In the comments of my 3rd part of this series, ASPCA insurance was mentioned several times as well as Pets Health Plan, both of which are through the Hartville Group. Neither were in the group of insurances I researched in the earlier posts, and while I have no intention of trying to write about every insurance out there, I couldn’t bring myself to continue with some of the more specific issues I want to cover in depth until I brought myself up to speed on these other two plans.
So that is what this post is – the type of research I did for part 3 & 4 of this series, but just for ASPCA and Pets Health Plan. That will include an overview of their options and general cost, as well as reviews, if I can find them.
- They had a wide range of policies, 5 plans total, from Accidents only up through Accidents, Illnesses, and various “wellness” coverages for regular vet visits, and finally the most pricey policy also includes “continuing coverage for chronic and long term conditions that occur in a previous plan year.” The price ranges for the entire range for cats is $6.99/month – $67.14/month; for dogs it is $8.99/month – $76.69/month.
- There is a $10.50/year “Issuance Fee”, which is waived if you pay your policy annually
- Additional premiums for certain breeds, ages, and metro areas
- Payment schedule options: monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually
- Payment options: credit card or automatic check withdrawal
- Ages for Initial Enrollment: cats, 8 weeks to 15 years; dogs, 8 weeks to 13 years. Cats and dogs can enroll at any age for the accident only policy.
- No coverage for congenital or hereditary problems
- Though I didn’t see it specified on the web site, I was told by Laura Bennett (of Embrace Pet Insurance) that ASPCA is a “Usual, Customary, Reasonable” type of insurance. (as opposed to a benefit schedule based insurance) I did my best to muddle through the differences between these types of insurance in one of the previous posts, though I’m not an expert by any means!
- There is a fairly extensive list of Exclusions, which include things like torn ACL’s. I would have thought an ACL tear would be covered as a normal accidental injury, but it is not covered and they don’t explain their reasoning.
Now for the specifics. The five plans:
- Safety – accidents only, $6.99/month for cats, $8.99/month for dogs. They can be enrolled at any age, any health, and any breed is eligible. Limits: $2500/incident; $8000/year.
- Primary – Accidents plus illness coverage; starts at $11.58/month for cats, $16.61/month for dogs. Limits: $1500/incident; $8000/year. Note: this is basically “Safety” plus illness coverage, but notice you have less coverage per incident; this means for the same accident you’d be covered less on an incident basis than under “Safety”.
- Advantage – Accidents, plus illness, plus some “wellness” costs; starts at $23.11/month for cats, $30.50/month for dogs. Limits: $3500/incident, $11,000/year.
- Premiere – Advantage, plus additional tests, vaccines, heartworm medication, and an annual dental cleaning; starts at $47.31/month for cats, $54.10/month for dogs. Limits: $5000/incident, $13000/year.
- Sterling – Advantage, plus continuous coverage for chronic and long-term conditions that occur in a previous year; starts at $67.14/month for cats, $76.69/month for dogs. Limits: 2500/incident, 13000/year.
Mo was right – that is a huge jump in cost between Advantage and Sterling just for continuous coverage.
No reviews on ASPCA’s insurance, but based on this blog post on Embrace’s site, it is a very new insurance, so people don’t have that much experience with, and those who do aren’t reviewing it!
Okay, now to Pets Health Plan. Overview:
- Usual, Customary, Reasonable (as opposed to benefit schedule)
- any age, breed, health is eligible for enrollment in the accident only plan
- all other plans: max age for initial enrollment for cats is 15, for dogs it is 13.
- $100 annual deductible, after which 80% of “usual customary reasonable” expenses are covered
- lost and found tag covered on all plans
- $10.50 annual Issuance Fee, unless the policy is paid on an annual payment schedule
- Chinese Shar-Pei’s are eligible for accident only (“Accident”) coverage
- multiple pet discount: pay your regular premium for the highest-rated pet and receive a 10% discount for up to two additional pets on the same plan
- holistic medicine is not covered
Specifics: (comparison chart)
- Accident = accident only; hospitalization, xrays, surgery $6.99/month for cats, $8.99/month for dogs. They can be enrolled at any age, any health, and any breed is eligible. Limits: $2500/incident; $8000/year.
- Basic = accident plus illness; starts at $11.58 for cats and $16.61 for dogs; maximum benefit of $8,000.00 per year, with a $1,500.00 per incident limit.
- Value = Basic plus annual physical and standard vaccines; starts at $23.11 for cats and $30.50 for dogs; maximum benefit of $11,000.00 per year, with a $3,500.00 per incident limit
- Choice = Value plus flea prevention and “advanced” vaccines; starts at $47.31 for cats and $54.10 for dogs; maximum benefit of $13,000.00 per year, with a $5,000.00 per incident limit
- Best = Value plus ongoing coverage for certain long term and chronic conditions; starts at $67.14 for cats and $76.79 for dogs; maximum benefit of $13,000.00 per year, with a $2,500.00 per incident limit
Basically, it is the same plans as ASPCA, and again, I could find no reviews for this insurance.
I linked the exclusion page already, but it is worth taking a second look. Specifically:
Pre-existing and/or recurring illness or injury prior to the effective date, unless 180 days have past since cure and/or last treatment
This could be really good news for people. Aside from hereditary or congenital problems, it sounds like even something like diabetes might be covered as long as they are healthy for 6 months. I don’t know if there are similar clauses in all insurances, I haven’t noticed it until this one. (And I’m too lazy to go back and look!) This is a question I’d ask of an insurance person, though. For all I know, feeding prescription food is considered “treatment” and thus you can never get past it.
Still, there are less serious health issues, like bladder infections (not serious if treated quickly, anyway), which I imagine this is meant for, and which the insurance would come in handy. Maybe I will go back and look into after all…in another post.