My pet needs a $500 x-ray that costs me $250 even with pet insurance. Here’s why

A few months ago, I made what I can only call the mistake of a delusional dog owner (which is a bit sad, given that I’ve owned dogs for many years). I left a plate of cooked chicken on the bone on my counter. And sure enough, my carnivorous dog pounced on it, devouring its contents within a minute.

The chicken itself wasn’t a problem. But swallowing cooked bones can be really bad news for dogs. Fragments of bone can splinter and perforate the intestines, among other problems. So once I realized my mistake, we went to the emergency doctor.

After several hours of waiting and detailed x-rays, the vet determined that my dog ​​would probably be fine without surgery to move the bones through his digestive system, which would have been risky and expensive. Needless to say, I was relieved.

On the way out, I was given instructions for my dog’s care (a special diet to help move bones through his system). credit card To the tune of $500. The clinic was also kind enough to drop me off. Pet insurance Details and submit the claim to the company on my behalf, thus saving me the paperwork.

Weeks later, I received a $250 check from my insurer. But frankly, it was only 50 percent of my total bill. And there’s a reason for that.

Don’t forget your deductible

If you have health insurance, Auto insurance, or homeowners insurance, you may be familiar with the concept of a deductible. This is an amount you must pay before your insurer will cover the cost of your care.

My pet insurance policy comes with a $250 deductible. Because of this, I had to pay half of my dog’s $500 treatment, while my insurer covered the other half.

Now deduction of this amount is not so unusual. Nationwide, a major pet insurance company says most pet owners choose a policy with a $250 annual deductible.

But when I paid my bill at the clinic, I wasn’t thinking about myself. Insurance Deductible So I was expecting to be refunded the full $500 I paid, and once I realized it wouldn’t be, it was a bummer.

Always keep money in savings

The good news in all of this (besides my dog ​​getting better) is that I had $250 sitting around. Savings Account To cover your portion of your pet’s care. I didn’t need to carry credit card balances and pay them off over time.

In fact, even with pet insurance, I always recommend putting money in savings for dog emergencies because deductibles aside, it’s possible to run into a situation where your insurer doesn’t pay you. Will not pay 100% of medical bills. And if you have pet insurance, I suggest you do the same.

At a minimum, set aside enough to cover your entire deductible. But for better protection, go beyond that.

You never know when you might end up with a $6,000 pet care bill where your insurer will only pay 80% after your deductible is met. And you never want to end up in a situation where you have to strain your finances to take care of your beloved pet.

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