As you may know, my precious little Obi has been suffering from CHF (Congestive Heart Failure). I wrote about his symptoms back in February, and detailed how this came about in my blog entitled Anticipating the End. I am happy to say as of right now, he is doing quite well. I am very thankful that for the most part, even at 9 years old, he acts like a puppy, and you would never know he has a medical problem.
At the time this started, I was thankful that I had purchased Nationwide Pet Insurance through my employer. After all, it seemed to be useful a few years back when we had a tumor removed from his leg, after which he proceeded to open his stitches up twice over a holiday weekend, forcing us to the vet multiple times. The tumor turned out to be benign by the way. After that incident, there were a few times that I contemplated the need for paying the high cost of having this insurance. After all, premiums of $76.08 per month add up to a whopping $912.96 for a year! And it seems that I am never reimbursed an amount equal to what I have paid in premiums – or even equal to my complete vet expenses! In all actually, it seems that more times than not, my claims were denied for some frivolous reason. So I started to think about cancelling this insurance just a month prior to learning of Obi’s CHF, but for some reason, I did not. And, as I said, when I learned he had CHF, knowing that he would have to go through several expensive tests and possible future treatments, I was relieved that I still had the insurance. But then the insurance hassles began.
From the initial onset of his disease, I was very prompt in submitting my insurance claims for reimbursement. Nationwide Pet Insurance, however, has been anything but prompt in the processing of my claims. In most cases, they are quick to deny. Below I am going to share with you how ridiculous having pet insurance is, in the hopes of saving anyone else the trouble of taking on this monthly bill. Instead, it would be much more cost-effective to just put money aside every month for possible vet expenses; a better alternative to throwing your hard-earned money away to this company.
|Included||Charge||Amount Reimbursed||Reimbursement Pending|
|12/14/2016||Vet visit – Annual vaccinations, Skin test for hair loss (initial CHF problem??)||$ 196.96||$ 51.50|
|12/29/2016||12/14 visit denied due to lack of diagnosis|
|12/30/2017||12/14 claim resubmitted claim with diagnosis|
|1/11/2017||12/14 claim denied again – waiting for diagnosis|
|1/12/2017||Diagnosis for 12/14 claim submitted again|
|1/25/2017||Vet visit – Radiographs Series & Interpretation, Salix Injection, Salix Tablets, Benazepril Tablets, Vetmedin Pill||$ 325.17|
|1/31/2017||12/14 claim denied stating “behavior modification”|
|1/31/2017||Phone call arguing 12/14 claim and the fact that my dog does not have a behavioral problem, he has a heart problem – they want a new diagnosis|
|2/1/2017||Resubmitted 12/14 claim with new diagnosis of dilated Cardiomyopathy|
|2/1/2017||Vet visit – ultrasound of Obi’s heart||$ 260.00||Denied|
|2/2/2017||Received letter requesting Vet Records|
|2/3/2017||Requested update on status of 12/14 claim – no response|
|2/3/2017||Unable to read vet records – 1/25 claim denied again|
|2/3/2017||Requested update on status of 1/25 claim|
|2/8/2017||Resubmitted 12/14 claim with new diagnosis again|
|2/21/2017||Vet records sent a second time for 1/25 visit|
|2/24/2017||Refill of Medication||$ 145.62||Denied|
|2/28/2017||Letter denying ultrasound from 2/1|
|3/3/2017||Received letter stating only part of 12/14 claim will be reimbursed||$ 128.57|
|3/3/2017||Received letter stating only part of 1/25 visit will be reimbursed for Cardiomyopathy, but won’t cover CHF||$ 275.00|
|$ 927.75||$ 51.50||$ 403.57|
|Expenses since 12/16||Reimbursed||Pending|
As you can see, No matter how much my vet bills will amount to, having these ridiculous caps on each disease or illness, I will never recoup the cost of my yearly premiums ($912.96). So take a tip from me, don’t buy pet insurance, at least not from Nationwide (although I don’t expect any other company would be any better!). Save that money instead! If you are lucky, you will never need it, and if you do, you just may come out ahead paying cash to the vet instead of paying it to an insurance company that won’t reimburse!