Your JRT is a part of your family, and as such you want to provide for and do the best you can to keep your companion healthy and happy.  So, you wonder if maybe your JRT should be provided with a pet health insurance plan.

The first reported pet health insurance coverage was offered to Lassie, in 1982.  Over the years, pets that were in the entertainment business were insured, but until the last decade or so, JRT owners rarely covered their own companions. That is rapidly changing, as more and more JRT owners are seeking out and purchasing pet health insurance plans each and every day.
The question is how do you know if a pet health insurance plan is right for you and your JRT?  

Lets start by looking at the pros and cons of pet health insurance so that you may decide for yourself.

Pros of Pet Health Insurance

  •          Should your JRT become seriously or deathly ill, having pet health insurance will help in providing your companion with affordable healthcare.
  •          Depending on what plan and provider you choose to go with, emergency procedures are most probably covered.
  •          Pet diseases, once deemed a death sentence due to cost, can now be treated due to most pet health insurance plans can make them more affordable.
  •          Having pet health insurance provides an extra added peace of mind during times of unexpected treatment expenses.
  •          Many plans on the market today offer a multi-pet discount, as well as a discount for choosing a 6 month and yearly plans.

Cons of Pet Health Insurance

  •             Many plans and providers have large deductibles, copays, and may even put a cap on just how much they will pay out.
  •             As with your insurance, a pre-existing condition may not be covered by your JRT’s plan.
  •             Many conditions that are breed specific may not be covered.  For instance, if you have a Labrador retriever, and it develops hip-dysplasia, your plan and provider may not cover any treatments related to the condition.
  •              Unlike a pet health savings account, any money spent on pet health insurance premiums are gone, never to be seen again, unless you choose to enact the insurance plan.

Is Pet Health Insurance Right For You?

First and foremost, make sure that you supply your JRT with all the necessities.  Things such as a good home, a safe and warm place to sleep, love and attention, nutritious food, and regular visits to your veterinarian. 

After providing all these necessary things, then set down with your household, and discuss if a pet health insurance plan is right for you and your JRT.  Discuss things like:  will it fit in our budget?  Do we start the plan when our JRT is a puppy, or wait until they are a little older?  Should we consult further with our veterinarian?  That last one is a good one to consider, as your veterinarian would be able to shed more light on what type of plan your JRT would most probably benefit from. 

Choosing the Best Plan for You

Make sure when choosing your JRT’s pet health insurance plan, that you do your homework and due diligence.  Don’t choose the first one you find.  Shop around, compare multiple plans.  Take a piece of paper and with two columns place the pros in one column, the cons in the other.  
Compare each plan against the other in order to make sure you get just what you need.  Talk to friends, family, and co-worker that have pet health insurance themselves, and get their feedback—the good and the bad.  The one thing to remember is not to jump just so you have the coverage.  If you take your time, it will pay out in one way or another in the end. 

Pet Health Insurance VS Pet Health Savings Plan  

One last thing to consider is which option would provide your JRT with the best healthcare option—pet health care insurance or a pet health savings account.  If you find a pet healthcare plan and provider that has been recommended by someone you trust and provides you and your JRT all that you feel you need, then go with the insurance.  

However, if you are on the fence, or find that the plans and provider options are just not for you, consider a pet health savings account.  Set a specific amount to be put back each month, and build up the savings account.  The plan is to have a substantial enough savings plan built up, before actually having to tap into it.  And, in the event your JRT does pass, the money is still there unlike the premiums spent on insurance.

The main thing to take away is that you need to look at what you need and expect in a plan, look at what is out there, and decide what is most advantageous for you.  The bottom line is to make sure that your JRT’s healthcare needs are covered, and that they live a long and healthy life.