Oftentimes, our pets can start needing prescription diets to help with treating or managing symptoms from chronic illnesses, especially as they age. Prescription diets are pretty expensive compared to standard dog food. So, pet owners may look to pet insurance to see if prescription diets are covered in insurance plans. Unfortunately, prescription diets aren’t normally covered under standard base plans. However, you can find some companies that include prescription foods as add-ons.
While pet insurance can help people save on costs, it’s not the silver bullet to making veterinary care affordable. Coverage is limited, so it’s important to understand your pet insurance plan and what services can be reimbursed under your plan.
How Pet Insurance Works
Pet insurance is similar to human health insurance in the sense that you have a premium and deductible. Most pet insurance companies collect monthly premiums, but some offer quarterly and annual premium payments. Once you pay off your deductible, you’ll be able to receive reimbursements for your vet bills.
If you are looking for the best pet insurance, we recommend looking at a few different companies to compare policies and find the one that best fits your needs.
Top Rated Pet Insurance Companies:
Most basic pet insurance plans have a reimbursement rate that ranges between 50-90% and an annual limit or lifetime limit. Premium pet insurance plans can have a 100% reimbursement rate and no reimbursement limits.
Types of Plans
The most popular plans are accident and illness plans, which take up 98% of all in-force pet insurance plans in the US. These plans cover many veterinary services related to accidents and illnesses, such as diagnostic testing, surgeries, and hospitalizations.
Comprehensive coverage can also include other types of services, such as alternative and holistic therapies and routine care. Since these plans have wider coverage, they may also include paying for some of the costs of prescription food.
Keep in mind that pet insurance companies don’t cover costs related to pre-existing illnesses. So, if your dog has a diabetes diagnosis and needs to eat prescription dog food, an insurance plan won’t help pay for the food, even if that plan normally offers coverage for prescription food.
However, if your dog receives a diagnosis after its insurance plan is in force and after the pet insurance company’s waiting period is over, you can receive coverage for prescription dog food.
Pet Insurance Companies With Prescription Food Coverage
If you’re interested in purchasing a pet insurance plan that covers prescription food costs, the following companies currently have plans that can help:
These pet insurance companies all have slightly different policies and procedures for prescription food coverage. Some may provide a stipend, while others will only provide partial coverage. So, make sure to get clear answers by speaking with a customer service representative.
Other Ways to Save on Prescription Pet Food
If you’re hesitant about committing to a pet insurance plan or have a plan that doesn’t include coverage, there are a few things you can do to try to earn some savings.
First, subscribe to newsletters and email lists from prescription pet food companies or your local pet store. These newsletters can occasionally include coupons for discounts.
Some pet stores and online retailers will apply discounts if you enroll in auto-ship or membership programs. Many of these programs are free. If you’ve served in the military, some companies offer special military discounts.
When shopping for prescription food, try to opt for kibble rather than canned food. Dry dog food tends to be cheaper than canned food, and you can always include a healthy meal topper to make meals more palatable for your pets. Just make sure that the toppers are approved by your vet.
Prescription food tends to be very expensive, and pet insurance is one way to help reduce costs. However, prescription food coverage isn’t standard. So, look for companies with policies that will help pay for prescription food.
When shopping for pet insurance, make sure to speak with a customer representative to get accurate information on what prescription food coverage looks like under a pet insurance plan. It’s better to do this sooner than later if you anticipate that your dog will need prescription food in the future. Since pet insurance companies don’t provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, you won’t be able to get any savings on prescription food after your pet receives a diagnosis.
Featured Image Credit: Dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock