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October 9, 2020
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Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Review


No caps on claim payouts. Unlike other pet insurance providers, Healthy Paws puts no caps on reimbursements. As a rule, policies from other insurers limit on how much will be reimbursed, either on an annual, lifetime, or per-condition basis. Healthy Paws has no such restrictions and will pay out any claim for covered conditions and procedures.

Simplicity of choice. Since Healthy Paws only offers one type of insurance plan with no add-ons, their coverage choices are very straightforward and pricing structure simple. Customers pay a monthly premium that varies only by the usual factors, such as their current residential address, and the breed, sex, and age of their pet.

Nonetheless, as with other insurers’ plans, customers can adjust their reimbursement level and deductible amount. If you choose a lower reimbursement percentage or higher deductible amount, you will get a lower monthly premium.

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Limited coverage options. Healthy Paws’ single plan simplifies the insurance purchasing process, but could be a detriment to customers who want certain types of coverage.

The Healthy Paws’ plan offers illness and accident coverage, and nothing more. While such policies are popular, the plan precludes the option to add wellness, preventative care, or alternative treatments as many other pet insurance companies do. While we don’t necessarily recommend such add-ons –you could be better off paying out-of-pocket for these expenses — some pet owners may want them, and they’re not an option with Healthy Paws.

Dogs and cats only. Some insurers offer coverage for a wide range of species, from birds to fish to exotic reptiles. Healthy Paws, though, only covers dogs and cats.

More limited hip dysplasia coverage than some. Healthy Paws has more limitations than some companies in when it will cover hip dysplasia, a chronic condition in dogs and cats caused by an abnormally formed hip joint. Healthy Paws will not cover hip dysplasia if symptoms manifest within the first year of enrollment, which is longer than the six months that some other insurers impose. And where some other insurers treat the condition at a wide range of ages, Healthy Paws does so only if the animal is under the age of six when it enrolls in a plan.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Products

Healthy Paws single plan includes a range of coverage.

The treatments covered include, but are not limited to, the following, which almost all insurers include in their plans:

  • Diagnostic radiology and imaging tests such as X-rays
  • Diagnostic lab work such as blood tests
  • Surgeries
  • Hospital stays and treatments provided during said hospitalizations
  • Emergency care
  • Prescription medication

The company’s policies also omit these expenses, as do most insurers:

  • Routine care such as wellness and prevention that might include vaccinations, spaying/neutering, flea/parasite/worm control, and grooming
  • Any type of pre-existing condition, as detailed in the insurance policy
  • Congenital conditions when symptoms have already been evident
  • Injuries or treatment provided during the waiting periods
  • Boarding or daycare facilities

However, Healthy Paws also does not cover the following, which some other insurers do include in their accident and illness plans:

  • Normal veterinary exam fees
  • Basic dental healthcare such as cleaning or dental decay procedures
  • Behavioral treatment such as training or group socialization
  • Specially formulated pet food or dietary supplements (although FDA-approved prescription meds are covered)

You can enroll dogs and cats from 8-weeks of age up until they’re 14 years old. Once enrolled, the coverage lasts for the life of the pet or until you cancel.

Furthermore, if you have multiple pets that you wish to insure, or if you get a new pet after insuring your current one, you can add them to your already existing plan with corresponding additional costs.

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Healthy Paws Enrollment Process
Customers can visit Healthy Paws’ website and answer basic questions, such as pet age and breed and current residential zip code, to receive a quote estimate.
After you receive the quote, you can modify the monthly premium by selecting the reimbursement percentage and deductible amount.
You then fill out the contact information, read and accept the terms and conditions, and add another pet parent, if you so wish.
At the time of enrollment, Healthy Paws requires that your pet receive a complete vet exam. This exam must have been completed no less than 12-months ago (if your pet is a 5 year-old or younger) or within the last 30 days (if your pet is 6 years of age or older.)
Once finished, enter your payment method and accept enrollment.
Your policy will be effective the day after you enroll your pet, which then begins the 15-day waiting period.
Once the 15-day period is over, you can submit claims for accidents and illnesses that occur from that point forward.
Claims processing might take several days, depending on the claim and reimbursement methods.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Claims

Since pet insurance usually works on a reimbursement model, the claims process is particularly important. Like many other insurers, Healthy Paws enables policyholders to file claims digitally:

The steps to file a claim are:

  • Take a photo of your vet bill or obtain a digital copy
  • Log in to the mobile app or Healthy Paws’ website
  • Submit the document
  • You can also submit claims via email, fax, or traditional mail
  • Wait for the claim process and resolution
  • Receive reimbursement via direct deposit or mailed check

Healthy Paws says it processes claims in 10 days from the effective date, and reimbursements are then issued within 24 business hours. Direct deposits and checks can take an additional 10 days to reach you, depending on your financial institution or location.

It’s a good rule of thumb to always fill out a claim for covered treatments so you can meet your annual deductible limit, even if you won’t receive reimbursements at that particular time.

If you cannot pay your vet bill, Healthy Paws will reimburse the vet or clinic directly under certain conditions, but you will have to contact them during business hours.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Costs and Fees

By enrolling in Healthy Paw’s pet insurance plan, the pet owner will pay a monthly premium that will depend on several factors, including the pet’s breed, age, and sex, as well as the current residential address.

Generally speaking, older pets are more costly to insure, as with other insurers’ plans. Although these hikes in rate are not based on your individual claim submissions, they do take into account claim payouts by state and the costs of new technology and advancements in veterinary care.

Unlike some other insurers, only pets under the age of 14 can be enrolled in Healthy Paws (though, if already enrolled, they can continue their coverage for life). Smaller breeds such as Shih Tzus, Spaniels, and Terriers will usually cost less to insure than larger dogs such as Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds.

The breed also determines what modifications you can make to your reimbursement percentage or deductibles. Although in some cases you will be able to choose your annual deductible from $100, $250, or $500, and your reimbursement percentage from 70%, 80%, or 90%, those choices may be reduced for many larger dogs or pure breeds.

Healthy Paws charges a one-time-only $25 admin fee that covers the account set up and monthly billing costs. Other than that, the company says it has no other fees.

Additionally, Healthy Paws offers first time customers a 30-day Free Look Period. If you enroll your pet but decide that pet insurance isn’t for you, and you haven’t submitted a claim, you can contact Healthy Paws for a complete refund.

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Healthy Paws Company Information

Based out of Bellevue, Washington, Healthy Paws Insurance & Foundation was founded in 2009 with a mission to offer pet owners an insurance alternative to assist in covering costly veterinary care.

The company has partnered with the Aon Corporation, an industry-leading broker. Its policies are underwritten by the Chubb Group, both of which provide Healthy Paws with financial strength and stability within the insurance industry.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance FAQs

What are pre-existing conditions and does pet insurance cover them?

Pre-existing conditions are those which symptoms or signs appeared before the start of insurance coverage. Therefore, if your pet suffers an injury in its right hind leg before it is enrolled in an insurance plan, and it develops a limp or condition related to that injury after enrollment, any treatment will not be covered.

This is especially true of cruciate ligament injuries bilateral exclusion. If your pet has no history of cruciate ligament damage or limping, it will be covered. However, if your pet has shown damage or lameness before enrollment, injuries to either leg will not be covered.

Does pet insurance cover other types of pets besides dogs and cats?

Some pet insurance companies offer specialized coverage for birds or exotic animals. Healthy Paws only offers pet insurance for dogs and cats.

Are drug prescriptions covered by pet insurance?

Yes. Healthy Paws covers any FDA-approved prescription medications as long as they are for covered conditions.

Does pet insurance cover euthanasia?

Most pet insurance companies, including Healthy Paws, cover euthanasia expenses if it becomes necessary due to a covered condition. Some insurers also cover cremation or burial services, too, but Healthy Paws is not among those companies.

Healthy Paws: Summary and Key Takeaways

  • Best pet insurance for value, offers just one plan that covers illness and accidents
  • Unlimited reimbursement caps, unlike some companies that impose limits
  • Omits some coverage, such as dental and exams, that are included in some other insurers’ accident and illness plans
  • Unlike some insurers, offers no add-on features for wellness or preventative care
  • More limitations on hip dysplasia coverage than some other companies