It’s reasonable to want to avoid any unexpected surprises and make sure your cat will get the best care when they need it. It’s a good idea to ask the big questions in advance. So, what cat procedures will pet insurance cover?
Cats are amazing creatures that bring joy to our lives. However, just like any other pet, they can get sick or injured. As a responsible cat parent, you want to ensure your furry overlord receives the best possible care, but veterinary bills can be expensive. That’s where pet insurance comes in. We’ll explore the ins and outs of what cat procedures will pet insurance cover for your cat.
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This overview includes which types of procedures it covers, pre-existing conditions, deductibles, and more. Let’s get started!
Types of Pet Insurance
There are two main types of pet health policies covered by pet insurance companies: accident-only and comprehensive coverage.
Accident-only plans cover accidents and injuries, such as broken bones, bite wounds, and poisoning. If you want to skip most of the cost of pet insurance, this is the type to look into.
Comprehensive coverage, also known as an accident and illness plan, covers not only accidents but also illnesses and chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.
Pet wellness plans are a third option you may want to get in addition to their basic insurance. These can help with the cost of routine preventative care and exam fees not covered by pet insurance.
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It’s important to note as a pet owner that most pet insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is any health problem your cat had before you signed up for the policy. This means that if your cat has a chronic condition or an injury that occurred before you got insurance, its treatment probably won’t be covered.
Accidents and Injuries
Who doesn’t want a happy and healthy cat? They bring us so many laughs and a lot of love (even when they try to hide it).
If your cat gets into an accident or is injured, pet insurance can help cover the cost of their medical care. Depending on the policy, it may cover things like X-rays, surgery, medication, and hospitalization. Make sure you read the fine print and understand what is covered and what isn’t.
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While most pet insurance covers outdoor and indoor cats, it’s still worth checking to see if any part of the policy may make it more difficult to get reimbursement for an outdoor cat’s potential illness or injuries.
Some pet insurance policies cover the cost of microchipping your cat. Some only help if the procedure is for a dog. Others consider it a routine or elective procedure and refuse to cover it at all.
Microchipping costs around $50, so it is worth doing for peace of mind, even if your insurance does not cover it. If your cat gets lost or stolen, a microchip can help ensure they are returned to you.
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Suppose the surgery needs to be scheduled instead of an immediate need (such as after being hit by a car or ingesting something they shouldn’t have). In that case, it will generally fall into the elective or semi-elective category. It may not be covered by insurance unless it is deemed medically necessary and the condition was not pre-existing.
Pet insurance policies rarely cover elective surgeries like spaying and neutering. However, pet wellness plans will often help to cover at least part of the cost of those procedures.
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Many accident-only insurance policies cover the extraction of a tooth broken in an accident. Comprehensive plans may cover the cost of extraction if a tooth is deemed to be chronic or causing other health problems. Even if your pet’s plan covers dental, they may still deny reimbursement if they believe the problem to be due to dental neglect.
Dental is sometimes only available at an extra charge, so check any new policies before signing.
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A pet wellness plan may cover, or partially cover, the cost of dental cleaning for a cat. Cleanings require anesthesia and usually cost around $600 (trying to clean their teeth without anesthesia is probably more difficult than attempting to bathe most cats). Your vet may not recommend regular cleanings because of this.
Common Cat Surgeries – What cat procedures will pet insurance cover?
There are several common surgeries that cats may need at some point in their lives. Some of these may be covered by pet insurance while others may not.
Here are the main types:
Foreign object removal: Cats are curious creatures and may swallow things they shouldn’t, such as string, floss, hair ties, small toys, or whatever that thing was that rolled behind the fridge. If this happens, surgery may be necessary to remove the object.
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Wound and fracture repair: A bad cut our broken bones may involve stitches or several possible methods of resetting.
Tumor removal: Surgery may be necessary if your cat develops a tumor. Depending on the location and size of the cancer, this can be a complicated and expensive procedure.
Bladder stone removal: Some cats are prone to developing bladder stones, which can cause pain and difficulty urinating. If a prescription diet fails to solve the problem, it sometimes requires surgery to remove the stones and prevent further complications.
Pet Health Insurance Deductibles
Like health insurance for humans, pet insurance policies often come with a deductible. A deductible is paid out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and your cat’s medical bills come to $1,000, you’ll have to pay the first $500. Your insurance will cover the remaining $500. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium will be. It’s about finding the balance that fits your budget and won’t leave you shocked at the vet’s office.
Always read the fine print
While pet insurance can cover a variety of medical procedures, it’s important to be aware of what isn’t covered, such as pre-existing conditions. When looking for a new policy, check the details regarding deductibles, pre-existing conditions, the waiting period, dental, and any stipulations that need to be met for reimbursement. Understanding what insurance can and cannot do can help you make informed decisions about your furry friend’s healthcare. You’ll have peace of mind and be well-prepared for the next potential feline mishap.
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