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Pet Health Insurance Company Interview: PurinaCare

10 Questions Answered

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PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance Logo - copyright PurinaCare - used with permission © PurinaCare - used with permission

Pet Insurance Interviews > PurinaCare Insurance

Note: From the PurinaCare website:
As of April 25, 2013 we are no longer accepting applications to provide new insurance to pets.

If you are an existing PurinaCare policyholder, your policy has been transferred to 24PetWatch, North America's second largest pet insurance company, for administrative purposes.

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This interview is part of a continuing series of pet health insurance company interviews. I will be using the same ten questions for each of the veterinary health insurers so that viewers can learn about each company and compare what plans are available.

In this interview, David B Goodnight DVM, President & Chief Operating Officer for PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance, answers ten questions about pet care plans available through PurinaCare.

Question 1: How long has your company been in business, and where are you based?

Answer 1: The parent company, Nestle Purina PetCare Company (NPPC) has been in the petcare business for over 85 years. PurinaCare® Pet Health Insurance, Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NPPC, was incorporated in early 2008. PurinaCare® Pet Health Insurance has been in the development stage since 2005, and the first policy was sold in June 2008. We are located in San Antonio, Texas.

Question 2: Are clients able to go to any veterinarian, or only through your insurance providers?

Answer 2: Yes, clients can go to any licensed veterinarian in the state in which services are provided.

Question 3: Are hereditary and breed-related conditions covered?

Answer 3: Yes, hereditary and breed-related conditions are covered as long as the underlying condition is not independently excluded under the policy. For example, the condition would be excluded if it were pre-existing at the time of enrollment or the symptoms developed during the waiting period following the Effective Date of the policy. The definition of pre-existing and a list of the exclusions can be reviewed in the sample policy posted on the PurinaCare® website at www.purinacare.com.

Question 4: Are age-related (senior) checkups, illnesses, and medications covered?

Answer 4: Yes, senior checkups are covered if they choose a PurinaCare® plus Preventive Care policy. As stated in 3 above, senior illnesses and medications are covered unless the underlying illness or condition is a pre-existing condition or is otherwise independently excluded. PurinaCare® will accept applications on pets of any age, however pets that haven't been to a veterinarian in over a year and pets over 8 years require special underwriting.

Question 5: Does your company offer wellness plans?

Answer 5: Yes, one of the two plans, PurinaCare® plus Preventive Care, has wellness benefits.

Question 6: What types or levels of health insurance medical plans are offered?

Answer 6: Both PurinaCare® insurance plans have comprehensive accident and illness coverage. One of the plans, PurinaCare® plus Preventive Care, has additional wellness care benefits. Both plans offer a range of deductibles and the high deductible policies ($500 and $1,000) have received the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Seal of Acceptance.

Question 7: If a wellness plan is available, can it be added to, or incorporated with, the medical health plan?

Answer 7: Yes, PurinaCare® plus Preventive Care has wellcare benefits included as additional benefits.

Question 8: Is there an annual or lifetime benefit cap?

Answer 8: PurinaCare® insurance plans have a $20,000 annual limit. The annual limit starts over with each subsequent annual renewal. There are no lifetime limits.

Question 9: How are "usual and customary" fees determined?

Answer 9: PurinaCare® pet health insurance does not use a benefit schedule for accidents and illnesses to determine "usual and customary". Both policies pay 80% of eligible services once the annual deductible has been met. However, both policies contain a "usual and customary" clause in the event a claim is filed that would be considered abusive, or that is significantly higher than what "like" veterinarians are charging in the area. If this should ever occur, the fees would be evaluated for the area and a determination made. To date this hasn't occurred.

Question 10: What specific things stand out about your company? (i.e. strengths, unique offerings, etc.) Feel free to ad-lib here.

Answer 10: PurinaCare® insurance plans come from a name you can trust; Purina®, with over 85 years experience with pets. PurinaCare® offers two plans that are comprehensive, simple and easy to use. PurinaCare® insurance plans have an annual deductible versus a per incident deductible that many other companies have. In addition, PurinaCare® insurance plans have no per incident limits for accidents and illnesses, only an annual limit of $20,000. Hereditary conditions and behavior treatment are not excluded. Finally, PurinaCare® is one of only two companies in the U.S. that has received the AAHA Seal of Acceptance for its high deductible policies which encourage responsible pet ownership.

Thank you, David B Goodnight DVM, for taking time to answer these questions.

Please visit the PurinaCare web site to learn more and ask any specific questions you may have.
Company web site: PurinaCare.com

Pet Insurance Interviews > PurinaCare Insurance

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