Customizing Your Pet Insurance Plan to Be Cheaper
Many pet health insurance providers let policyholders customize aspects of their plan, which can drastically change the monthly premium i.e. the policy pricing.
Most providers allow you to adjust the annual deductible, the reimbursement percentage, and the payout limit. Typically, any changes that offer more insurance coverage will raise the monthly premium. By making significant adjustments to the policy coverage, pet parents may find themselves with monthly payments they can’t afford.
Increase Your Deductible
The annual deductible refers to the amount of money that policyholders have to spend out of pocket before being covered by insurance. This amount can range from $100 to $1,000, which can dramatically raise your pet insurance quote. Usually, the higher the deductible, the less you would pay each month.
Still, it’s crucial to pick a manageable deductible. If you aren’t able to meet a $1,000 deductible on qualifying veterinary care within a billing cycle, you won’t receive any reimbursements. Often, procedures will only count if your insurance plan covers them. That would mean preventative and routine care, vet visit fees, and dental cleanings might not count toward the deductible.
Lower Your Reimbursement Percentage
The reimbursement percentage is the amount of a qualifying vet bill that is covered by insurance. This amount usually ranges between 70 percent and 90 percent, but some pet insurance providers even offer 100 percent reimbursement. That means the insurance provider will pay all of the qualifying invoices. Most of the time, the higher the reimbursement percentage, the higher the monthly premium.
It’s essential to look at the phrasing of the pet insurance policy when choosing a company. Companies like ASPCA base all reimbursements on the average cost in the region, rather than the invoice. That means if you were to file a claim for an $8,000 chiropractic operation, but the average cost in your area for the same procedure was $4,000, ASPCA would only reimburse you based on the average price. If a company bases its reimbursements on the local average, rather than the actual invoice, it might not be cost-effective to choose a low reimbursement rate.
Lower Your Payout Limits
Payout limits are the maximum amount of money an insurance company will pay toward your pet’s care. Most companies have annual limits, but some have lifetime limits or limits per diagnosis. Payout limits are one of the most important aspects of a coverage plan, and they can range anywhere from $2,000 to $150,000. Many companies also offer an unlimited payout limit.
Typically, the lower the payout limit, the lower the monthly premium. Still, choosing a low payout limit can impact access to the best veterinary care. If you were to choose a $2,000 payout limit, but your cat needed emergency care that cost $10,000, you would have to pay $8,000 out of pocket.