The Real Reason for Pet Insurance
If you read our blog, you know that our sweet Maggie May was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma (OSA), bone cancer, in her left front leg. OSA is an aggressive, fast-growing cancer that is typically treated through amputation and chemotherapy or palliative radiation. Our vet offered us a new treatment called Stereotactic Radiosurgery, a treatment that is considered curative – meant to kill the cancer rather than just slow it’s growth or help the pain.
It’s been performed on humans for years, has very high success rates and we opted to go that route for treating Maggie.
To say this journey is expensive is putting it mildly. Just to get to a diagnosis, Maggie went through:
- 3 separate sets of xrays
- Blood work
- 2 ultrasounds
- Bone aspirate
The Stereotactic RadioSurgery (SRS) treatment includes:
- CT scan
- 3 radiation treatments
- IV drip of Palmidronate (a bone stenghtener)
And then, on top of all that is her medication, pain killers and possibly a round of chemptherapy.
All in, including the office visits, the treatment and her medications, the cost is going to be over $20,000. Before you choke on your coffee, let me tell you that we have pet insurance and without it, this expense would be hard to deal with. And who wants to make health choices for ourselves, or for our pets based on cost? Not me.
We’ve had Healthy Paws Pet Insurance for both Jack and Maggie since shortly after we adopted them. Insurance for senior pets is not cheap and there are things that are not covered because they were ‘pre-existing’. For instance, all of Jack’s IBD problems aren’t covered because he was treated for it before we got the insurance, so follow-up treatments aren’t covered. That sucks, but it’s the same for humans.
But Maggie’s OSA is covered – 90% of it is covered. That makes getting the best care available for her is possible without the financial distress.
The Healthy Paws team has been wonderful to us. Before we made our decision, I wanted to make sure they covered SRS, so I called to confirm. The first thing they did was extend their sympathies for Maggie and then confirmed they covered it. They even went out of their way to contact me after my initial call to offer to pay our vet directly rather then through the normal reimbursement process. I have received an outpouring of caring and sympathy from each representative I’ve talked to. They even contacted me last week just to ask how Maggie’s treatment was going and how she was feeling. I never get that treatment when I call my own insurance provider for a human health issue!
This is the reason to have Pet Insurance. Yes, I pay a lot each month – $70 each. Yes, I have a $250 deductible which basically covers their annual senior wellness check. But it is this scenario with Maggie when you need it, a catastrophic and expensive illness. Even with all the money we have paid in, Healthy Paws is going to lose money on us – they know it, but they aren’t nickel and diming us – they are going to cover everything, even the diagnostic tests.
I can’t say enough about them and how great they’ve been. If you’ve been thinking about pet insurance, or plan on getting pet insurance someday, get it, and get it sooner rather than later. Our choice of Healthy Paws was a great one, I’m so thankful we have their support and we absolutely recommend them to family & friends. Thanks to them, our Maggie has a good chance of being with us for many more months and maybe years.