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
For a detailed look at Healthy Paws, see Healthy Paws Comparison Sheet.
Healthy Paws has offered pet insurance since 2010.
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.
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 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.
Healthy Paws covers cancer conditions as long as the condition is not pre-existing and has not occurred
during the waiting period.
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.
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
- 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
- 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 research what customers are saying about the company.
A company may have the 5 components that should be part of a pet insurance
plan, but the company may not be a hit with customers. Sites to check
include but are not limited to, Yelp.com and PetInsuranceReview.com.
Things to look for include but are not limited to: How fast are payments
paid?, What are customers saying about the pre-existing conditions policy?,
How often are claims denied and for what reason?, What is the customer
service experience like?
- 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
- 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.
AKC | ASPCA
| Embrace | Figo | Healthy Paws | PetFirst
| PetPlan | Pets Best
| 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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