Caring for a pet can be an exciting adventure. Hopefully, your furry friend will provide you with years of happiness. Though pets can provide us with many wonderful memories, it is likely that they will eventually suffer from an illness or injury. That’s why there’s a veterinary discount plan out there for you.
According to a story provided by a reporter at MoneyTalksNews, her dog became ill while going for a walk one day. The dog fell over and had difficulties getting back onto its feet. Then, she noticed that the dog’s stomach was quite bloated. Concerned, she rushed the dog to the local veterinarian. Upon examination, the vet determined that the puppy had simply gotten into the container of dog food and had eaten too much. The dog owner had left almost four cups of food on the counter, and the tiny dog had eaten it all.
After a large burp, and a lot of sighs of relief, the dog and her owner went home happy. However, she was still stuck with a $100 vet bill for the examination.
Since our pets are like members of the family, we want to give them the best health care we can afford. Even if it’s a small concern, like a bloated stomach, we want to make sure that the pet isn’t suffering. Each time we bring our pet to the vet, its a mystery how much care they will need. Will my pet need a shot? Will they have to undergo a procedure?
The costs of veterinary care can be as small as simple office visit, or it can be thousands of dollars for a more serious issue. Since 2004, the cost for veterinary services has increased 58 percent nationwide. That’s more than twice the general inflation increase of 26 percent. Thankfully, there are now ways to save.
On the marketplace today, there are a wide variety of cost-saving plans available. Pet insurance is growing in popularity, but there is another option: veterinary discount plans.
What is it?
Veterinary discount plans (VDPs) offer savings on a variety of different medical services, such as:
- Dental care
- Hospital visits
- Office visits
- Spays and neuters
A veterinary discount plan is similar to the health discount cards available through your employer or other health associations. It’s not insurance, but a savings card that you can use at a list of in-network providers. You simply sign up for a membership and start saving today.
To become a member, the veterinary discount plan company will have you fill out an online form providing your contact and payment information. You can either pay per year or per month for the plan. It’s that easy.
There are different plans available for purchase, depending on the type of animal and the number of pets you want covered under the VDP. The cost will vary depending upon what you select for your membership coverage.
How much can I save?
Once you have paid for your membership, the benefits will begin right away, even though you have not received your VDP card in the mail yet.
Your VDP provider will give you with a list of in-network vets and merchants that will accept your card. Then you can begin saving. The discount card can be used for a variety of pet-related costs, including trips to the veterinarian, merchandise, treatments for chronic or pre-existing conditions, training, and in-home medical services.
According to one VDP provider, you can save hundreds of dollars, depending upon the service you need. For example, a treatment for bladder stones can net you over $300 in savings. A simple vaccination can save you $10. In each instance, there was a 25 percent discount. For purchases at a local pet supply store, you can save as much as 35 percent.
Additionally, there is no deductible and no co-payment, just an annual premium. Each time you visit the vet or merchant, you can use the VDP. There is no limit to the amount you spend.
If you already have pet insurance, you can still benefit from a VDP. With pet insurance, you may have to pay the veterinary bill out of pocket before submitting a claim, depending upon the company’s requirements. With a veterinary discount plan, the cost of the initial payment can be reduced. Also, many pet insurance plans require a deductible before anything will be covered under the policy. A VDP can help pay this as well.
Don’t forget about those treatments and services that your pet insurance won’t cover. This can happen, especially if they insurance company determines that it was a pre-existing condition, or another type of exclusion. That’s when you will be the most thankful for your veterinary discount plan.
Don’t wait! Find out more about what a veterinary discount plan can do for you today.
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