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Getting Maggie pet insurance is something I have put off for three years, but am feeling like I need to get her covered now...just in case.  I have narrowed down the choices to Healthy Paws and Pet Plan.  I am drawn the Healthy Paws because of the yearly deductible (vs paying a deductible per illness).  After reading many posts, I noticed most have Pet Plan, or VPI or Trupanion.  I was wondering what made you choose those plans over the one where you just pay a yearly deductible.  Do they cover something that Healthy Paws does not? I am OK with covering the routine care cost, this is more for the illnesses/accidents that I hope never happen.  Every time we have had to take Maggie to the vet (aside from routine care) it was for separate issues (ear infection, torn paw pads, etc....) so I feel like I would be spending a lot on just the deductibles. I am so confused and don't want to make the wrong choice.

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It sounds like at this point that you are going to have some pre-existing conditions with whichever plan you go with (like the ear infection).  I would talk with you top two plans to see how they will handle that going forward and what all would be pre-existing from what is in your file at the vet.  I considered switching to Healthy Paws for our new Doodle last year after being with Pet Plan with our other two for several years.  Didn't have any complaints with Pet Plan, was just looking at my options.  The one thing that kept me from switching was that Healthy Paws doesn't pay for the Office Call amount.  At some specialists that can be $100.  So I would have my deductible plus the office call amount before anything was paid.  I'm also not sure if you get 100% pay option with Healthy Paws.  It seems I remember it was 90 at the most.  

I'm stuck on this myself. Healthy paws doesn't pay the office call, but petplan has a deductable for each new condition or differing claim, and no matter the payout amount selected if it's a specialist they pay 80% no matter what....which I don't like. So I guess stuck between which I would rather deal with. There are things I don't like about both... Both companies have a lot of things I really like too!

I was deciding between Healthy Paws and Pet Plan. Went with Healthy Paws. And yes, they don't cover office call amount. Also note that some insurance companies have a yearly limit.

You can get a no obligation quote from all insurance companies.

I used this website to help me decide: http://www.petinsurancereview.com

When I was researching plans for my daughter's dog a couple of years ago, I came to the conclusion that Healthy Paw's plan for emergencies or catastrophic illness was the best option. She did enroll him in their plan, but has since cancelled the policy. (She's 25 and says that it's not necessary and that she can't afford it. And, yes, I have tried to convince her, otherwise -- to no avail.) I have my two covered by VPI on one of their comprehensive plans, but for serious illnesses or accidents, I would go with Healthy Paws.

We have Trupanion. I other than the deductible being annual, I think (and I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly) the the major differences between Healthy Paws and Trupanion were that Trupanion covers dental disease and doesn't have a really long waiting period for hip dysplasia. I know Trupanion is more expensive than PetPlan but we think it's worth it to have unlimited coverage. Their office is also 3 minutes from my house, for some reason that makes me feel good. :)

I just went through this myself. I chose pet plan over healthy paws because I finally decided that the whole reason I was getting insurance was really for that potential emergency or drastic instance that I would need it and so I chose to potentially pay more than one deductible, but not have to pay a specialist or emergency office fee. Also- Pet Plan seems to be the favorite or most popular here on DK and I am a firm believer in the power of educated referrals!

That's where I'm stuck actually. If we had to have an ACL repair, we would get it done by a specialist. I don't want to pay 20% on that procedure when I'm paying all this money for a 90 or 100% coverage FOR THOSE circumstances. I also don't know if the office visit would be more than, $250? If so then petplan is more reasonable. If not, healthy paws. I'm actually trying to find out costs for office visits of specialists in my area for this exact reason. Also, annual limits...talking about all this just stresses me out.
In Seattle, where vet services seem to be higher than average, our regular vet is about $70 for an office visit. The most expensive specialty vets (specialty surgeons) that I have seen have $130 consult fees.

While the research does seem a little overwhelming at times (we have all experienced that) it will all be worth it once you make your decision and make the commitment.  I remember the feeling of relief once I knew that they were covered and I didn't have to worry any longer.

After looking and looking, I went with Health paws. Have not had to use it yet and hope I never will.

I think that where you live plays a huge role in this process, particularly when it comes to looking at the deductible.  I'm in a pretty small town where Vet services are fairly reasonable.  I selected a high deductible at $200 because it made my policy cheaper and I knew that I could pretty much always handle $200.  Additionally, I knew that it would be a pretty big illness before I got over the $200 deductible and that the chances of having something huge like that more than once in a year weren't that likely.  Not impossible, but just not likely.    

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