A Vet's Review of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

by Frances Wilkerson, DVM

This review discusses coverage and payout structure

To get the most from this review, please read the Guide to Pet Insurance first.
For a detailed look at Healthy Paws, see Healthy Paws Comparison Sheet.



Overview

Healthy Paws has offered pet insurance since 2010.



Coverage Overview

In general, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance covers diagnostics and lab tests, surgery, treatments, hospitalization and prescription medications for accidents/injuries and illnesses.

Healthy Paws does not cover the exam fee for accidents/injuries and illnesses.

Non-routine dental coverage is limited.



Coverage For Chronic Diseases & Continual Coverage For Chronic Diseases

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance offers chronic diseases coverage and continual coverage for chronic conditions as part of the base policy, as long as the condition is not pre-existing and has not occurred during the waiting period.



Hereditary & Congenital Coverage

Hereditary and congenital conditions are covered, as long as the condition is not pre-existing and has not occurred during the waiting period.

Hip dysplasia coverage is only available to pets who are enrolled before 6 years of age. This coverage is subject to a 12 month waiting period. Also, your pet must not be showing signs and the disease must not have been diagnosed or suspected prior to enrollment or during the waiting period.



Cancer Coverage

Healthy Paws covers cancer conditions as long as the condition is not pre-existing and has not occurred during the waiting period.



Coverage For Breed Specific Conditions

Breed Specific Medical Conditions most often occur as hereditary and congenital conditions.

Hip dysplasia coverage is available as long as you meet certain criteria (See "Hereditary & Congenital Coverage Section" above).

All other breed specific medical conditions are covered as long as the condition is not pre-existing and has not occurred during the waiting period.





Maximum Payout Structure

Healthy Paws has an unlimited lifetime maximum payout structure. This payout structure will meet everyone's calculated "Worst Case Scenario Costs". (See: Picking the Right Maximum Payout)



Summary of Coverage and Payout Structure

Gotchas

  • Newer company
  • Does not cover exam fee for accidents/injuries and illnesses
  • Hip dysplasia coverage only available for pets enrolled before 6 years of age
  • Non-routine dental coverage is limited



Good Points

  • Strong underwriter
  • Coverage when travel out of state or to Canada or Mexico
  • Generous lifetime maximum payout structure
  • Provides comprehensive coverage for Hereditary & Congenital Diseases, Hip Dysplasia (if you meet the criteria), Chronic Diseases, and Cancer
  • Provides continual coverage for chronic diseases



Additional Comments Regarding All Pet Insurance Companies:

  • Make sure you understand what the waiting periods are.
  • Make sure you understand their bilateral conditions policy.
  • Make sure you understand any requirements that you must adhere to to maintain coverage.
  • Make sure you read the terms and conditions to get a thorough understanding of all exclusions.
  • Make sure you understand how and when your premium can increase.
  • If you change plan levels, there is a possibility that all medical conditions present under the old plan will be considered pre-existing in the new plan. Make sure you ask the company if this is the case.
  • For some companies, pre-existing conditions can be based on symptoms alone, a diagnosis is not needed. For example, if your pet had a cough before you applied for pet insurance and this cough was discussed and written in the pet's medical record, there is the possibility that all future cough conditions, no matter what the cause, would be considered pre-existing - even if there was no treatment given. Make sure you ask the company if this is the case.
  • Pet insurance companies are businesses. The top priority of any business is to make a profit for their stakeholders. Pet insurance companies can and may change your rates and terms to meet that top priority. A change of business ownership or underwriters can also be a catalyst for changes in your rates and terms.

    When you purchase pet insurance make sure you have a realistic understanding of this and how it can affect you.


Additional Reviews:

AKC | ASPCA | Embrace | Healthy Paws | PetFirst | PetPlan | Pets Best | Purina | Trupanion | VPI | 24 Pet Watch


**Disclaimer:This review is meant to supplement not replace your own due diligence. Please read all terms and conditions of the pet insurance plan before you buy.

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