Pet Exam Fees: What's Covered and What's Not
Navigating the world of pet insurance isn’t as complicated as you might think. It’s all about picking the most comprehensive plan — you know, the one that covers the most.
If you need a place to start, check out who covers veterinary exam fees. You’ll be surprised to find that most pet insurance companies don’t, whether your vet trip was a routine checkup or due to an accident or illness.
Take Moose, a middle-aged Labrador Retriever, who started limping because of pain in his left rear ankle. Upon examination, Moose’s vet discovered that he had also lost quite a bit of weight since his last visit.
Moose was put under anesthesia so the veterinarian could take X-rays. They found that he had developed arthritis, and to relieve his pain, Moose was given joint injections and medication. The veterinarian also performed several blood tests to rule out any serious illnesses that could’ve caused Moose’s weight loss.
When Moose’s mom submitted a claim to her pet insurance company, the total bill was over $600. Yes, she was pleased to find that most of the services Moose received were covered under her policy — but was surprised by one exception: the sick visit exam fee, which amounted to about 10% of Moose’s care that day. That’s the norm with most pet insurance policies.
But Paul Guyardo, CEO of Fetch by The Dodo, explains that pups and their parents can have a better experience with Fetch.
“Many pet insurance companies defend their lack of coverage for veterinary exam fees by saying that not covering them allows them to pay claims for more serious illnesses while keeping costs low,” Guyardo says. “Others say that they only cover ‘unexpected’ health issues and that veterinary exams fees fall into the category of expected expenses.”
Fetch is an outlier and innovator among pet insurance companies. Exam fees for sick vet visits are covered just like any other line item of a vet bill, subject to deductibles and policy limits, of course. And despite Fetch’s unprecedented benefits, their policy premiums are comparable with other health insurers.
As a pet parent, you’ve probably noticed that the cost of veterinary care continues to rise. Pet insurance can prevent pet parents from having to compromise their pets’ health because they can’t afford to pay for critical veterinary services. That’s one reason pet insurance is becoming increasingly popular. Between 2020 and 2021, the number of pets covered rose by about 28%. That’s a testament to how much pet parents love their best friends.
Pet insurance can literally be a lifesaver. It covers serious illnesses, like cancer, and emergency surgeries if our pets are injured in accidents. Such treatments can cost tens of thousands of dollars — money many pet parents don’t have to spend.
Regardless of whether you choose to buy pet insurance, Fetch and veterinarians recommend taking these steps to keep your pet healthy:
- Don’t neglect preventive care. That means taking your pet for at least one checkup a year and keeping up with all vaccines on time.
- Feed your pet high-quality food that’s tailored to their needs.
- Keep your pet at a healthy weight. Overweight pets are more likely to develop diabetes, joint problems and other diseases.
- Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise.
- Ask your vet about common breed-specific health conditions so you can anticipate issues before they arise. If you have a Fetch policy, you can access Fetch Forward™, a new, patent-pending technology that uses 150 million data points derived from 15 years of clinical findings to deliver tailored insights and recommendations that help ward off health problems.
A healthy pet is a happy pet. So trust your veterinarian and find a pet insurance that works for your family, so you’re always giving your best friend the best care.