By Desiree Nascimento, June 2011
My Kerry Blue Terrier, Kieran, was a healthy dog all her life so when I enrolled her with PetPlan in October 2009. I wondered if it would be worth it. At the time Kieran was seven years old and her last physical gave her a clean bill of health.
Three months later in January 2010, Kieran started intermittent vomiting. I thought perhaps her food was the problem so I gradually changed her kibble, but the vomiting persisted.
Around the same time Kieran began having seizures. They were short, lasting only a few seconds and afterwards she would sit up and walk away as though nothing happened. I kept a record and it was clear the seizures were an infrequent, but regular occurrence.
I took Kieran to the vet for intermittent vomiting and seizures in late January 2010. He conducted a comprehensive physical, a complete blood panel, and bile acid tests. There were multiple appointments and consultations from January-March 2010. The bile acid tests were abnormal. There were liver function issues. There were thyroid problems. I submitted my first claim to PetPlan, $481. After my $200 per-incident deductible, I was reimbursed 100%, $281.00.
Kieran was prescribed phenobarbital to control seizures and soloxine for her thyroid disorder.
My once healthy little girl now had vomiting problems, seizures, liver and thyroid issues. Never in my wildest dreams did I think all this was going to happen. I started thinking hmmmm………. maybe this pet insurance was a good idea after all.
Due to abnormal liver function, coupled with the issues of vomiting and seizures, the vet suspected a liver shunt. He referred me to a specialty imaging facility for a liver scintigraphy. When I learned the procedure would cost about $500, I about fell off my seat! Then I remembered, I’ve got pet insurance. In April 2010, Kieran had the scintigraphy. The results did not indicate a shunt. I submitted my second claim to PetPlan $495, as a continuous condition. PetPlan pays 80% for specialty services. I was reimbursed 80%, $347.
In May 2010 I took Kieran to the vet for a consultation and more tests related to seizures. Since the vet believed there could be a relationship between the vomiting and seizures, I submitted my third claim to PetPlan, $101, as a continuous condition. I was reimbursed 100%, $101.
In August 2010 I took Kieran to the vet for refill medications related to vomiting and seizures. I submitted my fourth claim to PetPlan, $70, as a continuous condition. I was reimbursed 100%, $70.
In October 2010 Kieran made another trip to the vet for persistent vomiting. The vet and I agreed it was time for an endoscopy. Again, a big ticket item, more than $600! I breathed a sigh of relief thanks to pet insurance. The lab result and diagnosis was lymphocytic plasmacytic inflammatory bowel disease; treatable, but not curable. I submitted my fifth claim to PetPlan, $649, as a continuous condition. I was reimbursed 100%, $649.
All this in my very first year of coverage! If anyone had told me that multiple health issues would happen within the first twelve months of getting pet insurance I would never have believed it.
The PetPlan claims process was easy. The turn-around time has always been less than two weeks. As long as a print-out from the vet showing all charges, diagnosis, and the vet’s personal notes were included with the claim form, requirements were met. I communicated with PetPlan claims staff by e-mail and phone on several occasions. They were always accessible, professional, and knowledgeable. Recently, I sought advice from PetPlan’s veterinary staff and twice corresponded with Dr. Benson who gave me valuable insight into pet health issues. In both instances, his response time was less than a day. I can’t even get that from my own doctor!
In hindsight, I’m relieved I got pet insurance. I truly do sleep better at night knowing whatever happens in my dog’s life, we’ll get through it – we’ve got PetPlan!
I want to express my appreciation to Desiree for sharing her experiences with finding a company and how the company performed after purchase.
This isn't a "review" site, but if any other pet owners would like to share their experiences, please let me know.