I use healthy paws. Love them. We have a $250 deductible and 80% coverage after that.
The price goes up a bit each year, just to account for inflation I think. (Or perhaps the fact older pets are more likely to require care? Unsure. But its unrelated to the fact my dog has drained them of thousands of dollars baha.) It started at 35/month and has gone up a dollar or two each year so now it’s 41/month. We’ve had our dog/insurance for 4 years, to give you an idea of the rate of increase in premium.
Is it worth it? Yes–at least if your dog is healthy RIGHT NOW or you’re getting a new dog. (or cat, or any other pet insert your pet of choice wherever I say dog..) This is because they do not cover pre-existing stuff, so it’s too late to get it if you already know your dog is ill/hurt.
In our case we got it the moment we adopted her, so the only thing we knew is she had some skin allergies (she was bald from all the scratching :(). Surprisingly, since the vet who saw her before we got her said the allergies were to fleas (she was adopted out by someone who returned her, but gave us her vet records), any allergy to anything else is covered. So for example when she gets vaccines she needs an antihistamine shot before her vaccine to prevent her from breaking out in to hives, and that’s covered.
Anyway, after we had her for about 5-6 months she went lame in a back leg. Long story short we found out she had luxating patellas in both back legs. The one she was lame in was actually less severe than the one she was leaning on–she had just gotten used to the one she was leaning on to never have her patella in its proper groove (OMG OWWWW!). So our options were have a 2 year old dog that can’t walk or get surgery. With the insurance it was a no brainer, thankfully. On EACH LEG the cut her femur, rotated it, and then secured it to metal plates; deepend her knee grooves, and repinned a ligament for her patella. On her worse leg they also had to cut her shin bone, rotate that, and secure it to metal plates.
Unfortunately her second surgery (the more intense one on the worse leg) gave her a hospital-grade staph infection. She was sick for ages, because of course it was resistant to every antibiotic we tried. Eventually the vet decided the staph was “hibernating” on her metal plates, so he had to go back in and remove the plates (at this point the bones had healed, her issue was the infection now) so that her body could purge the staph with the help of antibiotics. Luckily that worked and she did finally heal from the infection. But now it’d been over 6 months of putting 0 weight on her staph-infected leg so her muscle had atrophied to the point she couldn’t use it… so she had to go to twice-weekly physical therapy (also covered!). It took 4 months of that before she could finally walk on all 4s well enough to quit PT.
All in all the bill should’ve been around $25,000. With insurance and a very kind gesture by the hospital we paid around $3000.
I want to talk about the kind gesture because while it was the vet hospital that did it, the insurance also was stellar about it: So basically the surgeon hadn’t known her shin would need surgery when he gave us a quote for her worse leg. So he’s in there, working on her, and realizes the issue. He decides rather than call us and get us to agree to let him work on her shin he’d just do it and waive any fees over the high end of his quote. As a result he waives about $1500 worth of fees. Here’s the crazy part: the insurance decides they will reimburse us for the full cost, nevermind the waiver. So we get back 80% of not just what WE paid but we also get 80% of that $1500 from the insurance as well! We actually MADE money on that surgery.
I was afraid it had to be a mistake so I contacted Healthy Paws to point out their mistake to them. They said no mistake: they cover 80% of the cost, the waiver is none of their business.
disclaimer: the numbers I say ($25,000 total cost;$3,000 paid ;$1,500 waived) are ballparks. It’s been 3 years or so and I honestly don’t remember the exact totals anymore, but all of those are more or less right. Sometimes when I tell this story I also include the $500 we had to pay for her spay surgery and vaccines right before all this went down. Neuter/spay is not covered by pet insurance so that was totally out of pocket.