Pets are like family, and it’s important to treat them as such. That may include spoiling them, taking them with you on vacation, as well as making sure they’re healthy and well-taken care of. One of the ways to financially assist with veterinarian bills is pet insurance. Geico explains pet insurance as, “health insurance that pays a portion of your pet’s medical bills based on your coverage.” Pets, like the rest of us, can get sick and injured, and it’s good to always be ready for when that happens. However, when selecting pet insurance, there are several important things to keep in mind, one of which is copayments.
Copays can be confusing; some insurances require copays, while others require none. First, let’s discuss what copay is. According to Investopedia, a copayment is defined as “a fixed out-of-pocket amount paid by an insured for covered services…Copays are a specified dollar amount rather than a percentage of the bill, and they usually paid at the time of service.” In other words, it is a basic, set amount that you pay for a veterinarian visit, procedure, etc. It is generally paid after you fulfill your deductible.
The first thing that must be understood about copayments is that they are usually what you pay once you fulfill your deductible (according to Wikipedia, a deductible “is the amount of expenses that must be paid out of pocket before an insurer will pay any expenses”). Once you reach your deductible limit (may it be annual-based, incident-based, or other), your insurance company is responsible to pay for a percentage of the medical expenses. The purpose of the deductible from an insurance company’s point of view is to reduce the number of small claims that are made by their clients.
Once you fulfill your deductible, the copay comes in. According to Tailsmart, “The idea with copay or copayment is that the amount of covered expenses that are above the deductible amount will be split between you and the insurer…copay percentage is the amount that you’ll pay and 100 minus the copay percentage is the amount that the insurer will cover.” Different insurance companies have different polices when it comes to copayments. The copay amount is generally fixed.
Another thing to keep in mind is that insurance policies with higher premiums tend to have lower deductibles and copays. The opposite is often true as well; lower premiums may mean higher deductibles and copays. Investopedia recommends that “when choosing a plan, consider whether you expect to have a lot of medical bills. If so, it may make financial sense to buy a more expensive plan with lower copays and a lower deductible.” If your dog requires often trips to the veterinarian, it may be better to go with a plan with a higher premium to help save some money later with the copayments and deductibles.
Some pet insurance companies with no copayments, including Geico. For a more in-depth comparison between pet insurance companies, Petinsurancereview.com and Canine Journal both offer comparisons of well-rated insurance companies for your pets.
The price of veterinarian appointments can add up quickly, and knowing how pet insurance works and what the best plan would be for you is super important.