Pet Wellness Plans: Manage Your Preventative Vet Bills

Many 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 (aka preventative) 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. On the flip side, a wellness plan covers annual check-ups with your vet as well as some standard tests (routine blood work, fecal, urinalysis, etc.), routine vaccines, dental cleanings, and more.

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 the company and coverage you select. Therefore, some policies may not cover what’s listed below — read the policy carefully before signing up.)

Wellness Plan Coverage Pet Insurance Coverage
Annual exams Accidents
Spay/neuter Illnesses
Routine blood panels Emergency care
Heartworm testing Hereditary and congenital conditions
Fecal testing Orthopedic conditions
Urinalyses Prescription medications
Routine vaccinations (rabies, DHLP, Bordetella, parvo, Lyme, giardia) X-rays, MRIs, Cat Scans, Ultrasounds, etc.
Teeth cleanings Therapy
Flea, tick, and heartworm treatments Surgery
Microchip Hospitalization

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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 across all services). You can only add the wellness plan within 30 days of enrolling in one of its pet insurance plan 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.). So if your vet charges more than the allotted amount, you will only be eligible to receive reimbursement up to Pets Best’s per item limit for that service.

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

EssentialWellness BestWellness
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 Routine Wellness Care Advanced
Price Per Month $10 $25
Dental cleaning N/A $100
Fecal screen $15 $15
Heartworm/flea prevention N/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/titer N/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.

Defender DefenderPlus
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 Care Prime 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
Bordetella 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 All About ASPCA 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 based 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.

Wellness Plus Wellness 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

Wagmo Wellness Plans

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Similar to Nationwide, Wagmo also offers a wellness plan as an add-on to its pet insurance policy, or it can be purchased independently. The downside is that while Wagmo’s wellness plan is available in all U.S. states, its pet insurance is still rolling out in a select number of states (NY, CA, PA, IL, CO, NC, OH, MD, VA). Since it’s not available in nationwide, it’s not among our top pet insurance recommendations at this time.

Read More About Wagmo 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. One might expect this to make this option cheaper than the competition since it does not cover illnesses, accidents, or chronic conditions. Banfield only covers routine care. But, as you can see below, that is not the case.

Further, with Banfield, you’re required to visit a Banfield Pet Hospital for services to be covered, leaving you little option in regards to the vet you will see. Luckily, it is convenient in most areas since it is located inside local PetSmart stores and there are nearly 1,000 across the country.

Banfield’s 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 your routine visits, a pet insurance plan can help you out during unexpected trips to the vet. Emergency vet visits can result in thousands of dollars in bills. If you’re interested in learning more about pet insurance, you should start with exploring whether pet insurance is worth it and learn which pet insurance company may be the best for you based on your pet’s specific needs.