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I had pet insurance for my two cats for one year. I stopped it three years ago and opened up a savings account ($300/year) instead. As far as an MD's motive for ordering tests, I think it has more to do with potential liability than profit. Many of the tests that are ordered are not performed by the MD that orders them. The doctor just wants to make sure all the bases are covered.
-MIKE
Thanks for that reference. I'll take a look at that issue. Based on this experience, I would concur.

Likewise, thanks for sharing your experience with an insurer. It's all very interesting, though first and foremost again, I am sorry your little cat has been sick.
Of interest might be that (the July issue of Consumer Reports) said that insurance plans for one's pets were not worth it.

I was fishing around and found an old post to this newsgroup that reproduced the whole July, 2003 Consumer Reports article on vet care. Here's a link to it:

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=pet+insurance+July+%22consumer+reports%22&hl=e n&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&selm=q0ueev40hr17ev82g5jracg46vmg90te9u%404ax.com&rnum=2

The article has a summary statement on the subject of pet insurance: "Pet insurance won't necessarily save you money." So my statement above is overkill; perhaps some pet insurance plans may be worth it.
You said it could not be expected to get back more than the yearly premium. Isn't that the point of any insurance?
I pay a few hundred a year for home insurance. Surely I could expect more than that back if the house burned down.
My father was recently in the hospital 3 days. The total bill was over $5,000. His Medicare paid for all but about $800. His premiums are $40 a month, which during the year adds up to much less than the $5,000 bill.

If insurance never paid out more than the annual premiums, what would be the purpose of getting insurance?
JWR
Yes, I think most insurance (that is an honorable) business does. It operates on the assumption that most customers won't need it, so the monies areavailable for people who do...kind of like a credit union.

But I'm getting the sense that this company doesn't operate that way.

ar
"I'm a Pisces fish, and the river runs though my soul." G. Harrison, 2002
Thanks for posting this article. It looks to me like the spokesperson from VIP is basing his rates on small or medium-sized towns. I now live in a large metropolitan area, and I've been price-comparing lately: There are no vets in my area that would fit into VIPs payment schedule.

As for "peace of mind," there is none, when your premiums exceed your benefits. They can rationalize doing this, I suppopse, because there are many other illnesses an animal could get that they would pay for within a benefit year. However, our little friends tend
to be hit with one within a year. Nice racket they've got going. They're going to lose their customer base if they continue with this policy. I was a loyal customer when I lived in a smaller town, but I have nothing good to say about their business practices now.

And besides their reimbursement policy, the communication between the claims department and "customer service" is like a Three Stooges episode. They were recently partially invested in by Iams. Me thinks they may be having some difficulties.
ar
If insurance never paid out more than the annual premiums, what would be the purpose of getting insurance? JWR

On the other hand, if insurance always paid out more than the annual premiums, how would they stay in business?
It just depends on how lucky you are. Barring any catastrophic illness, or devastating loss of property, you can count on paying more out in premiums than you colllect. It's just the way it works.
Sherry
I think it would be more fair if an insurance company gave you a dollar for dollar accounting in advance as to how much they would pay for various treatments. I don't know if any of them do this.
My own (very good) health insurance has a $12 copay for each time you go to see a doctor. I can't remember the last time I only had to pay the $12. It is almost always $24. They claim they did two different procedures, even the eye doctor. The primary care MD. does an EKG so an extra copay. Next it will be an extra copay for using a stethoscope! The insurance company goes along with this so it's not the doctors doing an illegal charge.

Barb
I can only please one person a day.
Today is not your day.
Tomorrow doesn't look good either.
You said it could not be expected to get back more than the yearly premium. Isn't that the point of any insurance?

See my reply below - that's not what I said, exactly.
I pay a few hundred a year for home insurance. Surely I could expect more than that back if the ... bill. If insurance never paid out more than the annual premiums, what would be the purpose of getting insurance? JWR

I said that I don't think a person can expect (in all reality) to get back more than one's yearly premium in one claim/illness, unless it just pans out that way - depending on the illness, the charges, & what's covered. Over the course of a year, sure one hopes to break even, or make out on the deal. Otoh, if you're paying over $400/year in premiums for a pet's veterinary insurance, & one's pet is healthy, the vet bills for a year for that pet aren't liable to be nearly as high as the premium. Otoh, if insurance companies all paid out more than they take in for each person's policy, well..
As others suggested, it might be better to save up "x" amount /month or paycheck - whatever, on one's own & put that money toward future vet bills.

Cathy
P.S. Please don't put my name in subject headings. Thank you.
"Staccato signals of constant information..."
("The Boy in the Bubble") Paul Simon
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