In this episode I interview Dr. Kerri Marshall at Trupanion pet insurance company. We'll talk about:
- What she does at Trupanion.
- Her background at Banfield prior to joining the staff at Trupanion.
- Her experience with the electronic medical record and what role it may play in the future of pet insurance, particularly when submitting a claim or medical records needed by the pet insurance company to verify coverage - resulting in a much quicker reimbursement to the pet owner.
- The medical record review process and how pet owners can know if their pet has any conditions that will be considered pre-exisiting and not covered by the insurance policy.
- Covering not only puppies and kittens, but also older pets and those adopted when older from shelters or rescue organizations.
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Links to things discussed in this episode:
There is something I want to mention about Banfield. I often see people say, "I have Banfield pet insurance." What Banfield offers isn't insurance, but a prepaid wellness care plan that includes various wellness procedures and possibly discounts on services or products for your pet. There are different levels of plans and they are usually paid monthly as a recurring charge on your credit card.
In fact, other veterinary hospitals are starting to copy the Banfield model of offering monthly payment wellness care plans. Our hospital offers wellness plans for dogs and cat that clients appreciate because it is affordable plus offers discounts on other non-wellness care services. Ask your veterinarian if he or she offers specially tailored wellness plans for your pet.
While I am a big proponent of wellness care (The Wise Pet Owner), such wellness plans should never be a substitute for pet insurance. Usually, you can only have these procedures done and receive the discounts at a Banfield hospital or the hospital you purchased the plan. What if your pet has to go to an emergency clinic or specialty hospital for a serious illness or injury where fees are usually higher than your regular veterinarian's fees? This is where pet insurance would come in handy since you can file a claim for reimbursement for treatment received at virutally any veterinary, emergency, or specialty hospital in the United States.
I believe that wellness (preventative) care and pet insurance compliment each other. In my opinion, neither should be so expensive that the pet owner can't afford to do both in the best interest of the pet.
I decided to go ahead and put the newly created video that shows getting a quote from Trupanion and filling out the Company Comparison Worksheet in this podcast post:
Here are links to a couple of websites where you can see if your breed of dog or cat is predisposed to hip dysplasia when you consider whether or not to get the optional Complementary package:
There is one other item that I want to mention about Trupanion. They encourage you to get your pet spayed or neutered which is commendable if you don't plan on responsibly breeding your dog or cat. There are a number of potential medical conditions that are directly or indirectly linked to male or female sex hormones. There is a list of these conditions in the Trupanion policy that won't be covered if your pet isn't spayed or neutered by one year of age or within 30 days of adoption. I encourage you to look at this list in a positive light - if your pet is spayed or neutered, the risk of getting any of these conditions is either greatly reduced or eliminated. Here is a cut-out of the list:
I know this is a lot of information to throw at you at one time, but I thought it best to keep it all together for the maximal benefit to each of you.
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