Once you have signed up for a new pet insurance policy, you will have many decisions to make.
How can you find the right coverage for your pet? What are the different plans offered?
And of course, you want to make sure get a good, fair affordable monthly premium rate.
What about reimbursements? How does that work?
Fortunately, reimbursements are super easy to understand.
How Do Reimbursements Work?
Reimbursements are the amount your pet insurance company pays you back for the expenses incurred when you take your pet to the vet.
While reimbursements are generally a percentage amount ranging from 65% to 100%, the majority of pet insurance plans have a reimbursement of either 80% or 90% of the total vet bill.
For example, Healthy Paws gives you a reimbursement choice of 70% to 90% of the vet bill.
Figo is the only company that reimburses you 100% of the vet bill.
The 3 Types of Reimbursements
Actual cost is always the best choice because this means you are being reimbursed on your actual vet bill.
Benefit schedules are reimbursed by setting a maximum amount that you are reimbursed for each condition. They are hard to understand and not usually favorable.
For example, if your dog happened to injure his paw and get an ear infection in the same year, you will be reimbursed only up to a certain limit. And, you can see how this will add up.
Usual and Customary
Usual and customary is when the company dictates what they deem as the usual cost. It is too random and not really accountable.
Therefore, the easiest and best choice is to find a company on the actual vet bill.
The best companies will do that as it is the most popular and easiest for everyone.
Choosing The Right Reimbursement
When you choose a reimbursement, the higher percentage that you choose, say 90%, you will be reimbursed more on your bill.
But, your premium will go up.
Therefore, you need to decide which you would prefer: a lower monthly rate and less money reimbursed or a higher premium rate and more money reimbursed.
Makes sense, right?
There is one other thing to know.
You need to choose a deductible amount which is the first payment you make on for the first vet bill.
Deductibles can range from $100 to $1,000.
After you pay your deductible, you are reimbursed the remaining portion of the bill with the percentage amount that you choose.
A Practical Example of a Reimbursement
You sign up with a plan and choose a reimbursement level of 90% and a $100 deductible.
You had to take your dog to the vet because he got a respiratory infection and needed treatment.
The bill breaks down like this:
- Covered Treatment Cost: $5,000
- Reimbursement Rate: 90%
- Calculation: $5,000 x 90% = $4,500 reimbursed
- Now Subtract Your Deductible: $100
- Total Reimbursed by Insurer: $4,400
Now that your deductible has been taken care of in this first bill of the policy year, the next time your dog needs treatment, you will no longer need to pay that $100 deductible (if you chose the annual deductible model).
That same bill would now be reimbursed $4,500.
Now that you know how you will be reimbursed, it’s important to know how to file a claim.
It is fairly simple.
Once you get your vet bill, you need to pay it. And then submit a claim to your pet insurance provider with the back-up invoices.
After the company reviews your claim and approves it, they will send you a reimbursement check or deposit the funds directly to your bank account.
Reimbursement checks are usually issued within 15 days after the company receives your claim.
Final Thoughts on Reimbursements
Reimbursements are fairly simple to understand. You just need to decide the percentage amount and make sure that the company reimburses on the actual vet bill.
If you are looking for a solid pet insurance company that does reimburse on the vet bill, our top 10 pet insurance companies is a great place to start!