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We know that things can happen to your companion unexpectedly. Like humans, it’s important that our furry family members are protected financially as well. We strongly recommend companion health insurance for every furry companion. Health insurance will ease the stress of financial consideration when making decisions for your cat’s routine and sick health care. Northgate Animal Hospital has no direct relationship with any insurance company. Clients file claims directly with their chosen insurance company. More information can be found on our lifestyle guideline pages.

The numbers

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), more than 1.4 million companions in the U.S. and 200,000 animals in Canada were insured at year-end 2015. The vast majority of companion health insurance plans purchased—97 percent—covered accidents, illnesses, and preventive care.

How companion insurance works

Like insurance for humans, deductibles, copayments, premiums, and coverage can vary widely between the different companion policies and companies. The biggest difference between companion insurance and human insurance: You typically have to pay your veterinary bill in full and wait for the insurance company to reimburse you, although, some insurance companies will now pay the veterinary hospital directly, which decreases your upfront out-of-pocket costs.

Factors that will affect your companion insurance cost

Do you have a dog? A cat? How old is your fur baby? Is your pup a purebred or a mixed breed? Some breeds are more susceptible to various health conditions, which will impact your premium.

NAPHIA found that the average annual premium for companion health insurance in 2015 was $464 in the U.S. and $537 in Canada. While those numbers may seem high, consider what you might have to pay if your fur baby faces an unexpected health emergency.

Check out this article by Consumer Reports, which compares the costs of several companion insurance companies for two specific companions: a dog and a cat.

What’s covered?

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, in addition to the typical accident, illness, and wellness coverage, there are several less common (and more expensive) conditions that companion health insurance will cover:

  • Treatment of hereditary conditions
  • Organ and bone marrow transplants
  • Mobility aids (prosthetics, carts, and orthotic devices)
  • Stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP)
  • Laser therapy
  • Behavior modification therapy
  • 3D printing (3D CT scans)
  • Alternative therapies (massage, acupuncture, cannabis therapy, and more)
  • Cyberknife radiation therapy and other oncology care
  • Pacemaker implantation

If you have questions about companion insurance, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We’re here to help you make the best decision for you and your family.

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