Vet care can be quite expensive across the United States; however, if you live in the Bay Area, you know that things can be quite pricey, even a visit to the vet. Getting pet insurance can help to keep your pets healthier and makes it very easy to pay the expensive vet bills. Pet insurance essentially reimburses a portion of your vet bills, when you pay a monthly insurance premium.
Why Do You Need Pet Insurance in Massachusetts?
Illnesses, injuries and accidents occur to everyone, including your pets and it has been estimated that 1 among 3 pets will require emergency treatment every year. Pet insurance covers any pet illness, accidents or injuries, including vet, specialist and emergency vet visits. According to the Massachusetts Insurance Division having pet insurance can:
- Help to reduce financial burden in case your pet falls ill, meets with an accident or in the event of any pet emergency. The pet insurance reimburses you for specified vet care. Just as your health insurance policy, pet insurance covers treatments, per illness or lifetime maximums and deductibles. The policy cost varies depending on the type of coverage, amount, species, or breed.
- In the event of the death of your pet, the pet insurance covers the end-of-life costs, which can include cremation/burial expenses and also bereavement counseling for your family and you.
While you may have a general idea of how much routine pet healthcare costs; however, depending on the situation, an emergency can set you back financially, which is why it is important to have insurance coverage for your pets.
What Does the Best Pet Insurance MA Cover?
Most pet insurance companies in Massachusetts have 4 kinds of policies:
- Illness and Accident Plans: These cover any unexpected illnesses and emergency expenses.
- Accident-Only Plans: The cover only emergency expenses.
- Wellness Plans: These cover tests, preventative care and dental care.
- Add-On Services: Burials, finding lost pets, etc.
Not all pet insurance companies in Massachusetts offer all 4 types of policies and it is important that you pay attention to the details of the plan before you buy it. Once you reach the annual deductible, most of the plans will pay up to 70%-90% of your vet bills.
Vet Costs in MA
Illnesses and accidents result in expensive vet bills that can become quite difficult to afford. And, in Massachusetts, the average treatment costs are around:
- Doctor Visit: $50
- Stool Examination: $25 – $45
- Vaccine Boosters: $25
- Heartworm Testing: $50
- Heartworm Medication: $40
- Broken Bones: $200 – $5,000
- Heart Disease: $5,000 – $20,000
- Cardiac Issues: $1,000 – $20,000+
- Autoimmune Diseases: Up to $20,000
- Disc Disease: $3,000 – $9,000
Choosing the best pet insurance in MA can help to protect you from expensive treatment costs.
What Is the Cost of Pet Insurance in Massachusetts?
You can spend between $24 per month to $85 per month on pet insurance in MA, although the price you pay depends on several factors such as:
- The amount of coverage
- Your pet’s age
- Your pet’s pre-existing health conditions
- Your deductible
- The company you buy your pet insurance from
How Does Pet Insurance MA Work?
Pet insurance is similar to health insurance for human beings and at a specific coverage level, you pay a premium. However, not all pet insurance providers have the same reimbursement process. Sometimes, when you go to the hospital, you pay the healthcare provider directly, you pay the deductible and the insurance provider will pay the hospital the rest. In other cases, you need to make a payment, submit a claim, file the claim and get reimbursed.
At the start of the pet insurance coverage, there is usually a standard waiting period and you may not receive the benefits for the claims you file during this waiting period. The waiting period depends on the pet insurance provider and also the coverage terms; however, typically, the waiting period ranges from a few days to weeks.
For instance, the waiting period for injuries may be 5 days, while for illnesses, the waiting period maybe 14 days. Other companies may require a longer waiting period for illnesses, accidents and injuries.
What Does Pet Insurance MA Cover?
Depending on your requirements, insurance providers offer different levels of coverage. In general, when you speak about pet insurance, it refers to illness and accident coverage that includes unexpected sickness, physical injuries, etc. Typically, routine checkups, regular care and wellness visits are not included; however, you may have the option of adding this to your insurance.
Typically, pet insurance policies cover all illnesses and injuries including congenital and hereditary diseases, which are not pre-existing. Ideally, it is best to get an insurance policy for puppies because they are less likely to suffer from any pre-existing conditions that are excluded from the policy. Typically, pet insurance covers:
- Vet exams
- X-rays, CAT scans and MRIs
- Vet specialists
- Cancer treatments
What Does Pet Insurance MA Not Cover?
Usually, illnesses, accidents and injuries, which occur during the waiting period are not covered by the pet insurance. For instance, if you bought the pet insurance on 15th July, the policy will not be effective until the next day and so, your pet may not be covered for any accidents or injuries until the 19th July and if you make any claim during this waiting period, it won’t be covered.
Typically, the conditions not covered by pet insurance are:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Annual exams
- Neutering or spaying
Generally, the way pet insurance works is that you pay a premium on the insurance policy every month and the pet insurance provider will, in turn, pay a part of your vet bills. Each company varies and so, it is important to understand what each insurance company covers before taking an insurance policy for your pet. In the next section, we will discuss some of the best pet insurance companies in MA that you can consider.
Best Pet Insurance in Massachusetts
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance
This is one of our top picks for pet insurance in Massachusetts. The company has a quick turnaround and claims processing. The company makes use of a yearly deductible system and the deductible ranges between $100 and $750 per annum. Healthy Paws cover pets i.e., dogs and cats up to 14 years of age and the pets that are 8 years and older get limited coverage.
Healthy Paws pet insurance covers hereditary conditions, illnesses, injuries, specialty care and alternative treatments; however, exam fees, behavioral treatments, routine treatments and parasite control are not included.
Features of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance
- No yearly or lifetime limits
- Annual deductibles
- Travel benefits
- Quick turnaround
- Easy-to-use app
Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace Pet Insurance is a reliable and popular insurance provider, which makes it a popular choice for pet owners in the Bay State. They offer customizable plans that let you choose different levels of coverage. You also have the option of choosing an optional wellness plan, which helps to make vet care quite affordable.
Embrace offers several discounts, for instance, if you do not file a claim 1 year, then in the following year, the deductible will be $50 lesser on the same plan and this is stackable, which essentially means that if you don’t file a claim for 2 to 3 years, then the deductible will be $100 and $150 respectively. Embrace Pet Insurance also offers multiple pet and military discounts.
Features of Embrace Pet Insurance
- No lifetime limits
- Diminishing deductible
- Quick claims processing
- Optional wellness benefit
- Discounts available
PetPlan Pet Insurance
PetPlan has partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield and offers BCBS members discounts for pet insurance if they have health insurance in Massachusetts. This can help you save money. PetPlan offers many benefits such as flexible coverage, quick claim reimbursements (sometimes even within 5 days) and the ability to consult any vet you want for your pet.
PetPlan does not have any maximum age limit and even covers older pets. PetPlan offers a unique benefit, i.e., pre-authorization, which means that if you have a vet procedure coming up for your pet, which is quite expensive, then your vet can submit a pre-authorization so that PetPlan will cover the amount before your appointment.
Features of PetPlan Pet Insurance
- Flexible coverage
- Select any type of deductible
- Coverage for older pets
- Consult any vet
- Discounts for BCBS members
PetFirst Pet Insurance
If you are on a budget, then you could consider PetFirst Pet Insurance. The company offers many different options and you’re sure to find a plan that works for you even if you’re on a tight budget. The biggest plus of PetFirst is that they have a waiting period of only 14 days for most conditions, which means that your pet will have coverage within two weeks, which is considerably shorter compared to several other pet insurance companies.
Also, apart from offering basic coverage, PetFirst also offers a care rider that makes routine medical expenses more affordable. Also, the company does not specify a maximum age and even if your pet is older than 14 years, he can get a new plan. Also, the reimbursement of claims in most cases is under two weeks, which is quite convenient.
However, one of the limitations of PetFirst is that they have a per-condition deductible, which is not beneficial compared to the annual deductible. They also have a yearly maximum.
Features of PetFirst Pet Insurance
- Several options you can select from
- Annual maximum benefits
- 14-day waiting period
- No maximum age
- Per-condition deductible
- Routine care rider (optional)
Low-Income Pet Help MA
Many organizations in Massachusetts enable you to take care of your pets for free or at very low and affordable costs. They include pet food, wellness checks, spaying/neutering services, etc. Some of these low-income pet help organizations in Massachusetts include:
- Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, Boston: Offers vet care assistance
- Alliance for Animals in Boston: Offers vet medical care and assistance for spaying/neutering
- Animal Rescue League of Boston: Offers vet assistance for pet owners who are on government/state-wide assistance
- Fairy Dog Parents, Duxbury: Offers assistance with general wellness checks, pet food and medical needs for dogs
- Kane’s Krusade, East Longmeadow: Offers pet food, vet care and dog housing and equipment
- Phinney’s Friends MSPCA: offers vet care assistance to disabled, senior or ill pet owners
- Southborough Pet food Pantry, Southborough: Offers pet food assistance
- Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine: Spaying and neutering assistance
- The Sampson Fund, Cape Cod: Offers finds for companion animals’ help
So, as you can see, there are several options when it comes to pet insurance for your furry friends in Massachusetts. All of these insurance providers have their pros and cons and it is a good idea to do your homework before shortlisting the pet insurance plan that works best for you and your pet.