Our pets are bona fide family members, sharing our space and requiring plenty of attention, including regular feeding, grooming, playing, and petting.
More than 144 million American households have at least one pet, according to the Insurance Information Institute, adding up to over 393 million animals.
However, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, only 2.07 million pets had health insurance at the end of 2017.
Pet health insurance, including pet insurance that covers wellness, can save you a great deal of money and heartache over the lifespan of your pet.
Unexpected illnesses and accidents often require out-of-pocket expenses which can reach thousands of dollars, and if you don’t have the financial resources to pay, your pet could suffer far more than necessary.
Pet health insurance is becoming more popular with each passing year, and today the market is full of companies offering pet coverage, from accident-and-illness-only policies to comprehensive pet insurance that also covers wellness expenses such as routine vet exams, tests, and procedures.
It’s important to keep in mind that wellness plans aren’t always worth the investment.
Different insurance companies provide different wellness plans designed to keep your pet healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations and annual tests and exams, but some pay for more services or pay higher amounts than others.
To determine whether a stand-alone wellness plan or a wellness add-on is worth the money, it’s important to comb through the policy carefully to see what is and isn’t included, and what the coverage cap is on each service.
Determine how much you would pay out of pocket for the covered services each year.
Then, calculate how much you would pay out of pocket with the wellness plan, and add the plan’s annual premium to that number.
If the wellness plan leaves you in the black, it’s worth it financially, and it can help you stay on top of the routine pet care that can keep your pet healthy and active throughout its life.
If not, it might make sense to open a pet savings account and put a certain amount in each month, for wellness care expenses.
To help you sift through the many pet insurance providers, we’ve evaluated more than 30 companies to find out which offer wellness plans.
Here are our top eight choices for companies that have routine care pet insurance.
The 8 Best Wellness Plans
1. PetPremium Preventative Care Plans
PetPremium offers pet insurance with included wellness with its preventive care add-on.
PetPremium provides customizable benefit limits for its Accident-Only and Total Coverage insurance plans.
You can select the annual coverage cap, which ranges from $2,500 to unlimited, and you can also choose the deductible amount and reimbursement percentage.
PetPremium pet insurance policies start at $12.28 for dogs and $9.83 for cats, which applies to a plan with a $250 deductible, $2,500 annual benefits cap, and reimbursement percentage of 80 percent.
PetPremium offers two tiers of preventive care add-ons for its Accident-Only and Total Coverage insurance plans.
The Basic Preventive Care add-on costs $9.95 per month and covers routine dental cleanings, annual checkups, deworming services, canine heartworm or feline FELV, fecal tests, canine DHLPP or feline FVRCP, canine rabies and Lyme disease or feline FIP.
The Prime Preventive Care costs $24.95 per month and includes the same services as the Basic, but with a higher payout amount.
Prime Preventive Care also covers heartworm and flea prevention, the health certificate, urinalysis and blood tests, and canine bordetella.
2. Pets Best Wellness Plans
Pets Best Insurance Services offers three insurance plans for pets that cover prescriptions, surgery, exam fees, alternative therapies, and other services.
All three plans include accidents, illnesses, emergency care, hereditary conditions, and prescriptions, but vary in their annual coverage limits.
Like most top pet insurance companies, Pets Best’s plans are highly customizable to fit your budget and your pet’s needs, and they provide pet insurance with wellness add-ons.
Pets Best has two tiers of wellness add-ons.
EssentialWellness costs $16 per month, while BestWellness costs $26 per month.
Both plans cover the same preventive exams, tests, and procedures except for spay/neuter and teeth cleaning, which isn’t included under the less expensive add-on.
The main difference between these plans is the amount of reimbursement, which is higher with the BestWellness plan.
For example, Essential Wellness covers flea and tick prevention at $50 and micro-chipping at $20, while the BestWellness plan includes these at $65 and $40 respectively.
You can opt for the wellness plan add-on when you enroll initially or within 30 days of joining.
Otherwise, you’ll need to wait for your annual review to opt in.
3. United Healthcare Wellness Plans
United Healthcare offers pet insurance with wellness for dogs, cats, birds, and exotic pets.
It provides several plans, including Major Medical, Whole Pet, Whole Pet with Wellness, and Wellness Basic.
Plans vary depending on your location, and while United Healthcare policies aren’t as flexible as other pet insurance that covers wellness, they’re comprehensive.
Major Medical plans have a set benefit schedule, but the other plans reimburse expenses at 90 percent.
All plans except the Wellness Basic have a $250 deductible.
Whole pet plans without wellness coverage have a $10,000 annual cap on coverage.
The Wellness Basic plan doesn’t have a deductible but instead operates on a set benefit schedule.
It covers routine exams, vaccinations, flea treatments, and other regular wellness tests, treatments, and procedures.
The Whole Pet with Wellness plan includes illnesses, accidents, and routine wellness exams, along with vaccinations, microchip implantation, spay and neuter, flea and heartworm prevention, and lab work.
4. GEICO Wellness Rewards
While GEICO’s pet insurance plans are slightly more expensive than those of other pet health insurance providers, they cover services that others don’t, including behavior therapy for destructive behaviors and coverage for prosthetics and mobility assistance.
Also included are alternative therapies and rehabilitation, veterinary exam fees, cancer treatment, and breed-specific conditions such as dysplasia.
GEICO plans allow you to choose your annual deductible, reimbursement percentage, and annual coverage caps.
GEICO’s Wellness Rewards add-on offers a different take on wellness plans.
It isn’t an insurance plan but rather a stand-alone routine care plan that helps you budget and pay for your pet’s regular care.
Wellness Rewards reimburses for annual checkups, spay and neuter procedures, vaccines, heartworm medications, dental cleanings, and other procedures.
It has no co-pay or deductible, and it’s not subject to the 14-day waiting period.
GEICO policyholders also have 24/7 access to whiskerDocs, a helpline that connects them directly with a veterinary expert to answer any pressing health questions.
5. Banfield Pet Hospital Wellness Plans
Banfield Pet Hospital is an extensive, nationwide network of more than 900 pet hospitals and clinics, including pet health clinics, located in PetSmart stores.
Rather than selling traditional pet health insurance policies, Banfield Pet Hospital offers routine care pet insurance through an Optimum Wellness plan that covers in-hospital services used for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
These services include comprehensive exams, unlimited office visits, nutritional consultations, and dental care.
Banfield Pet Hospital doesn’t provide accident coverage.
Banfield Pet Hospital has three levels of wellness coverage plus Early Care and Early Care Plus wellness plans for puppies and kittens under six months old.
Depending on the plan you choose, Banfield Pet Hospital coverage includes dental cleanings and illnesses, hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions, cancer, and breeding.
Treatments covered by these plans cover diagnostic testing, surgery, hospitalization, prescription medications, emergency, and specialty care, behavioral therapy, prosthetics, and mobility aids.
Some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, and renal conditions, require additional coverage options.
A wellness policy also provides a discount of up to 20 percent on extra services and products offered through the hospital.
6. Costco Wellness Plans
Costco provides pet insurance that covers wellness, with discounts of up to 15 percent for Costco club members.
Costco has a wide range of customizable plans to choose from, including a comprehensive plan which covers accidents, illness, and routine preventive care.
You can also opt for a stand-alone wellness plan that includes only routine exams, treatments, and procedures.
Customizable accident and illness plans let you select a $7,500 or $15,000 coverage cap, and a reimbursement amount of 70, 80, or 90 percent.
Deductibles range from $100 to $700 and depend on the age of the pet.
The stand-alone or add-on wellness plan has no deductible and no co-pay.
By paying a monthly premium Costco covers 100 percent of scheduled services, including annual exams and six-month exams for puppies and senior dogs.
Also included is deworming, fecal exams, urinalysis, spay and neuter, microchip implantation, heartworm testing, flea treatment and prevention, nail trimming, and routine dental care.
7. VPI Pet Insurance Wellness Plan
VPI pet insurance offers several plans, including a Major Medical plan that only covers serious medical conditions and a Pet Wellness plan just for routine wellness services.
A Whole Pet plan insures against both illnesses and accidents and can be purchased with or without wellness coverage.
VPI provides some of the most comprehensive pet insurance covering wellness, although similarly to other pet insurance companies, it doesn’t include preexisting conditions.
While most insurance companies don’t have stand-alone wellness plans, VPI does offer this option, although its most popular plan is the Whole Pet with Wellness.
This comprehensive plan reimburses for most exams, treatments, and procedures related to illness or accident–as well as preventive services, including spay and neuter procedures, vaccinations, dental cleanings, deworming, and other services.
The plan provides a 90 percent reimbursement rate, and you can choose a deductible ranging from $100 to $250.
There is no coverage cap, and since it covers pretty much everything you could possibly need, no additional add-ons are necessary.
8. 24PetWatch Wellness Plan
24PetWatch provides medical and wellness coverage for dogs and cats, with several levels of pet insurance that include wellness, in a range of customizable policy options.
Most comprehensive plans through 24PetWatch cover hereditary, congenital, and chronic conditions, ambulance, rehabilitative therapies, prescription foods and medications, and alternative treatments.
All plans reimburse at 80 percent.
Annual coverage caps range from $3,000 to $20,000, and deductibles range from $100 to $1,000, depending on the plan and your preferences.
Pets with microchips receive a five percent discount.
The Routine Wellness plan is available for as little as $10 a month and includes annual exams and regular treatments such as fecal screens, heartworm tests, and microchip implantation.
The more comprehensive Advanced Wellness starts at $25 per month and covers basic routine wellness services along with flea prevention medication and dental cleanings.
The Advanced Wellness plan has a higher payout than the Routine Wellness plan.
For example, the Routine plan covers $80 towards spay/neuter, while the Advanced plan pays $100.
Use the above suggestions to find a wellness insurance plan that will help keep your beloved pet and your budget in prime condition.
*While we make every effort to keep our site updated, please be aware that “timely” information on this page, such as quote estimates, or pertinent details about companies, may only be accurate as of its last edit day. Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.