How To Not Break The Bank With Pet Wellness Plans

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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
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

Click Here To Learn More About Pet Insurance

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

Pets Best Pet Health Insurance logoVisit Website

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 2 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.

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

Read More About Pets Best In Our In-Depth Review

24PetWatch Wellness Coverage

Visit Website24PetWatch logo

24PetWatch offers 2 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
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

Read More About 24PetWatch In Our In-Depth Review

AKC Wellness Coverage

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AKC has 2 plans to choose from, Defender and DefenderPlus.

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

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

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance/Hartville

Visit WebsiteASPCA Logo

Similar to other companies in this space, ASPCA offers 2 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$175
Wellness exam$50$50
Health Certificate$0$25
Fleas/heartworm prevention$0$50
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
Total Annual Benefits$250$500

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

Embrace Pet Insurance Wellness Rewards

Embrace logo

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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

Visit WebsiteNationwide Pet Insurance logo

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
Nail trim$20$20
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 Wellness Plan

Banfield Pet Hospital logoVisit Website

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.

How Can A Pet Wellness Plan Help Your Finances?

Even if your dog is healthy, preventative and routine care can add up quickly. Just consider how much you can save with a puppy wellness plan covering spay/neuter, vaccinations, heartworm prevention and more. Considering the affordable monthly costs of pet wellness plans, it makes sense if you want to raise a healthy dog without breaking the bank.

What experiences have you had with pet wellness plans?

About The Author:

Sally holds a BA in English from James Madison University and began her 25-year writing career as a grad student at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism & Mass Communications. She’s been a pet parent since college years (and spent her whole childhood with pets). Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Now as a parent of two teenagers, she’s made sure to raise her daughters to learn how to love and care for pets (and other animals) in the most responsible and loving ways. As a result, she and her daughters now have 5 rescued dogs and cats who essentially rule their home! Sally has also volunteered over the years to help raise funds for various animal nonprofit organizations.

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new pet health insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those of others who may be used for example purposes in this article.
Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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September 12, 2020 12:15 pm

Dental coverage? We will be getting a service dog in about 6 months. It is going to be a Goldendoodle or poodle and probably 1.5 years old. It is my understanding that when you buy accident and illness insurance, it will already have coverage for dental (but only if it was related to an emergency, such as a broken tooth that was previously healthy). Correct? But then there is a need for: 1) dental cleaning 2) dental treatment (such as gingivitis, root canal, etc). I checked with our future vet, dental cleaning with x-ray and anesthesia will be around $400. I did not see any dental cleaning insurance coverages that pays more than $100-$175. I don’t know if anesthesia and x-ray can be billed separately (under a different portion of insurance)? With regards to dental treatment: I saw Hartville; ASPCA; PetsPlan; Embrace; Nationwide (if you buy whole pet with wellness plan) having “dental disease” as part of their coverage. Any experience? Thank you!

August 5, 2020 5:50 pm

Super helpful tables, thanks for this! Pet insurance is so very important in the event of unplanned medical emergencies for pets.

January 1, 2020 7:39 pm

I have a 4 month old Toy poodle. I bought healthy paws insurance and wasn’t thinking about wellness care. She will need regular grooming and likely things like anal gland inaddtion to spaying, shots etc. should I get a stand-alone wellness and keep healthy paws, and if so which will cover spaying and grooming? Or should I start over and get two integrated plans- which? Thank you. Next vet visit is in 3 weeks with more shots. I’m already out Of luck on the 209 visit last week with various shots.

Kimberly Alt
January 2, 2020 11:07 am
Reply to  Jennifer

I would say it depends if your dog has any pre-existing conditions. If she does have pre-existing conditions, I would continue with Healthy Paws and consider Nationwide for a wellness plan. To enroll in Nationwide, call 800-872-7387.

However, if your dog doesn’t have any pre-existing conditions, I’d probably consider switching to Pets Best for pet insurance and a wellness plan. Pets Best is among our top picks for pet insurance and is consistently one of the least expensive when we run quotes. In regards to wellness benefits, the BestWellness plan is $26/month ($30 in Washington), and it will cover $150 for spaying, $50 for the wellness exam, $40 for vaccinations and more. However, it does not cover grooming or anal gland expression.

Another option to consider is Embrace. Embrace isn’t in our top picks for pet insurance, and it’s often more expensive than Pets Best and Healthy Paws when we run quotes. However, it has a thorough wellness plan that you can add onto your Embrace pet insurance policy. It covers many treatments including grooming, anal gland expression, spay surgery, vaccinations, wellness exams and more.

So to sum it all up, here’s what your options are depending on what your priorities are with coverage.
1) If your dog has pre-existing conditions, stay with Healthy Paws and consider adding Nationwide for wellness coverage. Nationwide is the only company, asides from Banfield, that you can purchase wellness coverage from without purchasing a pet insurance policy as well. I wouldn’t recommend Banfield as we’ve gotten a lot of negative feedback about them from our customers. You can read more in our Banfield review.
2) Your dog has no pre-existing conditions and you switch to Pets Best, which is still one of our top picks for pet insurance and offers some wellness coverage. With this option, you’ll still get great pet insurance coverage at a (most likely) reasonable price, but the wellness coverage isn’t as thorough as Embrace.
3) Your dog has no pre-existing conditions and you switch to Embrace, which is not one of our top picks for pet insurance but offers wellness coverage for everything you listed. Embrace is still a great pet insurance company and has thorough coverage, it just tends to be more expensive than Pets Best and Healthy Paws. But if you want more financial help with wellness related items, Embrace may be your best bet.

Moving forward, I’d suggest getting quotes from both Pets Best and Embrace and see how the two compare. If Pets Best is drastically less expensive than Embrace, it may be worth it to go with Pets Best. However, if the prices are nearly identical, you may consider going with Embrace since it’d cover more wellness items for you. Let me know if you have any follow up questions!

November 4, 2019 5:14 pm

I’ve been looking into insurance plans for my puppy and my cat. Pets Best and Healthy Paws offer the most for your money overall. I’m trying to decide which is better. Also, anyone thinking about buying pet meds online, please do your homework. Research the pharmacies history and location, look up reviews and complaints and only use vipps certified companies. Pet pharmacies do not have to pass board inspections like people pharmacies do and some sell fake or expired meds. Consider people pharmacies that sell pet meds such as Health Warehouse.

October 16, 2019 5:16 am

Hello, I am looking for some advice to choose the right wellness/insurance plan for my fur babies. I have a Biewer female who is 13 months old and a 12 weeks old female Biewer. The older female is spayed and the puppy needs to be spay when she turns one. I am looking for a wellness plan that covers all the routine exams for my year old female including dental cleaning and for my puppy I am looking for a wellness plan that includes all the routine exams plus spay. I currently have Banfield but I am not satisfied mainly because of the customer service. Also, the location I go is always very busy and under staff which makes it impossible to get an appointment fast when needed.

Kimberly Alt
October 17, 2019 10:59 am
Reply to  Andrea

Do you plan on getting pet insurance? If so, we’d recommend Pets Best. The BestWellness plan covers spaying and teeth cleaning, so you could get that for each dog. It includes $535 total annual benefits and costs $26/month per dog. To purchase the Pets Best wellness plan, you must purchase pet insurance from them as well.

We think pet insurance is a must-have. We’ve heard too many stories about dogs experiencing accidents or illnesses and pet parents being unable to pay for the care their dogs need, which results in a dog being euthanized due to financial limitations (economic euthanasia) or a pet parent going thousands of dollars into debt because of vet bills. Pet insurance allows you to prioritize and focus on your dog’s health during emergencies instead of the amount of money in your bank account.

If you don’t want pet insurance, Nationwide is your only other option. Nationwide’s wellness plans do not include spaying or dental cleanings, so this would not cover what you need.

As you pointed out Banfield is an option that you currently have, and you are not alone in your frustrations with them. Many of our readers have complained about their Banfield experience to us. With Banfield, unless otherwise stated in your contract, you are required to pay for the entire year of service even if your dog dies during that time.

Let me know if you have any follow up questions that I can help you with.

September 23, 2019 10:53 am

Hi, I’m trying to find the right coverage specifically wellness and routine care coverage for a new puppy. A male Pomeranian puppy to be exact. We would like a wellness plan that would cover the costs for routine care that a puppy would need. What in your opinion is the best plan out there? How exactly does a wellness plan work? Are there specific vets we go to and do we pay at the visit and later get reimbursed? Thanks for any info you can provide!

Kimberly Alt
September 23, 2019 12:32 pm
Reply to  Daisy

All of the companies in this article (except for Banfield and Nationwide) require you to sign up for the companies’ pet insurance plans and then add-on the wellness plan for an extra fee. First you need to decide if you will sign-up for pet insurance or not. We think pet insurance is a must-have. We’ve heard too many stories about dogs experiencing accidents or illnesses and pet parents being unable to pay for the care their dogs need, which results in a dog being euthanized due to financial limitations (economic euthanasia) or a pet parent going thousands of dollars into debt because of vet bills. Pet insurance allows you to prioritize and focus on your dog’s health during emergencies instead of the amount of money in your bank account.

If you decide pet insurance is something you want for your Pomeranian, we suggest you consider Pets Best for your pet insurance and wellness needs. Pets Best is one of our top ranked pet insurance providers and it provides a well-rounded wellness plan to help cover costs for routine care.

If you opt against pet insurance, your only option for a wellness plan is Banfield. Unfortunately, we have received many complaints about Banfield and many of its customers have been disappointed with their service. However, each Banfield location is different, so if you are considering it, we suggest speaking with other Banfield customers at the location you are planning to use. Ask about their experiences and if they’d recommend it to others.

One thing to keep in mind with these companies is how the cancellation policies work. With Banfield, unless otherwise stated in your contract, you are required to pay for the entire year of service even if your dog dies during that time. This is something we’ve gotten a lot of complaints about regarding Banfield because grieving pet parents are still having to pay for a service they can’t use because their dog is no longer with them. Regarding the other companies in this article, unless otherwise stated in the contract, you can call and cancel your pet insurance and wellness plans if your dog dies during that time. You aren’t responsible for paying a full year of service even if your dog dies. As with all contracts, we recommend your read through them carefully because this may not be true for the contract you are given. So be sure to read the fine print carefully and know what you are responsible for up front.

How do wellness plans work? Asides from Banfield, you can take your dog to a licensed vet and get the care they need. For example, your dog may have a wellness exam as well as a rabies vaccine and you may purchase flea/tick/heartworm preventative. You pay the vet for the cost of the exam, vaccine and preventatives and then file a claim with the pet wellness plan company. The company will reimburse you for the amount you are eligible for. Banfield requires you to go to one of its locations for all of your dog’s wellness needs.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Best of luck.

July 17, 2019 9:23 pm

Hi! I’d love to be able to talk to someone about finding the right pet insurance for me based on my needs for coverage and whatnot. I’d be easier to talk over the phone. Please let me know.

Thank you,

Kimberly Alt
July 18, 2019 2:49 pm
Reply to  Libby

If you have specific questions, I’d be happy to reply here in the comment thread. As a policy, we don’t do reader phone calls, but we do help our readers through our comments. We prefer this way so that other readers can see the information as well in case it is helpful to others.

July 18, 2019 10:48 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

Sounds good! I have 1 husky who physically goes to the vet once a year for a physical exam, numerous vaccinations, fecal samples, etc. the whole basic package! I also buy flea/tick preventative and heartworm preventative for her from the vet (it costs roughly $160 for both items for a 6 month supply, so about $320 spent per year on that stuff). When we go to the vet for her physical every year it’s roughly $400.

I’m not sure which insurance or wellness plan would be best for my situation. I would really just like a plan that covers the basic wellness things (physical, vaccinations, etc) so I don’t have to break the bank every year I bring her to the vet for her physical and whatnot. It would be nice to also save on the flea and tick & heartworm prevention, but I don’t have an issue paying for monthly amounts.

Which insurance plan / wellness plan would be best for my situation?

Kimberly Alt
July 19, 2019 1:02 pm
Reply to  Libby

My process for the information below was looking at the information you provided me and finding the plan that would offer the best coverage and price for what it appears you needed.

Pets Best and Embrace require you purchase a pet insurance plan, which sounds like something you’re not considering. So that automatically takes them out of the equation.

24PetWatch’s Advanced Wellness plan would include $55 for heartworm/flea prevention, $15 for heartworm test, $50 for wellness exam, $15 for bordetella vaccine/titer, $15 for DHLPP vaccine/titer, $15 for rabies and more. Those items alone would total $165 in used savings, but the plan in total has $400 in benefits. However, I’m not sure you’d use more than those listed (according to what you told me above). This plan would cost $25/month ($300/year), so I’m not sure this would be worth it for what you are looking for. I would remove 24PetWatch from your consideration.

AKC’s Defender plan has $305 in benefits, and costs $192/year. Some items you may benefit from using include $15 for rabies, $50 for flea/tick prevention, $30 for heartworm prevention, $30 for vaccination/titer, $50 for wellness exam and $25 for heartworm test, which totals $200 in savings. That’s only an $8 difference between what you are paying and what you are taking advantage of, HOWEVER, there may be some items listed in the plan that you would take advantage of that I didn’t list or wasn’t aware of. This is comparable to Pets Best’s EssentialWellness plan, but doesn’t require a pet insurance plan. So this is a good option to consider.

ASPCA’s Prime Preventative Care was chosen over Basic because the Basic plan doesn’t include fleas/heartworm prevention which you listed as a cost for you annually. The Prime plan costs $24.95/month ($299.40/year) and has $500 in benefits annually. Some you may take advantage of include $50 for wellness exam, $50 for heartworm/flea prevention, $35 for DHLPP vaccine/titer, $25 for rabies or lyme vaccine/titer, $25 for bordatella vaccine/titer and $25 for heartworm test. This totals $210 in savings, but you’re spending almost $300, so I’m removing them as an option.

Nationwide’s pricing varies based on dog information and your location, so I can’t be specific in its pricing, but lets say you got the Wellness Plus (over the Wellness Basic because it offers more towards the items you want covered) for $17-22/month ($204-264/year). It includes $500 total in savings per year, which you may use $30 for physical exam, $75 for vaccination or titer, $35 for heartworm test and $75 for flea/heartworm preventative. That totals $215 in savings used, but you’re potentially paying more, so I’d opt against this plan.

That leads us to Banfield, which I wouldn’t recommend at all. I’ve heard too many negative reviews for this company that I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending them to you.

In the end, I’d look more into AKC for your wellness plan. Keep in mind, my findings above could be adjusted if you were to take advantage of teeth cleanings or sign up for a pet insurance plan. Let me know if I can help you further.

May 14, 2018 3:53 pm

I have three pets that I would like to get pet insurance and possibly wellness plans for. One of our dogs had elevated ALP liver enzymes on her last physical, but otherwise had no indication of an issue, and the doctor said that it is likely nothing. Would something like that be considered a pre-existing condition, and therefore not be covered if she ended up developing Cushing’s Disease for example?

August 27, 2018 4:19 pm
Reply to  Miranda

I have a dog with the same issue. I had Trupanion. I asked the insurance to help cover the cost of a sonogram to help diagnose Cushings. They asked for prior vet records and then they denied the claim. Reason being she had blood work 5 yrs ago and it showed the elevated level (my vet at the time never mentioned it). I have since dropped the insurance. My dog continues to have an elevated ALP. We have conducted further tests, and have ruled out Cushings. So yes, I believe any prior condition or prior tests will deny your claim. Good luck!

Michelle Schenker
May 15, 2018 11:44 am
Reply to  Miranda

There is no clear-cut answer on this as it may vary by insurance company. We would encourage you to reach out to the top 2-3 companies that you are considering and ask them directly to be sure before you sign on the dotted line. Keep us posted – we’d love to hear how this works out for you.

February 28, 2018 6:25 pm

Maybe I’m missing something here. I’m looking into Embrace and for the $650 annual max, it will cost (based on quote i received) $49.42 a month (just the wellness portion). Over twelve months, I am paying Embrace $593.04 to receive reimbursement of up to $650.00. Essentially, I pay $593.04 to get a $56.96 benefit. Why would would i do this and not just save the $49.42 in an account each month and use that on the routine maintenance and forgo all the paperwork?

Nathalie Lenoble
August 8, 2019 3:00 pm
Reply to  jen

Hi Jen, that’s exactly what I thought! I was looking into the Embrace Wellness Rewards and in my view, this is a rip off and nothing else. Yes, the cap is $650 and the insurance make you pay the outrageous amount of (almost) $50 a month (!!!!) for that. A plain rip off I would say. I also just enrolled two of my pets to Embrace (the 3 others are at Healthy Paws — I wanted to compare), and Embrace’s processes are really complicated compare to Healthy Paws. At Healthy Paws, you send the invoice you got from the vet and that’s it. They work on your reimbursement (they are fast by the way, and they send you checks quickly too!). With Embrace, you have to fill out forms (actually your vet needs to fill out the form!!), you can’t mix medical records with a claim (so how do you do this when you take your pet to a first vet visit and you actually get a first medical record on the pet? You can’t attach that, so how do you get reimbursed?!). I don’t get this. Anyway, I just enrolled two of my cats at Embrace and it’s less than 30 days, so I am cancelling Embrace. They are so much more expensive that Healthy Paws anyway.

February 6, 2019 6:41 pm
Reply to  jen

Jen, you are absolutely correct. I don’t know why this site doesn’t make this clear. It doesn’t matter how much services cost, you are never going to get more than the total value stated. And if you do NOT use all the services, you still have handed over your money and it’s gone.

Kimberly Alt
March 1, 2018 9:56 am
Reply to  jen

Great question, Jen. The main reason you would opt for this wellness plan is if you knew you were going to take advantage of those features covered. Items include annual exams, grooming, anal gland expression, etc. If you have a dog who needs regular grooming, a wellness plan that covers grooming could save you money in the end. For instance, the groomer I take my dog to costs $50 to $125 depending on the dog’s size. If you have a dog with shaggy hair that needs cut regularly you could save a little bit by purchasing a wellness plan.

As you pointed out for your quote specifically, you’d be paying $593.04 for the year to receive up to $650 in wellness related reimbursements, saving you roughly $57 if you took full advantage of the plan. Like you said, you could just save that money monthly and pay out of pocket for it all, it’s up to you. However, you’re also getting pet insurance when you sign up for Embrace’s Wellness Rewards, which covers accidents and illnesses your dog may experience unexpectedly.

The big thing to remember before signing up for a wellness plan is researching what the maximum coverages are for various items. For example, some companies will only cover a certain dollar amount for teeth cleanings, grooming, annual exams, etc.

Let me know if that makes sense or if you have any questions. I want to make sure you’re fully informed before making a decision either way! 🙂

February 6, 2019 6:45 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

This is disingenuous, at best. The most you gain by using this is $57 and if you don’t use all the money, you don’t get it back…the company keeps it, just like any other insurance. And to say that you’re also getting pet insurance implies that it’s part of the Rewards plan….it’s a completely separate cost and policy.

Kimberly Alt
February 7, 2019 10:38 am
Reply to  Deborah

The reason I say pet insurance is included with Embrace’s Wellness Rewards is because you cannot have Wellness Rewards without buying a pet insurance policy from it as well. Sorry for any confusion. I’m not trying to push Embrace’s Wellness Rewards onto anyone, just stating the facts of what the reader asked. I totally understand if people don’t want to purchase a wellness plan that results in $57 in savings if they take advantage of every element of the plan.

September 12, 2017 4:18 pm

Interesting article, but in your reviews, you mentioned $250, $450, and $600. caps on wellness expenses. My comment is, at my vet (and all my previous vets) , I have easily spent over $400-600. each time we go! -for the visit, tests, medications, etc..What good is a plan if it has caps like these?
thanks, but these reviews are confusing and not realistic.

Kimberly Alt
September 13, 2017 8:41 am
Reply to  Rich

Hi Rich, it sounds like a wellness plan may be the most beneficial for someone in your case because you would be reaching your annual limit depending on the plan’s cap. If the cap is $600 annually and you spend $400 to $600 per year on wellness expenses you would be able to take full advantage of the plan’s benefits. However, on the opposite spectrum, when I take my dog to the vet it costs about $120, but she is in very good health. That $120 includes the appointment fee, vaccinations, flea/tick/heartworm medications, etc. So it would cost me more (or about the same) to pay for our dog’s wellness expenses on our own as it would if we purchased a wellness plan for her. However, the monthly fees vary based on the company you choose for a wellness plan and the caps included as well, so this may not be the case every time.

What in our reviews was confusing and not realistic? I’d love to be able to explain them further to you.

September 16, 2017 7:56 am
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

hello-thanks for the reply. I don’t know what vet you use or where you live…but the vets here charge over $65. just for the visit, so a visit with what you said (appt, vaccin., medications,) costs us way over $120.
And we spend often spend $400-600 A VISIT , not a year for check ups, medications, blood work, heartworm etc.
If the cap is 600$, how does that help us?

Kimberly Alt
September 18, 2017 9:00 am
Reply to  Rich

Hi Rich, how many visits does your dog have per year? How much would you say you spend per year on vet expenses and what is that categorized ($X for wellness, $X for illnesses, $X for injuries, etc.)? It’s hard to say what is best for your dog unless I get a better idea of what your dog’s vet history is like. Hope that makes sense and these questions aren’t too personal. I understand if you’d rather not share this information though. 🙂

September 18, 2017 10:23 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

hello Kimberly, Well, I have 2 older dogs-a 12 yr old golden and a9 yr old Akita. so, for example, I took my golden to the vet yesterday and it cost me $286 for the exam,some blood work ,and a weeks worth of Rimadyl, including a $14.00 dispensing charge. I like my vet, they’re very thorough-but that’s the prices around here, I’ve checked out other vets and they charge about the same.
Most of the time the dogs just go to the vet for yearly check ups or heartworm medication but most of those plans don’t cover medication. The Banfield plan sounds good but one thing I don’t like is that you have to finish paying for the whole year even if your dog passes away, god forbid.
I would really like to get a wellness plan or an insurance plan but I just don’t see that it’s going to work out with those caps and/or monthly payments. thanks again!

Kimberly Alt
September 19, 2017 9:00 am
Reply to  Rich

Thanks for the in-depth details, this will help me analyze your situation further.

Looking at our rankings, Pets Best is the highest ranked pet insurance company that offers a wellness plan. The top plan is BestWellness and costs $26/month. It covers various things including $65 flea/tick prevention, $30 heartworm prevention, $40 vaccination/titer, $50 wellness exam, $30 heartworm test or FELV screen and more for each dog you purchase the policy for. Since you spend $500 alone on heartworm medications per dog per year, this plan wouldn’t be the best option for you since it only covers $30.

Embrace is the next company in our rankings that offers wellness rewards. It reimburses 100% of routine care costs up to the selected annual maximum you choose. This can be as high as $650 or as low as $250. It’s unclear as to whether or not this annual maximum goes toward any reimbursable item, or if it’s maxed out per category (like Pets Best’s is). I recommend reaching out to Embrace to see if the $650 would go toward any wellness related items your pet needs during the year or if only a certain amount can go toward heartworm, etc.

As for the Rimadyl prescription, that can be covered through any pet insurance company that covers prescription medications. Take a look at this comparison table and you’ll see that all of the pet insurance companies included in the table cover prescriptions, however, Embrace charges extra for it to be covered.

You mentioned Banfield and I wanted to share this link with you. I encourage you to read the comments section as well because we’ve gotten some feedback from customers of Banfield sharing their experience with the plan. So if you choose to go with them, I want you to be informed on what others have experienced.

The thing that’s tricky about your situation is that you spend $500/dog/year on heartworm medications. I don’t believe that would fall under prescription medications for most pet insurance providers because heartworm medication is considered preventative healthcare, so it is typically only covered through some type of wellness plan/rewards. If Embrace handles its maximum similar to Pets Best, then it doesn’t make sense for you to get either of those wellness plans/rewards because you’d be paying $30+ per month but only getting $30 for heartworm prevention, which is what you are really spending the majority of your money on.

I have a meeting later today with some of my coworkers and am going to mention your situation to them and see if they know of anything that I am overlooking. I’ll let you know if they have any suggestions for you to consider. Thanks for your patience and allowing me to help you through your decision making process.

Kimberly Alt
September 19, 2017 2:26 pm
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

Hi Rich, I just spoke with the team and we think in your situation it would be better to try to budget/save for these expenses because a wellness plan won’t cover $500 in heartworm medication for each dog. Sorry we couldn’t find a pet insurance plan for you. Let me know if you have any further questions and best of luck!

September 18, 2017 9:22 am
Reply to  Kimberly Alt

hello Kimberly, thanks for the reply. Well, I have 2 older dogs so there’s that. And, for example, I took my golden to the vet on Saturday, and it was $286.00…($65-exam, $195 for Senior comprehensive screening & $24 for 14 Rimadyl. We’ll need more, if it helps…that’ll be @$60 a month. ) prob go to the vet about 4 times a year, including stuff like heartworm check, etc…and (heartworm medication is like $500. a dog) so…mostly check ups and things like that.It’s thousands of dollars. Each dog.

I’d like a plan for sure. I know of Banfields plan-only you have to keep paying monthly even if your pet passes away. And it doesn’t include medications either, I think.
thanks again!

October 16, 2018 10:37 pm
Reply to  Rich

You keep pay monthly after your pet dies is because you signed an agreement and are making monthly payments. That’s my take on it.

October 13, 2017 5:39 pm
Reply to  Rich

Buy all your medications online. Much much cheaper. Sometimes half or less as much. (Check out the prices for Heartguard for example.) It saved me with sick cats and a dog.

October 17, 2017 7:37 am
Reply to  Jan

I’d like to buy them online, but you need the vet to give you the script, or OK it, and they won’t do that!
How do you get your vet to do this?

September 12, 2017 12:15 am

Writer needs to do some proper research, have some experience with dogs and cats. This person has no idea. Its not about damn finances, its about the animals welfare, sheesh

Kimberly Alt
September 12, 2017 9:04 am
Reply to  Angel

Hi Angel, I can assure you that our writer has experience with pets. I’m not sure what about this article makes you think that our writer/website thinks finances are more important than an animal’s welfare, but I can assure you this is not the case. Everyone who works on Canine Journal is an animal lover. We try to teach people that having a pet is a financial commitment as well and there are wellness and pet insurance plans that can relieve some of that burden. This article is an informational piece to help teach pet parents about various wellness plans.

In the past, we have received comments from our readers who have been unable to provide their pet with the medical care they need because of financial restrictions. It breaks our hearts to read these stories and we hope that more and more people are aware of their financial options when adding a pet to their family. To reiterate, we think the pet’s health should be the most important factor, above finances.

Claudia K
August 8, 2016 1:47 pm

Definitely invest in a wellness plan if you get a new dog, well worth every penny! My new pup has had all her shots and spaying covered which has saved us from having to pay out of pocket for everything at once. I love the comfort of knowing my girl Charlie is in good hands with all her check ups just like her parents!

August 12, 2018 3:59 pm
Reply to  Claudia K

CLAUDIA, I had my beagle for 14 years (no dog doomed to die at an early age). Im getting a cav and like the healthy paws ins for problems. Yes, could you please share the name of your wellness plan? Thanks very much

January 7, 2018 1:52 pm
Reply to  Claudia K

Hi Claudia! We are getting two puppies and I have been researching the wellness option but it’s so overwhelming. Do you mind sharing which one you use? Thank you.

October 23, 2018 10:54 pm
Reply to  Tiffany

How? You are only being reembursed for what you spent and get maybe $40 if you are maximizing the benefits.

August 12, 2018 4:00 pm
Reply to  Tiffany

Hi Tiffany,did Claudia respond to you about the name of her wellness plan? thx

March 2, 2018 8:57 pm
Reply to  Tiffany

Did you ever find a good wellness plan? I’m doing my research as well

March 5, 2018 9:54 am
Reply to  KHill

Hi there. We opted out of wellness and are only doing regular insurance for emergencies for illness or accident. We went through USAA insurance and they are partnered with Embrace. Good luck.

September 30, 2018 1:30 pm
Reply to  Tiffany

I don’t see USAA has having Pet Insurance.

Kimberly Alt
March 5, 2018 9:41 am
Reply to  KHill

Let me know if you have any questions! 🙂

September 12, 2017 12:12 am
Reply to  Claudia K

Another sucker with a dog thats doomed to die an early age

January 7, 2018 1:53 pm
Reply to  Angel

Why are you so rude? What’s the point in this comment????