If you find yourself talking to your cat or dressing up your dog for special occasions, you’re not weird — you’re in good company. Many pet owners consider their animals as beloved members of the family.
If you adore your pet and want to keep them safe and healthy, pet insurance can provide protection and offset your expenses. A leading option is Healthy Paws, a company that offers one simple plan for dogs and cats.
Here’s what pet parents need to know about the Healthy Paws pet insurance plan, including its rates and limitations.
Healthy Paws Benefits
- #1 Customer-Rated 2010 - 2021
- No maximum annual or lifetime payouts
- Most claims processed within 2 days
- More than 550,000 pets enrolled
What is Healthy Paws Pet Insurance?
If you own a pet, you’re likely going to spend some time at a veterinarian’s office. Whether it’s for routine vaccinations or an emergency procedure, dogs and cats often need medical attention to stay healthy.
According to Healthy Paws’ Cost of Pet Health Care Report, typical emergency vet visits can cost anywhere from $250 to $8,000. If you don’t have insurance or enough money in savings to cover the cost, that might mean making some very tough choices if your pet needs expensive medical procedures.
Healthy Paws was launched in 2009 by Steve Siadek and Rob Jackson to help people pay for veterinary care. Siadek and Jackson met through a local animal shelter and were inspired to develop a tool people could use to manage the financial impact of pet ownership.
Healthy Paws doesn’t issue insurance policies itself. Instead, its plans are underwritten by the Chubb Group, an international insurance company, and its subsidiaries. In 2019, Healthy Paws processed over 800,000 claims from pet owners.
How does Healthy Paws Pet Insurance work?
If you’re wondering how pet insurance works, Healthy Paws usually uses a reimbursement model. You can visit any licensed veterinarian, including specialists and emergency hospitals. After your pet receives treatment, you’ll pay the vet yourself. You submit a claim, and Healthy Paws will send you a check to reimburse you. How much you get reimbursed will depend on the plan options you choose. You can choose a 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement rate, and you can also choose a deductible of $100, $250, or $500.
There are some exceptions to this structure. If your pet needs a very expensive procedure, such as canine chemotherapy, you can contact Healthy Paws and request that the company pay the veterinarian directly. Requests for direct payment of emergency vet bills are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Unlike other insurance companies, Healthy Paws does not have an annual or lifetime limit on your coverage payouts. While other companies may stop reimbursing you after you rack up $7,000 to $15,000 of bills in a year, Healthy Paws will continue to make eligible claim payouts.
What coverages does Healthy Paws Pet Insurance offer?
While other pet insurance companies have multiple plans to choose from, Healthy Paws has only one policy. Its insurance may cover treatments for accidents and new illnesses, including:
- Prescription medications
- Emergency care
- X-rays and blood work
Unlike some other companies, Healthy Paws doesn’t have a wellness option, so its plan doesn’t cover routine vet office visits, vaccinations, spay or neuter procedures, or teeth cleanings.
As with other pet insurance companies, Healthy Paws doesn’t cover treatments for pre-existing conditions. If your pet began showing clinical signs or symptoms before your pet’s coverage began or during the policy’s waiting period, the company won’t reimburse you for the pet’s related treatments.
After enrolling in a Healthy Paws policy, the company has a 15-day waiting period before covering accidents or illnesses.
There are additional coverage restrictions for certain congenital conditions if you have an older pet. If your pet is six or older at the time of enrollment, Healthy Paws will not reimburse you for any treatments related to hip dysplasia.
How much does Healthy Paws Pet Insurance cost?
Premiums pricing is based on your pet’s age at enrollment, your pet's breed, your zip code, your selected deductible, and the reimbursement level you choose.
For a three-year-old dog with an 80% reimbursement level and $250 deductible, the monthly premium would be $30.33. For an older dog, the premium for a plan with a 60% reimbursement level and a $500 deductible would be $103.29.
Plans for cats tend to be slightly less expensive. Coverage for young cats could be under $13 per month depending on the plan you choose. For older cats, premiums can be over $90 per month.
While Healthy Paws offers coverage for pets up to 14 years of age, keep in mind that reimbursement levels are limited for older pets. Depending on your pet’s age, the maximum reimbursement percentage may be as low as 60%.
How to get insurance coverage from Healthy Paws
- Get a pet insurance quote online: With Healthy Paws, you can use the “See My Rates” tool to get a quote online. Simply head to the Healthy Paws website, enter your pet’s age, gender, and breed to see your options.
- Adjust your coverage: You can adjust your reimbursement level and annual deductible. The available reimbursement levels range from 60% to 90%, and deductibles range from $100 to $500.
- Enter your information: If you decide to move forward with the quote you received, the site will prompt you to enter your contact information and mailing address.
- Pay the first premium: To begin your coverage, pay your first premium. Note that Healthy Paws adds a $25 one-time administrative fee to your first month’s bill.
- Schedule a veterinarian exam: Healthy Paws requires all newly enrolled pets to undergo a clinical exam administered by a licensed veterinarian. If your pet is under six years of age, the exam must have taken place within 12 months of the policy effective date or 15 days after. If your pet is six or older, the exam must have taken place within 30 days of the policy effective date or 15 days after.
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance FAQs
Is Healthy Paws good pet insurance?
Healthy Paws is a reputable company backed by a major insurance company. Its pet health insurance policies are underwritten by the Chubb Group, a company with a $25 billion surplus and an A+ rating from credit rating agencies. It is also accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A rating.
Healthy Paws customer reviews are mixed. Some customers praise Healthy Paws for its good customer service and simple claims process, while others express concerns about expensive premiums.
Is a vet exam a prerequisite for coverage with Healthy Paws?
Yes, Healthy Paws requires all newly enrolled pets to have a veterinary exam or the policy will be voided. For pets under six, the exam must take place within 12 months before the policy’s effective date or 15 days after coverage begins. For pets over six, the exam must take place within 30 days before the policy’s effective date or 15 days after the policy begins.
Does Healthy Paws have any coverage exclusions?
Healthy Paws’ plans only cover treatments for new accidents or illnesses. It does not cover pre-existing conditions, exam fees, or illnesses or injuries that occur within the first 15 days after the pet insurance plan is issued. Plans do not include wellness benefits, so Healthy Paws will not reimburse you for preventative care expenses.
While Healthy Paws might cover congenital conditions, if your pet is over six, Healthy Paws does not cover any treatments for hip dysplasia.
Does Healthy Paws cover dental?
Healthy Paws doesn’t include coverage for preventative dental care, such as professional teeth cleanings. However, if your pet injures its teeth in an accident, it does cover extractions or reconstruction procedures.
What is the waiting period for Healthy Paws Pet Insurance?
There is a 15-day waiting period for most injuries and illnesses for Healthy Paws coverage. When you file your first claim, you will also need to share information about your pet's medical history.
There is a 12-month waiting period for hip dysplasia before Healthy Paws will cover any treatments for the condition. If your pet is over six years old, Healthy Paws doesn’t cover hip dysplasia treatments at all.
Does Healthy Paws cover pre-existing conditions?
Like other pet insurance companies, Healthy Paws doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. It only provides coverage for new illnesses and accidents.
While coverage from the best pet insurance companies may seem expensive, many people find that pet insurance is worth it. It can significantly reduce your veterinary bills if your pet becomes sick or is injured in an accident. If you’re looking for an insurance provider, Healthy Paws is a well-known company that generally covers new accidents and illnesses. And, it doesn’t have annual caps on your coverage, giving you peace of mind that your pet's medical care won't become a costly burden.