that you’ll need to calculate what medical procedures your pet usually has every year to determine if the pet wellness quote you receive is cost-effective.
You will also need to check what the plan covers to ensure that your animal needs the procedures listed. A plan may offer a high payout but will only cover one-time procedures, like spaying/neutering, that your pet has already had.
What PWP Doesn’t Cover: Unexpected Medical Emergencies
Pet wellness plans will not cover any unexpected medical emergencies that your pet has. While they will cover the costs of a veterinarian to diagnose the issue during a checkup, any medication or procedure that has to be done will need pet insurance.
Here are some examples of procedures wellness plans typically won’t cover:
- Stomach issues
- Prescription medications
Wellness Plan Cost
Pet wellness plans for cats are cheaper than they are for dogs due to cats’ longer lifespan and better general health. You can expect to pay $550 to $650 during the first year for the plan, and around $350 every subsequent year, according to SpendMeNot’s financial services blog.
For dogs, wellness plans differ, as a more thorough history is needed for an insurer to set a price for the premium. A dog’s medical history, breed, and size will all go into account for the premium that you play. Expect to pay somewhere around $900 for the first year of the plan and around $500 for every subsequent year. Again, this will be lower for small dogs that live longer.
Are Pet Wellness Plans Worth It?
Owning a pet means being prepared for regular medical and nonmedical expenses throughout the year. However, much like insurance for people, annual checkups and other procedures can be more affordable if their costs are spread throughout the year.
If you’re concerned about paying for routine medical procedures, a pet wellness plan is right for you.
However, if you have an outdoor animal with a very active lifestyle, or are otherwise concerned about the costs of unexpected medical emergencies, you should consider looking into pet insurance. Pet insurance might have higher premiums, but it will have much wider coverage.
Many companies that offer pet insurance will also offer wellness plans. For example, Lemonade and Trupanion offer a variety of coverage plans. Some insurance companies for people will also offer insurance plans for animals, although they may not have the more specific wellness plan option available.
Consider doing your own research into plans that best fit your unique pet. The best option will take a bit of searching around, but your feline/canine companion will be grateful in the long run!