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Checking out the benefits of pet health insurance

Updated: Friday, March 21 2014, 10:54 PM CDT
Written by: Ewa Roman (ERoman@sbgtv.com)

Earlier this week, CBS 21 News met up with Leo, one of two police dogs within the Lancaster City Police Department. That day we found out Leo saw the vet for allergies and his handler,  Officer Ryan Hockley, told us that the department is looking into buying pet health insurance, saving the department and taxpayers hundreds of dollars.

As we spoke to pet parents, we found out that many people didn’t know they could do the same thing for their pets. One local veterinarian says only between one and two percent of pet owners, have health insurance for their pets.

One year old Studebaker is at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County to have doctor Jennifer Fletcher look at stitches in his leg. His owner Mike says only recently  he started thinking about buying health insurance  for his pet.

“I think it’s great. I have 9 dogs and I’m thinking it might really be nice for me, because I run field and hunting dogs and they’re prone to injury,” said Mike.

If you don’t have pet health insurance you could end of paying thousands. One company’s website shows that treating cancer can cost you more than $8,000. And if they swallow something and need surgery to remove it, that can be more than $6,000.

After doing some research, CBS 21  found a list of top five companies that provide pet health insurance. Some cover preventative measures as well as pre-existing conditions. Getting a quote is as easy as typing in your pet’s name and filling out a few other details. Then you can chose a plan, deductible and reimbursement.

“Yeah, people don’t know about it,” said Veterinarian Jennifer Fletcher, Animal Hospital of Dauphin County.

According to www.gopetplan.com every six seconds, a pet parent is faced with a vet bill for more than $1,000.

“We use some of the same equipment  and medication that medical doctors do and it’s the same cost to us, but people have to pay out of pocket, so they are able to get that unexpected surgery or unexpected accident paid for or at least helped out,” said Dr. Fletcher.

With most plans, you have to pay out of pocket first, but the companies say they will reimburse you after you file a claim. And annual checkups usually aren’t covered. But pet owners say the peace of mind alone is worth it.

Doctor Fletcher says if you don’t want to buy health insurance, another option is start a savings account. That way you’re prepared for unexpected vet visits.

And here’s something interesting, some employers now offer pet health insurance along with regular healthcare for their employees.

To get more information visit this website: http://www.top10bestpethealthinsurance.com/Checking out the benefits of pet health insurance


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