Most pet owners want to protect their pets with insurance in an effort to counterbalance steeply-priced veterinarian bills and medicine. But pre-existing conditions can make finding pet insurance challenging if not impossible.
Because medical care for dogs is becoming increasingly expensive, pet owners want the peace of mind insurance can provide in case their dog gets ill or wounded.
Since pet insurance companies want to earn money, most chose not to insure dogs with pre-existing conditions such as allergies, orthopedic issues or cancer, which can cost thousands of dollars to treat.
If you find yourself in that situation, there are other options to pursue to pay for vet care.
Three ways to pay
- If your dog is a certain breed, such as a Labrador retriever, you can find support through some agencies or support groups for the breed.
- Some vets will work with you to set up a payment plan. That way your dog can get medical assistance immediately without forcing you to pay the full cost upfront. The American Pet Hospital Association’s Helping Domestic Pets Fund provides financial assistance to needy pet owners.
- Several states provide additional access to pet-friendly health insurance plans and other pet companies. Not sure where to look? Check with your vet.
What are pre-existing conditions?
Owners should apply for pet insurance when their dogs are young and less likely to have pre-existing conditions. The older the dog, the more likely the insurance company will ask for health information or require a physical exam and/or lab tests to ensure the dog doesn’t have pre-existing conditions. Polices purchased once your dog has a condition such as allergies or chronic ear infections may exclude those conditions or charge you more for coverage.
Pre-existing conditions are issues or illnesses that the pet may have shown signs of or been clinically diagnosed with before the effective date of the insurance policy. The majority of insurance providers will use the particular date you first observed the condition, certainly not the day it was clinically diagnosed by a vet. A few companies may possibly cover an issue that happened previously in case it was “cured” and not regarded as a persistent condition (no signs and symptoms or cured within the last six months).
To sum up, many responsible owners will do all things in their power to keep their pets healthy and help them recover if they get sick. If your dog has pre-existing conditions, you can find options to help your pet get healthy again.