Why Pet Insurance Doesn’t Cover Spaying and Neutering

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  • Pet insurance covers unexpected accidents and illnesses, such as broken bones and infections.
  • Most insurance companies offer supplemental or stand-alone pet wellness plans that cover routine and preventative veterinary care.
  • Wellness plans cost an average of $27 per month, but some plans cost as low as $10.

Pet insurance plans generally cover unexpected accidents and illnesses, such as broken bones and infections. But spaying and neutering surgeries are planned procedures, which means you could be responsible for the entire cost, even if you have pet insurance.

However, many pet insurance companies sell wellness plans to supplement their standard insurance policies. Some even allow pet owners to buy them separately. These plans provide some reimbursement for routine and preventative care, including dental cleanings, heartworm screening, and spaying or spaying surgery.

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Does pet insurance cover spaying and neutering?

Standard pet insurance policies — known as comprehensive plans — don’t cover spay/neuter because it’s considered an elective procedure. However, a wellness plan usually provides reimbursement for your furry friend.

Wellness plans are not technically pet insurance. Instead, they’re typically sold as policy top-ups or stand-alone policies to cover routine and preventative care.

How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance is a health care policy for your furry and feathered companions. Policies can cover cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, exotic birds, reptiles, pot-bellied pigs, and various rodents. Like health insurance for people, pet policies have monthly premiums, deductibles, copayments, and limits. And the plans are usually reimbursement-based — meaning you pay your vet bill, file a claim with your insurance provider, and get cash back.

Pet insurance covers things like broken bones, knee injuries, foreign body ingestion, urinary tract obstructions, infections, surgeries, lab tests and X-rays, says Edwin Plotts , Director of Marketing at Pawlicy Advisor.

Plotts says many people get a big vet bill and try to sign up for pet insurance to help cover treatment costs, but that usually doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, such as arthritis, allergies or torn ligaments. It also does not cover routine or preventative care, including exams, vaccinations, and medication for fleas, ticks, and heartworms.

Timing of enrollment is crucial, as many policies require your pet to be at least eight weeks old and under 14 years old to qualify for coverage.

What pet insurance covers neutering and neutering?

You can get coverage for these procedures through a pet wellness plan, which covers routine and preventative care.

Most wellness plans don’t have a deductible, and coverage limits often apply to certain services. While the specifics vary by insurer and your pet’s needs, a wellness plan can cover costs associated with:

  • Veterinary check-ups and consultations
  • dental cleaning
  • Grooming
  • Deworming drug
  • Fecal or internal parasite tests
  • Screening for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
  • Medicines for fleas, ticks and heartworms
  • Heartworm screening
  • microchip
  • Food supplements
  • Prescription diet food
  • Routine lab tests to check blood cell counts, organ function, etc.
  • Routine castration and sterilization
  • Vaccination

Here are a few pet insurance companies that offer supplemental wellness plans that cover neutering and neutering:

  • ASPCA: ASPCA Preventive Care coverage gives you cash back for routine services, including up to $150 for sterilization surgery. The plans cost as little as $9.95/month for an annual benefit of $250 or $24.95 per month for an annual benefit of $450.
  • Embrace: The Wellness Rewards Plan reimburses you for preventive treatment and care, including up to $250 for spaying/sterilization surgery. You can choose a maximum benefit of $250, $450, or $650 per policy year, starting at $18.75 per month.
  • Figo: Figo’s Wellness Bonus covers up to $75 for sterilization surgery. The company offers two levels of coverage. The basic plan costs $9.50 per month for an annual benefit of $135; the Plus plan costs $16.50 per month for an annual benefit of $250.
  • Lemonade: Lemonade offers three preventative care plans. But you’ll need the Puppy/Kitten Preventive Plan for neutering and neutering surgery coverage – and your pet must be under two years old to be eligible. Prices and coverage limits vary.
  • Spot: Spot’s Platinum Preventive Care Plan reimburses up to $150 for spaying surgery. The plan costs $24.95 per month and provides a total annual benefit of $450 in routine care allowance.

Is a Pet Wellness Plan Worth It?

Pet insurance can help you save thousands of dollars in veterinary bills if your pet gets sick or injured. But wellness plan benefits typically add up to around $400 per year.

While a wellness plan probably won’t save you a lot of money, it can help you budget for your fur baby’s routine vet visits. And these visits can help your veterinarian detect and treat problems like diabetes and hyperthyroidism before they become serious.

According to Spruce Pets, pet wellness plans cost an average of $27 per month. Meanwhile, neutering surgery typically costs between $200 and $400 for a cat, according to Daily Paws. For dogs, the cost depends on the procedure. Spaying typically costs upwards of $400 at a private veterinary practice, while neutering costs anywhere from $35 to $250, depending on breed, age, and where you live.

It may not be worth buying a wellness plan just for the benefits of sterilization. But if you plan to use the other benefits — like dental cleanings and vaccinations — it’s worth considering.

“Puppies and kittens, in particular, will benefit the most from a wellness plan, as they will benefit from any vaccinations in addition to any neutering or neutering,” Plotts says.

Remember that many local nonprofits and animal shelters offer discounted or free spaying services to those who qualify. The ASPCA has a nationwide list of low-cost programs, including its own free services for qualified residents.

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