Pet Parents face numerous challenges when it comes to caring for their pets. Probably the most frequent is how to afford Pet Care. At Altitude Veterinary Hospital, this is something we have taken note of and set out to resolve as a challenge.
Regardless of how well we plan, it can often feel as though our furry loved ones cost more than what we expected. Unfortunately, this can lead to undue stress and even difficult decisions that no one wants to make. Seeing this continual struggle placed a challenge for us to find ways to assist in these circumstances. Here are a few ways that we strive to provide A Higher Level of Care and help you Budget for Pet Care.
Everyone knows that the first step in keeping expenses down is preventing problems from happening in the first place. For example, routine maintenance on a car. With a car we know it must have routine oil changes, tire rotations etc. to ensure that it doesn’t encounter major problems down the road. A well-maintained car will last you longer and cost less in the long run than one that never has its oil changed, tires rotated, or filters changed. It seems that most everything in life works by the simple rule of, “Prevention”.
This same rule applies to Pet Care. If we take some vital steps to care for our pets throughout life, it can prevent extra costly care down the road. In turn, it may also help extend the life of our furry loved ones. The question is, what does this look like? Most everything else in life we have a set plan for care or prevention. We have created a budget friendly solution providing routine care and prevention. It is something we call, “Pet Bundles”.
Pet Bundles are designed with Prevention in mind. Our Doctors took everything that is needed in routine healthcare for dogs and cats and placed them in a bundle. We then took it to the next level by splitting the total cost in to twelve equal monthly installments and added discounts and perks to make the bundles even more valuable.
Knowing that everyone has a different budget, we created three tiers to help fit everyone’s budgetary needs. They range from our lowest cost bundle with all the bare necessities to our bundles that contain some of the extra recommended services. Whichever of the three you decide best fits your budget, you can rest assured knowing your pet is receiving the routine care that will help prevent major problems down the road. By preventing major health concerns for a low, discounted monthly installment, with added perks, you have taken your first step to Budgeting for Pet Care and keeping your overall expenses lower.
Now that we have covered our routine care through Prevention, what happens if there is an accident? As with the previous analogy of a car, oil changes, tire rotations and filter changes, cannot cover the tragic incident of someone running a red light and hitting your car. The same rule applies to our furry loved ones.
While Prevention will help prevent major health concerns, it doesn’t account for the tragic and often costly accidents that may happen. The afternoon hike that ends with a rattlesnake bite or the cat that eats the straw packing out of the leftover Christmas basket your received. These incidents as well as others may end with your furry loved one in the hospital adding costly medical bills. Unfortunately, accidents typically happen when you least expect them and in the most inconvenient of times. This often will leave families in difficult situations trying to cover medical bills.
Altitude has once again, taken steps to assist in these situations. We have partnered with a insurance company, Trupanion. There are several insurance providers for pets which we encourage our clients to research. However, we would like to share why we have, after our own extensive research, partnered with Trupanion.
Trupanion we feel truly is looking out for the needs of families and their furry loved ones. Just like we at Altitude understand that everyone has a different budget, they too understand this and in turn help you pick coverage that best fits your budget. By increasing or decreasing your deductible, you are able to adjust your monthly premium to fit your personal budgetary needs. Regardless of the deductible you decide best fits you, you can be confident that your pet will receive the same kind of coverage. In fact, Trupanion covers so much, that it is easier to list what they do not cover as opposed what they do cover. The only things not covered are the following:
- Root Canal – (Although, if decided to go with a root canal over extraction, they will cover part of the cost up to the total coverage that would have been paid for the extraction)
- Routine or Preventative Care – (Which is where a Pet Bundle comes in handy)
- Health Exam – (Also built into our Pet Bundles)
Trupanion also understands the importance of the statement, “The Doctor knows best”. A lot of carriers will determine what they feel a treatment plan should be for a patient without ever physically seeing the patient. In turn they decline claims or only partially pay for claims stating that they feel there was another option that was less costly. Trupanion trusts and believes that the Doctor is the one that is seeing the patient and they know which treatment will provide the best possible care for that patient. In fact, Trupanion has paid well over $50,000.00 on one claim for one of their partnered Practice’s!
They also are taking their care to the next level. Not only do they cover 90% of all covered expenses after the deductible is met, they pay it directly to the partnered healthcare provider. Why is this important? Most other carriers require the client to “front the money” and they will reimburse them on a “later date”, if the claim is approved. Trupanion believes that people have insurance to help cover expenses they can’t afford or may be difficult to afford. If this is the case, how can they expect their customers to “front the money”? In turn, they have partnered with specific healthcare providers, such as Altitude Veterinary Hospital, to make it easier for you. We have created a circle of trust that allows clients in these situations to receive the care that they need. Upon checkout, you only owe the cost of the deductible and the remaining 10% of the bill. Trupanion will then pay the remaining 90% of the bill directly to us. There is no need for you to “send in a claim”, “front the money”, or wait for a hopeful “reimbursement”. This is all taken care of between Altitude and Trupanion.
In addition to all of the benefits mentioned, Trupanion believes in keeping their word. The premium that you receive at signup, is the premium that is set for the life of your furry loved one as long as you don’t cancel or change your deductible. This is also unheard of as many carriers will have a low “introductory premium” and raise it in the following year or after a claim is made. You will have stability knowing what your monthly premium is regardless of making claims or how many years coverage is kept.
Budgeting for Pet Care can be made easy using Pet Bundles and insurance. Although recommended for all pets in all life stages, the best and most cost-effective time to start is when your furry loved one is still a puppy or a kitten. It starts their Preventive Care earlier and it provides the lowest premium with Trupanion (remembering that your premium is locked for life). While the costs for this may vary, the average client, if starting their pet as a puppy/kitten, will pay less than $100.00 a month for both services! This means all healthcare, preventative as well as emergency, can be covered for an average of less than $100.00 per month! This is what we call Budgeting for Healthcare.