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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 visits.
- Wellness Plans vs Pet Insurance
- How Do Wellness Plans Work?
- Should You Get A Wellness Plan, Pet Insurance Or Both?
- How A Wellness Plan Can Help Your Finances
- Pet Insurance Companies With Wellness Add-Ons
- Wellness Only Plan
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 Coverage||Pet Insurance Coverage|
|Routine blood panels||Emergency care|
|Heartworm testing||Hereditary and congenital conditions|
|Fecal testing||Orthopedic conditions|
|Routine vaccinations (rabies, DHLP, bordetella, parvo, lyme, giardia)||X-Rays, MRIs, Cat Scans, Ultrasounds, etc.|
|Flea, tick and heartworm treatments||Surgery|
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.
Note: We first review one of our top-ranked pet insurance companies (Pets Best) and then list other companies alphabetically.
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 your 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|
|Heartworm Test of FELV Screen||$25||$30|
|Blood, Fecal, Parasite Exam||$50||$70|
|Urinalysis or ERD||$15||$25|
|Total Annual Benefits||$305||$535|
24PetWatch Wellness Coverage
24PetWatch offers 2 wellness plans: Routine Wellness and Advanced Wellness.
Both plans have limits on what 24PetWatch will cover per item. Plans start at $10 per month for Routine Wellness and $25 per month for Advanced Wellness. There is no deductible or co-pay. Below are the details for 24PetWatch wellness plans.
|Routine Wellness||Advanced Wellness|
|Heartworm test or FELV screen||$15||$15|
|Microchip procedure and/or urinalysis||$20||$20|
|Spay/neuter procedure and/or wellness blood test||$80||$100|
|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|
AKC Wellness Coverage
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.
|Heartworm test of FELV screen||$25||$30|
|Blood, fecal, parasite exams||$50||$70|
|Urinalysis or ERD||$15||$25|
|Spay/neuter or teeth cleaning||$0||$150|
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance/Hartville
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 Care||Prime Preventative Care|
|Price per month||$9.95||$24.95|
|Rabies or lyme vaccine/titer||$20||$25|
|Total Annual Benefits||$250||$500|
Embrace Pet Insurance Wellness Rewards
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 — $18.95 per month covers up to $250 annual wellness expenses, $34.21 per month for a $450 annual cap and $49.42 per month for $650 annual expenses.
Coverage begins the day you sign up, and there is no deductible. It covers a ton of treatments and services including: wellness exams, vaccinations, flea, tick & heartworm meds, spay/neuter surgery, fecal & routine blood tests, microchipping, grooming, medicated shampoos, toe 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.
Nationwide Wellness Coverage Plans
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 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|
|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)|
There is only one major national company that offers wellness as a standalone product today and it is Banfield.
Banfield Wellness Plan
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 $12.95. Prices vary by age, species, location and other factors, and it offers wellness plans for puppies, adult dogs and other pets.
Check out the following news coverage by a CBS affiliate in California that explores pet wellness plans and pet insurance.
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?
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