Our pets are family members. They share our spaces and deserve a lot of attention.
More than 85 million American households have at least one pet, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
However, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association reports that less than 3 million pets had health insurance by the end of 2019 – although pet insurance can save you money and heartache for the rest of your pet's life.
Most animal insurance companies offer accident and disease protection to protect you from unexpected veterinary bills. But what about routine veterinary visits? Not all pet insurance offers health coverage for routine care such as flea / tick prevention or heartworm medicine.
Instead, you would pay 1
So for this post I have evaluated more than 30 animal insurance companies to find the best health plans. Some plans call health coverage "preventive care" or "routine care" plans.
Resource: Show free examples of animal insurance for 6 months to 2 year old dogs and here for 3 to 5 year olds (no email address or phone number required).
The 7 best health plans
Here are our seven best choices for companies that have routine care insurance:
PetPremium Preventative Care Plans
PetPremium pet fall insurance offers and disease plans with a supplement for preventive care.
When you purchase your company's accident or total coverage plan, you can customize your annual benefits with flexible expense limits and deductibles.
These policies – excluding preventative care supplement – start at $ 12.28 for dogs and $ 9.83 for cats ($ 250 deductible / $ 2,500 annual benefit ceiling / 80% refund rate).
Then, if you decide to add any care to your insurance plan, you have two choices:
- Basic Preventive Care Supplement: Adds $ 9.95 per month and can reimburse up to $ 250 per year for routine dental cleanings, annual checkups, deworming services, dog heart worms. or cat FELV, fecal test, dog DHLPP or cat FVRCP, dog rabies and Lyme disease or cat FIP.
- Primary Preventive Care Supplement: Adds $ 24.95 per month and includes the same services as the Basic Add-on but with a higher annual payout amount of $ 700. Prime Prevention Care also covers prevention of heartworm and fleas / ticks, health certificate, urine test and blood tests and bordetella from dogs.
Keep in mind that the money you spend and receive compensation through a preventive care supplement does not apply to your deductible or coverage ceiling for your accident and sickness coverage.
And note that the maximum payouts for a health plan are not easy to reach because each individual service has its own small maximum annual payout. For example, if your dog needed $ 1,000 in blood work, your Prime Preventive Care Supplement can only reimburse $ 100 for that procedure.
In other words, your dog or cat would need many different procedures during the year for your benefits to reach maximum payout.
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Pets Best Wellness Plans
Pets Best Insurance Services offers three pet insurance plans that cover prescriptions, surgery, exam fees, alternative therapies and other services.
All three plans include accidents, illness, emergency care, hereditary conditions and prescriptions, but vary in their annual coverage limits.
Like most top pet insurance companies, Pets Best's plans are highly customizable to fit your budget and pet needs, and they provide pet insurance with wellness supplements.
Like PetPremium, Pets Best has two levels of wellness supplements:
- EssentialWellness costs $ 16 per month extra and will reimburse up to $ 305 per year for rabies vaccinations, flea / tick prevention, heartworm prevention, titer vaccine , a physical health examination, heartworm test or FELV screen, blood, fecal or parasite examination, microchipping, urine analysis and deworming.
- BestWellness costs $ 26 per month extra and will reimburse up to $ 535 per year for the procedures outlined above for the EssentialWellness plan – plus reimbursement for spaying / castration and tooth cleaning. So both plans cover the same preventative examinations, tests and procedures in addition to spay / neuter and tooth cleaning, which is not included in the cheaper supplement.
The main difference between these plans is the amount of compensation per procedure, which is higher with the BestWellness plan.
For example, Essential Wellness covers travel / attachment prevention for $ 50 and microchipping for $ 20, while the BestWellness plan includes these at $ 65 and $ 40 respectively.  You can choose the health plan supplement when you register initially or within 30 days after you joined. Otherwise, you will have to wait for your annual review to participate.
As I pointed out with PetPremium, your dog or cat would need a lot of health procedures to maximize your annual benefit of $ 305 or $ 535. No deductible is required to claim these benefits.
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GEICO Wellness Rewards Program (Non-insurance)
GEICO's supplement for Wellness Rewards offers a different view health plans.
It is not an insurance plan but rather a standalone routine care budgeting tool that helps you plan for your pet's regular care.
If you have read this far, you have already noticed that health plans have dubious value – your pet would need a lot of health care for you to walk smoothly for a certain year.
So this GEICO health care supplement acknowledges the problem. Your monthly payments fund an account that you can withdraw from when your pet needs his or her physical examination, vaccines, heartworm medication, tooth cleaning and other qualified procedures.
There is no co-payment or deductible, and it is not subject to a 14-day waiting period. After all, this is your money and not an insurance contract.
GEICO policyholders also have 24/7 access to WhiskerDocs, a helpline that connects them directly with a veterinary expert to answer any pressing health questions.
Of course, the Wellness Rewards program is only available when you have a GEICO pet insurance. GEICO's plans cost a little more than most other insurers' plans. But they also include insurance coverage for behavioral therapy, destructive behavior and prostheses, and mobility assistance.
Also includes alternative therapies and rehabilitation, veterinary fees, cancer treatment and race-specific conditions such as dysplasia. With GEICO plans, you can choose your annual deduction, repayment percentage and annual coverage ceiling.
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Banfield Pet Hospital Health Plans
Banfield Pet Hospital is a comprehensive, nationwide network of more than 900 pet hospitals and clinics, including PetSmart Animal Health Clinics stores.
Instead of selling traditional animal health insurance, Banfield Pet Hospital offers routine animal insurance through an optimal health plan that covers healthcare services used for diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
These services include extensive examinations, unlimited office visits, nutritional consultations and dental care.
Banfield Pet Hospital does not provide accidents.
Banfield Pet Hospital has three levels of health coverage plus early care and early care plus health plans for puppies and kittens under six months old.
Depending on which plan you choose, Banfield Pet Hospital coverage includes dental cleaning and diseases, hereditary, congenital and chronic conditions, cancer and breeding. Although it does not cover grooming like nail lists, you can plan these procedures at the same time to save time.
Actual treatments covered by these Banfield plans cover diagnostic testing, surgery, hospitalization, prescription drugs, emergency and special care, behavioral therapy, prostheses, and mobility aids.
Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism and kidney disease, require additional coverage options.
A health policy also provides a discount of up to 20 percent on additional services and products offered through the hospital. Pet owners who want to shop for supplies during veterinary visits may like the convenience of Banfield's routine care plan.
And just to be clear: You can not use this insurance anywhere except Banfield sites.
Costco Wellness Plans (for Canadian Pet Parents)
Costco members living in Canada can access health insurance pet insurance, with discounts of up to 15 percent.
Costco has partnered with Pet Plus Us, a Canadian insurance company, to provide a wide range of customizable plans to choose from, including a comprehensive plan covering accidents, illnesses and routine preventive care.
You can also choose a stand-alone health plan that only contains routine examinations, treatments and procedures.
Customizable accident and illness plans allow you to choose a coverage ceiling of $ 7,500 or $ 15,000 and a repayment amount of 70, 80 or 90 percent. Deductibles range from $ 100 to $ 700 and depend on the age of the animal.
The stand-alone or supplementary health plan has no deductible and no co-payment.
By paying a monthly premium, Costco covers 100 percent of scheduled services, including annual surveys and six-month surveys for puppies and older dogs.
Also includes deworming, fecal examinations, urine analysis, spay and neuter, microchip implantation, heartworm testing, flea treatment and prevention, nail trimming and routine dental care.
Nationwide Pet Insurance Wellness Plan
Nationwide Insurance, a national full-service insurance company, has acquired the former VPI Pet Insurance Company to join the growing animal insurance line.
Nationwide offers several programs, including two health coverage supplements:
- Wellness Basic: $ 12 for cats / $ 18 for dog wellness plans – can reimburse up to $ 400 per year.
- Wellness Plus: $ 17 for cats / $ 22 for dog wellness plans – can reimburse up to $ 500 per year.
Both plans allow for two physical examinations per year and can reimburse you $ 30 to $ 50 for behavioral examination and / or treatment, vaccination or titer, heartworm or FELV / FIV test, fecal test, deworming, nail trimming, microchipping, health certificate, braid / tick control or heartworm prevention.
In addition to all of the above, both plans allow you to choose one of the following procedures each year for partial replacement: blood tests, X-rays, ECG.
The difference between these two supplements: The Wellness Plus plan pays a little more per procedure. As I said earlier, with restrictions on each procedure, you would need to have almost all procedures during the year to reach the annual maximum benefit of $ 400 or $ 500.
Overall, Nationwide plans pet insurance plans – covering accidents and illnesses with a supplement for well-being – are efficient and easy to access online.
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24PetWatch Wellness Plan
24PetWatch provides medical and health coverage for dogs and cats, with multiple levels of pet insurance that includes health, in a range of customizable insurance options.
The most comprehensive plans through 24PetWatch cover hereditary, congenital and chronic conditions, ambulance, rehabilitative treatments, prescription foods and medications and alternative therapies.
All plans replace by 80 percent.
Annual coverage ceilings range from $ 3,000 to $ 20,000, and the deductible ranges from $ 100 to $ 1,000, depending on the plan and your preferences.
Pets with microchips get a five percent discount.
The routine health plan is available for as little as $ 10 a month and includes annual checkups and regular treatments such as fecal monitors, heartworm samples and microchip implants.
The more comprehensive Advanced Wellness starts at $ 25 per month and covers basic routine health services along with flea prevention medication and dentistry.
The Advanced Wellness plan has a higher payout than a routine wellness plan.
For example, the routine plan covers $ 80 against spay / neuter, while the Advanced plan pays $ 100.
All of these plans have 24/7 access to a veterinary line for the first year.
Shopping For Pet Health Plans
Is A Pet Health Plan Worth Your Money? Often it is not.
Yes, the health of your pet is very important. But insurance is available to protect you from unexpected expenses that can wreak havoc on your family budget.
Based on this definition, accident or sickness insurance makes a lot of sense. Your puppy can swallow a towel. Your adult dog may break his leg. This unexpected vet bill could break the bank.
And then your accident cover can replace you 70%, 80% or maybe even 90% of this bill that you never saw coming, which makes you happy that you bought that policy.
But for well-being, routine or preventive care, you can plan ahead. You can set aside $ 100 a month, perhaps, to use for your cat's vaccines, physical examination and flea / tick prevention.
If you did not need all the money you had saved, you can spend it on something else.
Who should buy health care coverage?
Someone whose pet needs all or almost all of the individual procedures covered by a health plan should at least consider an additional or independent health coverage plan.
Since a small, individual coverage ceiling applies to each of the covered procedures, you must get most (if not all) of these procedures to maximize your premium dollars.
Here's what to do:
- Decide how much you would pay out of pocket for the covered services you need each year. It often costs up to $ 500.
- Write down the annual premiums required to purchase this health care coverage.
If your expected payment of the health plan exceeds the money you would pay in premiums during the year, you will be at the top by receiving health care coverage.
If your payout is equal to or less than the amount of your annual premiums, there is no point: stick to the accident and health insurance coverage that provides reassurance that you would have some help paying for expensive – and unexpected – pet care.
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