While many pet parents rely on pet health insurance to be prepared for unexpected accidents and illnesses, some also choose to sign up for wellness plans. It’s important to note that a wellness plan is completely different from a pet insurance plan.
Pet health insurance is not the same as human health insurance, so those annual vet visits for routine wellness and vaccines aren’t covered by your pet health insurance policy.
What is a Wellness Plan?
Unlike pet insurance, which is meant to help pay for the veterinary costs associated with unexpected injuries and illnesses, wellness plans are meant for routine veterinary care that you know your pet will need. Wellness plans were designed to spread out the costs of routine care over the year, rather than paying a lump sum at your annual or bi-annual wellness visit. The cost of a wellness plan over a year is often equal to the amount you would pay at individual vet appointments but can sometimes even cost more, depending on the veterinary care your pet needs that year.
Wellness Plan Coverage
Plans will vary, but in general, they cover items that you can plan and prepare for such as annual wellness exams, vaccinations and preventative care, spay/neuter, and routine dental care, such as teeth cleaning. Wellness plans can be purchased for an additional fee from a variety of places; some pet insurance providers offer wellness add-ons for an additional cost, and many veterinary hospitals offer wellness plans to be used only at their hospital or within their network of vet hospitals.
Pet Insurance versus Wellness Plans
Although wellness care is an essential part of responsible pet parenting, there is a clear distinction between a wellness plan and pet health insurance. Pet insurance is intended to help cover unplanned veterinary visits, including diagnostics, treatment, and medication for injuries or illnesses that can quickly become very expensive and aren’t as easy to budget for.
Pet insurance does not cover routine wellness care. It’s similar to how car insurance is meant for car accidents, which are unexpected, but it doesn’t cover the expected and routine oil changes, brake pads, or car washes.
Do I Need a Wellness Plan?
As part of the anticipated expenses when taking on the responsibility of caring for a pet, you can plan and budget for taking your pet to the veterinarian once or twice a year for their wellness visits. Some pet parents prefer a wellness plan as a way of spreading out expected costs, so whether or not you choose to purchase one is a matter of personal preference.
When considering purchasing a wellness plan, it should be noted that the cost can exceed the cost of actual care in some cases, and some pet parents may opt to budget for these expected pet healthcare costs instead of purchasing a pet wellness plan. For example, you will only use the spay/neuter benefit or microchip benefit once. There are also other procedures you might not need, such as deworming, flea control, or heartworm testing, so you might end up paying more for the wellness plan than you get out of it.
The Healthy Paws Plan Intentionally Does Not Cover Wellness
The Healthy Paws plan does not cover wellness or preventative care, as it’s here to help with the unforeseen veterinary visits. Wellness is not included in coverage for the following main reasons:
- It’s expected and easy to budget for. Pet parents can plan for the predictable costs of routine care such as annual exams and vaccines.
- It can be more expensive without adding value. Wellness coverage increases the cost of monthly premiums, and oftentimes you end up paying more over the life of your pet than you get out of it.
- You don’t need a “middleman” to help finance expected costs. This way, your monthly pet insurance premium can be kept at a more affordable price.
Examples of other common types of insurances that cover the unexpected and not the expected costs:
If you’re still interested in a wellness plan for your pet, check with your local veterinary hospital to see if they offer one that works for you.
If you need help budgeting for the unexpected, big-ticket emergencies that could cost thousands of dollars, or the recurring prescriptions that quickly add up, consider pet insurance. Learn more about what the Healthy Paws plan covers, or get a quote today.