Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Review

Pet Insurance Reviews October 5, 2020
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Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Review

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Though your pet may not be related by blood, he’s a member of the family and he deserves to be treated as such. In the same way that you want the best medical treatment for your partner and children, you want the best veterinary care for your pet. Unfortunately, pet healthcare can be expensive, and many pet parents find themselves making difficult decisions based on finances.

If you want to avoid the stress caused by unexpected medical bills for you pet and don’t want a big decision to come down to affordability, a pet health insurance plan might be the right solution.

Pet health insurance performs a similar role for pets that health insurance does for people. Simply put, it helps offset the cost of unexpected medical bills in exchange for a monthly premium. Many pet insurance companies offer customizable plans with extensive coverage – Healthy Paws pet insurance is one of them.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about Healthy Paws to decide if it’s right for you.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • Easy to Enroll. Enrollment is quick and easy online or through the Healthy Paws mobile app.
  • Fast Claim Processing. This company generally processes claims within 2 business days.
  • No Annual Maximum. There’s no per-claim or per-year maximum payout, only an annual deductible ($100, $250, or $500).
  • Customizable Plan. One plan that can be customized with different options.
Cons
  • Age Limitations. Pets over 6 may have limitations for coverage (such as hip dysplasia) and require vet exam within 30 days. Pets over 8 restricted to 60% reimbursement rate.
  • Waiting Period. Healthy Paws requires a 15-day waiting period on all plans.
  • Exam Fees Not Covered. This plan doesn’t cover any examination fees or consult fees.
  • Enrollment Fee. You’ll be charged a one-time $25 fee at enrollment.
Pros
  • Easy to Enroll. Enrollment is quick and easy online or through the Healthy Paws mobile app.
  • Fast Claim Processing. This company generally processes claims within 2 business days.
  • No Annual Maximum. There’s no per-claim or per-year maximum payout, only an annual deductible ($100, $250, or $500).
  • Customizable Plan. One plan that can be customized with different options.
Cons
  • Age Limitations. Pets over 6 may have limitations for coverage (such as hip dysplasia) and require vet exam within 30 days. Pets over 8 restricted to 60% reimbursement rate.
  • Waiting Period. Healthy Paws requires a 15-day waiting period on all plans.
  • Exam Fees Not Covered. This plan doesn’t cover any examination fees or consult fees.
  • Enrollment Fee. You’ll be charged a one-time $25 fee at enrollment.
Price
Coverage
Waiting Period
Policy Options
Customer Support

About Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

At Healthy Paws, dogs and cats are more than just pets – they’re members of the family. The company was founded in 2009 as Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation and, in the years since, has risen to become one of the most popular pet insurance companies in the country.

The story of Healthy Paws goes back to Steve Siadek and Rob Jackson, co-founders who met through a local no-kill animal shelter. After leaving a corporate career to pursue his passion in pets, Steve had become the shelter’s executive director. Rob, an insurance executive, adopted several pets through the shelter and eventually partnered with Steve to create Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation.

This company seeks to help cats and dogs live longer with a better quality of life through access to quality veterinary care. Healthy Paws doesn’t just want what’s best for pets, however, they also seek to meet the needs of pet parents by constantly striving to improve their plans and services. This company makes it easy to submit and manage claims online and make changes to your account through their smartphone application and the Customer Center.

Healthy Paws has a strategic partnership with Aon Corporation, the world’s largest insurance broker, and is underwritten by Chubb Group, an A+ rated insurer. The company says, “This combination of pet passion, entrepreneurial leadership, insurance expertise, and financial strength provides [their] customers with a smart, affordable pet insurance plan that will protect pets today, tomorrow, and long into the future.”

Today, Healthy Paws is one of the most popular pet insurance companies on the market. Read on to learn the basics about them, their plans, and their coverage.

How Does Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Work?

Much like health insurance for people, pet healthy insurance is designed to help offset the cost of veterinary care. Policyholders pay a monthly premium in exchange for coverage, but the primary difference is pet healthy insurance companies like Healthy Paws don’t directly pay your vet costs – they offer reimbursement for covered services up to 90%, depending which plan you select.

Here are the details you need to know about Healthy Paws pet insurance:

  1. Pet Insurance Plans

Healthy Paws offers coverage for puppies, dogs, kittens, and cats. They offer a single plan with customizable levels of coverage. As long as the treatment isn’t for a pre-existing condition, it’s covered – it doesn’t matter if it’s for an accident, illness, or hereditary condition.

Here are the categories Healthy Paws plans cover:

  • Illnesses – Healthy Paws considers an illness to be a sickness, disease, or changes to your pet’s healthy normal state. These include skin issues, ear infections, allergies, and more.
  • Accidents – According to Healthy Paws, an accident is an unexpected and unintended event.
  • Hereditary/Congenital Conditions – This is a condition passed down to your pet from his parents and may include examples like hip dysplasia and intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).
  • Chronic Conditions – These are ongoing or permanent conditions that require long-term treatment, such as allergies, diabetes, cancer, and hypothyroidism.
  • Diagnostic Treatment – Coverage for diagnostic treatment includes x-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds, and more.
  • Surgery/Hospitalization – Your pet is covered for surgery and hospitalization costs related to covered accidents and illnesses.
  • Medications – All medications prescribed by your veterinary are approved by Healthy Paws.
  • Emergency/Specialty Care – This includes treatment at critical care and emergency facilities as well as orthopedic specialists, oncologists, internal medicine experts, and more.
  • Alternative Treatments – The Healthy Paws plan offers coverage for certain alternative treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic care, and hydrotherapy.

Though the Healthy Paws insurance policy is very comprehensive, there are a few big categories it doesn’t cover. Like most pet health insurance plans, this company doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, exam fees, or preventative care. This means pet owners are responsible for annual check-ups and vaccinations as well as teeth cleaning and spay/neuter procedures.

Here’s a quick review of the coverage Healthy Paws pet insurance offers:

Routine Vet Exam Emergency Vet Visit Specialty Vet Visit Diagnostic Testing & Imaging
Veterinary Exams X X X
  Acupuncture Chiropractic Hydrotherapy
Alternative Therapies X X X
  Biopsies Urinalysis Fecal Exams Blood Tests X-Rays
Diagnostic Testing X X X X X
  Prescription Drugs Hospitalization Surgery Pre-Existing Conditions Chronic Conditions Hereditary Disorders
Others X X X X X
  Spay/Neuter Vaccinations Flea Control Parasite Control Dental Healthcare Elective Procedures
Preventive Care
  1. Pricing

When it comes to pet health insurance in the United States, prices vary according to numerous factors. Not only does Healthy Paws consider your location, but they take into account your pet’s age, sex, and breed as well. Prices range from under $10 per month to around $50 per month, depending on your pet and your preferred level of coverage (the percentage Healthy Paws will reimburse you per claim).

The best way to find out how much Healthy Paws costs is to request a quote. To give you an example of two different pets, we’ll use a 2-year-old mixed-breed male dog weighing 50 pounds and a 2-year-old female mixed-breed cat.

Here’s the breakdown of the options for the sample dog:

Reimbursement % Annual Reimbursement Limit Annual Deductible Monthly Premium
70% None $100 $37.61
70% None $250 $29.18
70% None $500 $24.81
80% None $100 $42.10
80% None $250 $32.64
80% None $500 $27.74
90% None $100 $52.61
90% None $250 $40.75
90% None $500 $34.64

Here’s the breakdown of the options for the sample cat:

Reimbursement % Annual Reimbursement Limit Annual Deductible Monthly Premium
70% None $100 $14.19
70% None $250 $11.00
70% None $500 $9.35
80% None $100 $15.90
80% None $250 $12.31
80% None $500 $10.47
90% None $100 $19.88
90% None $250 $15.39
90% None $500 $13.08

If you have trouble paying your monthly premiums, you can always adjust your coverage level. To decrease your monthly premium, you can reduce your reimbursement level or increase your deductible. You can do this by contacting Customer Care or by accessing your account online or in the app.

  1. Waiting Periods

Pet insurance companies seek to provide coverage for pet owners against unexpected vet costs, so they require a waiting period before the policy becomes effective (when you’re able to submit your first claim). This is designed to prevent fraud –purchasing a plan to offset the cost of treatment for conditions that have already been diagnosed.

Healthy Paws requires a 15-day waiting period after enrollment for all plans except those in the states of Maryland and New Hampshire. In all other states, your policy will become effective at 12:01 am the day after you enroll, and you can begin submitting claims 15 days later.

The only other waiting period is a 12 month waiting period for hip dysplasia treatment. All pets, even those enrolled under age 6, have this requirement.

  1. Claim Limits

While many insurance companies limit their payouts per claim, Healthy Paws does not. Though Healthy Paws doesn’t enforce any claim limits per accident or illness, a lifetime maximum payout may apply. This amount will be stated on the Declarations Page of your pet’s policy. There are no annual limits per claim or per year.

Another factor to consider with Health Paws is their coverage limits when it comes to age.

Pets under 6 years of age at enrollment must have undergone a complete veterinary exam within 12 months of the effective date or within 15 days following the policy effective date. If your pet is over 6 years of age, he’ll need a comprehensive exam within 30 days of enrollment or 15 days after the effective date. Hip dysplasia coverage isn’t available for pets over 6 years at enrollment.

  1. Deductibles

A deductible is the amount you pay for covered services before the plan starts to offer reimbursement – deductibles are on top of your monthly premiums.

Your monthly premium will vary depending on the type of pet you have, the pet’s breed, and its age. Your costs may also depend on your location. As noted in the table above, the average monthly premium for Healthy Paws pet insurance ranges from under $10 to over $50, depending on the pet.

Healthy Paws offers three different options for annual deductibles – $100, $250, or $500 per year. Adjusting your deductible will increase or lower your monthly premium.

  1. Pre-Existing Conditions

No pet health insurance company covers pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is a condition that first showed clinical signs or symptoms before the coverage period started – it generally applies whether your pet has actually been seen for the condition or not.

Here’s an example Healthy Paws provides of a pre-existing condition:

“Your dog has been itchy ever since you adopted her from the shelter. Over the past month she’s been in several times to see her veterinarian for her itchy skin, loss of fur, and hot spots. Your veterinarian is treating the symptoms but has not diagnosed the condition yet. You decide to enroll her in pet insurance. A couple of months later your dog has another flare-up of the same itchy skin symptoms and you take her to see her veterinarian, who prescribes additional medication. This would be considered pre-existing, since the clinical signs and symptoms of the condition were noted before enrollment.”

Though pre-existing conditions aren’t covered, Healthy Paws does offer coverage for congenital and hereditary conditions like elbow dysplasia, cherry eye (entropion), and intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). As long as your pet doesn’t have any symptoms of the condition before the time of enrollment treatment related to the condition will be covered.

  1. Wellness and Preventive Care

A Healthy Paws insurance plan is intended to cover unexpected vet costs for illness and injuries, not general wellness or preventive care. This includes exam fees, vaccinations, parasite control, annual fecal exams, heartworm control, and dental healthcare.

The company says the following:

“By making the office visit part of the pet parent’s financial responsibility, we can offer our accident and illness plan with no caps on payouts at a more affordable monthly premium.”

Other charges that may not be covered include fees related to the professional opinion of the veterinarian such as rechecks, consultations, emergency exams, and office calls.

  1. Pets Covered

Healthy Paws pet insurance currently only offers coverage for dogs and cats. Their plans cover puppies and kittens as well as adult dogs and cats up to five years of age with no additional cost for hereditary and congenital conditions. Pets over six years of age can be enrolled up to their 14th birthday and will enjoy coverage throughout the rest of their life.

Healthy Paws Customer Reviews

As a responsible pet owner, you want to make an educated decision on your pet’s behalf. You can only do so much research about a company, however, so it’s also a good idea to take into account what actual customers are saying. Here are some positive reviews and negative reviews from real customers:

Positive Reviews

“We think Healthy Paws offered the best options for coverage vs pricing eight years ago. Once you met deductible, they cover 90% of Vet bills (excluding office visits charge). They usually pay within a few days of claim and mail checks within a week. Customer service is top notch. Only downside is the increase of over 50% in monthly premium when we moved from New England to SC.” – Tony of Summerville, SC

“I am writing to pat this insurance company on the back. What would I do without you? It was the most horrendous year of my life, and without Healthy Paws, I would really be up a creek. In Nov. 2019, my 6-year-old dog, Polly, was diagnosed with IVDD and had extensive tests. Sadly, after working with her for several weeks, she was making no progress and had to be put down. That was SO hard, and HP came in to help with the lion’s share of my bills.” – Joy of Austin, TX

Negative Reviews

“Every year, HP raises my premium, which is not unexpected, but the increases are obscenely steep, and just keep getting steeper. It started with a 20% increase, then 30%… and 4 years into our policies (2 dogs), we now have a 60% increase for each policy. It becomes prohibitively expensive. It is true that they never change your coverage amounts, but they increase your premium until you have no choice but to decrease your coverage and/or increase your deductible to bring the premium down to a more manageable amount.” Elysia of Springfield, VA

“I was a customer for a couple years. This past year with filing claims, the company has been increasingly difficult to deal with and now are not covering expenses which are covered by the plan. I submitted a claim for my dog with a urinary tract infection and as part of the illness visit, the vet ordered basic labs. Healthy Paws refused to cover the lab work citing they don’t cover “wellness/ preventative labs”. I noted that these were not preventative labs but ordered due to an acute illness. But healthy paws didn’t budge stating this was what they determined.” – Eric of New York, NY

How Do You Sign Up?

Before you sign up with any pet insurance provider, you’ll need to obtain a custom quote using your pet’s specific information. Healthy Paws makes it easy by enabling you to see your pet’s rate online – you can also save a quote to view later.

Here’s the information you’ll need to provide:

  • Your pet’s name
  • Your pet’s species and sex
  • Your pet’s breed
  • Your pet’s birth month and year
  • Your home zip code and email address

After you submit this basic information, Healthy Paws will match you with a monthly quote. Their quotes start at an 80% reimbursement rate and $250 annual deductible with unlimited maximum payouts. You can customize your monthly cost by clicking the “Customize Rate” link which enables you to change the reimbursement rate and deductible option. All plans have no maximum annual payout.

Once you’ve customized your plan as desired, you simply fill out the necessary information to complete your customer profile and add payment information to complete your enrollment.

Is Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Worth It?

Being a pet owner is expensive but having a pet insurance plan can help offset your costs for pet medical care and give you peace of mind as well. Unexpected vet costs are often the most expensive, so many pet owners love knowing that a significant percentage of their fees will be reimbursed.

What we liked about Healthy Paws is that they offer a single pet policy for dogs and cats which makes life simple. You can customize your coverage to choose your reimbursement level and annual deductible, but there are no limits on annual or per-incident coverage. The main downside that comes with this benefit, however, is that exam fees aren’t covered.

If you’re looking for the best pet health insurance plan for your pet, it’s a good idea to shop around. Get a few different pet insurance quotes so you can compare prices and coverage to see if Healthy Paws aligns with your pet’s needs. Generally speaking, Healthy Paws is very affordable, even compared to other companies like Trupanion and Embrace.

In the end, it’s your decision whether pet insurance is necessary and affordable, but we think it’s definitely something you should consider. Do a little research into your pet’s potential health problems to decide if a pet policy might be valuable.

Click Here to Get A Quote on Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Healthy Paws pet insurance?

The Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation was started in 2009 by co-founders Steve Siadek and Rob Jackson. They partnered with Aon Corporation for financial stability and their insurance plans are underwritten by Chubb Group.

How to cancel Healthy Paws pet insurance?

In order to cancel your Healthy Paws insurance plan, you must contact the company via email, regular mail, or fax at least 14 days in advance of your next premium payment.

Does Healthy Paws pet insurance cover cremation?

No, Healthy Paws doesn’t cover cremation. Their insurance plans cover euthanasia when it is medically necessary for a covered condition, but they don’t cover aftercare expenses.

Does Healthy Paws pet insurance cover hip dysplasia?

Yes, as long as certain requirements are met. The pet must be under 6 years of age at the time of enrollment and should have no clinical signs or symptoms within the first 12 months of continuous coverage. Under these conditions, hip dysplasia is covered at no additional cost.

Does Healthy Paws pet insurance cover allergy testing?

Yes, Healthy Paws covers diagnostic testing for covered conditions which includes allergy testing.

Does Healthy Paws pet insurance cover blood work?

Yes, Healthy Paws covers diagnostic testing for covered conditions which includes bloodwork.

Does Healthy Paws pet insurance cover dental?

No, Healthy Paws doesn’t cover dental healthcare for preventative care such as dental cleaning and extractions. They do, however, offer coverage for dental care related to traumatic injury such as a chipped tooth. When dental damage is caused by an outside source, the cost of extraction or reconstruction is generally covered.

Does Healthy Paws pet insurance cover emergency visits?

Yes, Healthy Paws covers emergency visits to critical care and emergency care clinics.

Does Healthy Paws pet insurance cover neutering?

No, Healthy Paws doesn’t cover any preventive care which includes spay and neuter surgery.

Does Healthy Paws pet insurance cover medication?

Yes, Healthy Paws covers prescription medication as long as it is related to a covered condition. Dietary supplements and over-the-counter medications may not be covered.

Does Healthy Paws pet insurance cover prescription food?

No, Healthy Paws only covers unexpected treatment costs such as prescription medications, diagnostic testing, and surgery or hospitalization – they do not cover prescription diets.

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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