does pet insurance cover routine care?

does pet insurance cover routine care? | happy dog with vet in exam room
Posted by Aliya McCullough DVM, MS on Apr 14 2020

Pet insurance protects your pet – and your wallet – from new accidents and injuries. With their focus on the unexpected expenses, insurance plans do not cover routine care or wellness.

The belief is that the lower costs of routine care can be planned and budgeted for by the pet parent. However, we all know how difficult it can be to have an extra savings account strictly dedicated to your pet, so some pet insurance providers have begun to offer wellness plans.

What is routine pet care?

Routine care is any preventive care treatment, service or procedure recommended by your veterinarian to either maintain your pet’s overall health, or to prevent illness or injury. It’s important to know just how much you can expect to pay for your dog or cat’s routine care so that you can properly plan.

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Average costs of routine care

  • Wellness exam: $45-$70 per visit
  • Vaccines: $15-$50 each
  • Fecal examinations: $25-$45 per test
  • Heartworm and tick disease testing: $45-$50 per test
  • Wellness blood testing: $75-$110 per test
  • Preventative dental cleaning: $70-$400
  • Spaying or neutering: $35-$1,000

Routine care covered by pet wellness plans

Wellness care plans are designed to reimburse pet parents for routine care expenses such as wellness exams, vaccinations, preventive medications, preventive dental cleanings, microchipping, as well as spaying and neutering.

Most wellness plans are not subject to waiting periods, copays or a deductible and reimbursements are often based on set fees for the predetermined services mentioned above. Most wellness plan providers offer two or three options ranging from a basic plan with a $250 allowance to a premium plan with a $650 allowance.

Routine care covered by insurance

Your veterinarian may also offer preventive care plans (also called wellness plans) through their hospital to help with the expected costs. Instead of reimbursements, these plans typically spread out the cost of a year’s worth of preventive care costs over a 12-month payment schedule.

Hospital-offered preventive care plans are often a good fit, because the fees already match what the hospital charges and can be customized to your pet’s needs. With that said, it doesn’t hurt to research what wellness plans different insurance providers offer.

Routine care not covered by insurance

While most pet insurance providers will not reimburse you for the cost of vaccines or a spay surgery, they may provide coverage for spay complications or a vaccine reaction as long as they are not deemed a pre-existing condition.

Budgeting for veterinary recommended wellness care is easier than saving for an unexpected medical expense because costs tend to be lower and more predictable. Easier said than done, right? Thankfully, there are wallet-friendly wellness care options too, so your pet won’t miss out on important routine care.

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