Managing Veterinary Expenses
January 16, 2014
CSR Erin and Dr. Jen Seidl recently assembled some information about managing veterinary costs that is important to pass along. It is always a good idea to think about these issues before you’re in the middle of something unexpected!
“There are several ways to plan for the expected and unexpected costs of pet ownership. Expected veterinary expenses (yearly wellness exams, vaccinations, and food) in many cases can be covered by personal savings and credit. It is the unexpected veterinary expenses that may become more complicated to manage. Here is an overview of options in order to make more informed financial decisions.
Pet insurance is a way to plan for unexpected veterinary costs. It is a good option for individuals who can afford worthwhile coverage yet would not have the means to cover unexpected medical events such as emergencies, sudden illnesses, and managing chronic diseases.
In order to make your investment into pet insurance worthwhile, an insurance plan should have:
- Coverage for cancer, coverage for chronic disease, continual coverage for chronic diseases, coverage for hereditary & congenital diseases and coverage for medical conditions common to your pet’s breed & species
- A maximum payout structure that is suitable for your needs. The maximum payout means the maximum amount of money the insurance company will give you. There may be a maximum payout amount per year, per incident or per lifetime of your pet.
Evaluate if the following areas are included in the plan you intend to purchase or if they are considered “add-on” plans: behavioral therapy, prescription medications, wellness care, dental care, alternative therapy care. If electing to purchase as add-on coverage, be critical about what it would cost for coverage compared to out-of-pocket costs.
Top Rated Pet Insurance Companies to Consider as of 2013: Healthy Paws, Embrace, VPI, Trupanion and ASPCA. For an excellent overview of pet insurance, comparing pet insurance companies, and for professional and consumer reviews please visit Pet Insurance University (www.pet-insurance-university.com)
If you believe pet insurance is appropriate for you and your pet, purchase a plan as soon as possible. If you wait to purchase an insurance plan you run the risk of your pet developing “pre-existing” helath conditions that will no longer be eligible for coverage.
Care Credit is a credit card that offers low-interest and no-interest payment plans to cover veterinary and human medical expenses. Care Credit allows you to pay over time instead of a lump sum prior to treatment. Purchases made for $200 or more are eligible for 6 months of no interest. Anything under $200 will be charged 2.1% interest per month starting after the first billing cycle.
To see if you qualify for Care Credit, you will need to fill out an application. In the majority of cases, you will get an instant response regarding whether you are approved or not.
To submit an application online, go to www.carecredit.com. You may also reach them by phone at 1-800-677-0718.
Payment Banc is a payment management provider specializing in electronic payments for a set monthly fee extending over 6-12 months. It requires a soft credit check prior to approval to determine the amount of the down payment. A checking or savings account that allows automatic withdrawals is required in order to use Payment Banc.
Payment Banc is meant to be used for a larger balance that you may have trouble paying all at once. It is not meant to be used for small balances or recurring charges such as food or medication that you regularly pick up.
There is no interest on the account unless the balance is not paid within one year. However, there is a one-time $30 setup fee. Payments are automatically withdrawn from your account on the same day each month. You may choose the day of the month you’d like the payments to be made. The monthly payment amount is determined by how much it would take each month to have the balance paid off in 12 months. You can also do larger payments over a shorter period. The balance can be adjusted at any time; whether you chose to make an extra payment at the clinic or if you need to increase the balance due to additional visits.
Please ask us if you are eligible for this option.
As always, please call the clinic to speak to one of our team if you have any questions about today’s content!