How To Not Break The Bank With Pet Wellness Plans

Dog with barbell in mouth: Pet Wellness PlansMany pet parents don’t realize that pet insurance differs from human health insurance in that most veterinary pet insurance plans don’t cover routine wellness visits and other preventative services. Instead, pet insurance is designed to help you manage your budget for unplanned emergencies or illnesses that could break the bank. If you’re looking for a plan to cover routine pet visits, you still have options to cover pet wellness visits.

Article Overview

Pet Wellness Plans vs Pet Insurance: What’s The Difference?

Pet insurance plans typically cover accident and illness services but not routine wellness veterinary visits and other services. Here’s a general list of what pet wellness plans vs pet insurance offers. (Please know that wellness and pet insurance plans vary in what they cover based on company and coverage selected. Therefore, some policies may not cover what’s listed below — read the policy carefully before signing up.)

Wellness Plan CoveragePet Insurance Coverage
Annual examsAccidents
Spay/neuterIllnesses
Routine blood panelsEmergency care
Heartworm testingHereditary and congenital conditions
Fecal testingOrthopedic conditions
UrinalysesPrescription medications
Routine vaccinations (rabies, DHLP, bordetella, parvo, lyme, giardia)X-Rays, MRIs, Cat Scans, Ultrasounds, etc.
Teeth cleaningsTherapy
Flea, tick and heartworm treatmentsSurgery
MicrochipHospitilization

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How Do Wellness Plans Work?

In most cases, you must sign up for pet insurance, and the insurance company’s dog wellness plan is offered as an optional add-on. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies offer this add-on option. We hope to see more companies offering wellness plans in the future in addition to offering them as stand-alone plans.

Pet Insurance Companies That Offer Wellness Add-Ons

Note: We first review one of our top-ranked pet insurance companies (Pets Best) and then list other companies alphabetically.

Pets Best Routine Care Coverage

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We want to point out the benefits and features of this plan first as a wellness add-on to an excellent pet insurance product, since Pets Best is one of our top-ranked pet insurance companies.

Pets Best has two choices for typical add-on wellness or routine care plans, EssentialWellness and BestWellness. These wellness plans are add-ons to the health insurance product and cover many different services and treatments. However, there’s a per-item limit (unlike Embrace, which has an annual cap for all services).

You can only add the wellness plan within 30 days of enrolling in its pet veterinary insurance program or at its annual renewal. With Pets Best, you pay $14-30 per month (price depends on which plan you choose and the state you live in), but it’s based on a per item basis (i.e., annual exam is covered for $50, heartworm prevention is $30, etc.).

Pets Best has no deductible, and coverage begins the day after you enroll. Below are the specifics for Pets Best’s Routine Care plans.

 EssentialWellnessBestWellness
Price Per Month$16 ($14 in Washington)$26 ($30 in Washington)
Spay/Neuter - Teeth Cleaning$0$150
Rabies$15$15
Flea/Tick Prevention$50$65
Heartworm Prevention$30$30
Vaccination/Titer$30$40
Wellness Exam$50$50
Heartworm Test of FELV Screen$25$30
Blood, Fecal, Parasite Exam$50$70
Microchip$20$40
Urinalysis or ERD$15$25
Deworming$20$20
Total Annual Benefits$305$535

Read More About Pets Best In Our In-Depth Review

24PetWatch Wellness Coverage

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24PetWatch offers two wellness plans: Wellness Care Routine and Wellness Care Advanced.

Both plans have limits on what 24PetWatch will cover per item. Plans start at $10 per month for Wellness Care Routine and $25 per month for Wellness Care Advanced. There is no deductible or co-pay. Below are the details for 24PetWatch wellness plans.

 Wellness Care RoutineWellness Care Advanced
Price Per Month$10$25
Dental cleaningN/A$100
Fecal screen$15$15
Heartworm/flea preventionN/A$55
Heartworm test or FELV screen$15$15
Microchip procedure and/or urinalysis$20$20
Spay/neuter procedure and/or wellness blood test$80$100
Wellness exam$40$50
Canine bordetella vaccine/titer or feline FELV vaccine/titerN/A$15
Canine DHLPP vaccine/titer or feline FVRCP vaccine/titer$15$15
Rabies vaccine/titer and/or Lyme vaccine/titer, or FIP vaccine/titer$15$15
Total Annual Benefits$200$400

Read More About 24PetWatch In Our In-Depth Review

AKC Wellness Coverage

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AKC has two plans to choose from, Defender and DefenderPlus.

AKC reimburses a set dollar amount per year toward items. There are no waiting periods or deductibles.

 DefenderDefenderPlus
Price Per Month$17$29
Rabies$15$15
Flea/Tick Prevention$50$65
Heartworm Prevention$30$30
Vaccination/Titer$30$40
Wellness Exam$50$50
Heartworm Test of FELV Screen$25$30
Blood, Fecal, Parasite Exam$50$70
Microchip$20$40
Urinalysis or ERD$15$25
Deworming$20$20
Spay/Neuter - Teeth Cleaning$0$150
Total Annual Benefits$305$535

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

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Similar to other companies in this space, ASPCA offers two optional preventative plans: Basic and Prime. The same product is also offered under the Hartville brand name.

There is no waiting period or deductible for these plans.

 Basic Preventative CarePrime Preventative Care
Price per month$9.95$24.95
Dental cleaning$100$150
Wellness exam$50$50
Deworming$20$25
Health Certificate$0$25
Fleas/heartworm prevention$0$25
DHLPP vaccine/titer$20$25
Rabies or lyme vaccine/titer$20$25
Bordatella vaccine/titer$0$25
Fecal test$20$25
Heartworm test$20$25
Blood test$0$25
Urinalysis$0$25
Total Annual Benefits$250$450

Read More About ASPCA/Hartville In Our In-Depth Review

Embrace Pet Insurance Wellness Rewards

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Embrace offers one of the most flexible wellness plans that you can add on to any pet health insurance policy. You pay a monthly fee on top of your insurance — $18.75 per month covers up to $250 annual wellness expenses, $35.42 per month for a $450 annual cap and $52.09 per month for $650 annual expenses.

Coverage begins the day you sign up, and there is no deductible. It covers many treatments and services including: wellness exams, vaccinations, flea, tick & heartworm meds, spay/neuter surgery, fecal & routine blood tests, microchipping, grooming, medicated shampoos, nail trimming, anal gland expression, pet activity monitors, cremation or burial, training classes, routine chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, teeth cleaning, prescription diet food, and more.

Read More About Embrace In Our In-Depth Review

Nationwide Wellness Coverage Plans

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Nationwide offers two wellness plans, Wellness Plus and Wellness Basic. Wellness plans are not available in all states, and premiums are determined on the species of the pet, plan type and state of residence.

Nationwide lets you enroll in wellness coverage without purchasing a pet insurance plan first. All you have to do is call them at 800-872-7387.

 Wellness PlusWellness Basic
Price per month$17-$22$12-$18
Maximum annual benefit$500$400
Physical exam: 2 per policy term$60 ($30 max per exam)$50 ($25 max per exam)
Behavioral exam and/or treatment$30$30
Vaccination or titer$75$50
Heartworm or FeLV/FIV test$35$30
Fecal test$25$15
Deworming$25$25
Nail trim$20$20
Microchip$40$40
Health certificate$40$40
Flea control or heartworm prevention$75$50
One additional test: health screen (blood test), radiograph (X-rays) or electrocardiogram (EKG)$75 (one test per policy term)$50 (one test per policy term)

Read More About Nationwide In Our In-Depth Review

Wellness Only Plan

There is only one major national company that offers wellness as a standalone product today and it is Banfield.

Banfield Pet Hospital Wellness Plan

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Banfield stands apart from other veterinary wellness plans in that you don’t have to purchase health insurance to get a wellness policy. This should make this option cheaper than the competition. However, it will not cover illnesses, accidents, or chronic conditions. Banfield only covers routine care. With Banfield, you’re required to visit a Banfield Pet Hospital, which you can find at your local PetSmart store — there are nearly 1,000 across the country.

Its plans offer preventive care, including bi-annual wellness exams, vaccinations, dental cleaning, parasite control, nutrition, and behavioral services. It charges a one-time sign-up fee, with monthly payments starting at $21.95 for cats and $29.95 for dogs. Prices vary by age, species, location, and other factors, and it offers wellness plans for puppies, adult dogs, and other pets.

Read More About Banfield Wellness Plan In Our In-Depth Review

Should You Consider A Wellness Plan, Pet Health Insurance, Or Both?

Check out the following news coverage by a CBS affiliate in California that explores pet wellness plans and pet insurance.

Pet Wellness & Insurance Plans Can Help Your Finances

While a pet wellness plan can help you budget for those routine visits, a pet insurance plan can help you out during those unexpected trips to the vet. Emergency vet visits can result in thousands of dollars in vet bills. If you’re interested in learning more about pet insurance, you can read about if pet insurance is worth it for you and learn which pet insurance company may be the best for you based on your pets specific needs.

What experiences have you had with pet wellness plans?

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