There has been a large increase of pet-parents during the pandemic, and with that, the demand for veterinary care has also gone up. As a pet-parent and a member of the veterinary workforce, I see firsthand the importance of preventative care and the often high costs of emergency care. As members of the credit and personal finance community, we strive to save wherever we can and have healthy financial habits; however, sometimes it is not enough. Here are three things to look in to that can help mitigate the financial impact of the costs of veterinary care for your beloved pets.
Similar to us humans, having an insurance plan can help make veterinary care more manageable. These plans, however, come with premiums and limitations, depending on the plan. Usually coverage is split in to different categories, which include but are not limited to: preventative care (annual exams, vaccinations, etc.) and more complete coverage (emergency care, sick exams, labs, etc.) so make sure you are aware of the type of plan you are looking in to and what is best for you and your pet. There are many different plans out there, that's why pawlicy.com is a great tool to compare and determine which one is right for you.
If you determine that insurance isn't right for you, you can consider applying for Care Credit to help split up veterinary costs into installments. Care Credit is a credit card that can be used to cover out-of-pocket costs that are not covered by insurance. This card is made especially for medical costs, and short term financing options include 6, 12, 18, and 28 month installment plans.
Similar to traditional credit cards there is a promotional period of 0% interest if your bill is greater than $200 and you make your payments in full and on time by the end of the promotional period. Keep in mind that although this is a card designed for medical and veterinary expenses, it is STILL a credit card and will accrue interest if responsible habits are not practiced. For more information, check out Care Credit's website to see if this card is right for you.
Rebates and Zoetis Pet Care Rewards
Whenever you pick up your pet's monthly prevention medication, it is always worth asking the receptionist at your practice if there are any rebates being offered by the pharmaceutical company that produces it. Since these products are usually administered on a monthly basis, their cost can add up.
Rebates can be done through the mail, but pharmaceutical company Zoetis has their Pet Care Rewards program that lets you submit rebates online with a picture of your invoice from your clinic. These rebates are given in the form of points that can be redeemed with the Zoetis Pet Care Rewards Card.
This card is not a credit card, but rather a card that lets you pay veterinary bills with your Pet Care Points. Points can not be redeemed for cash back and can only be spent at veterinary practice locations.
The points valuation is decent at 10 points equaling to $1, and expire 15 months from the date that your invoice was approved by Zoetis for the rebate. This should not be an issue for most pet owners as pets are usually seen every 6 to 12 months for wellness exams. For Zoetis, prevention isn't the only medication that can earn points towards rebates. Some anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, antibiotic, and allergy medications are also included on the program, and you can save on them as well. Check out Zoetis' Pet Care Rewards website for more information.
The programs mentioned above can really help make veterinary more accessible, however, they are not for everyone. Insurance requires premiums to pay, Care Credit still has the limitations of a credit card, and rebates can only give us some of our money back.
The love we have for our pets is profound and we always want what's best for them. Emergency situations are always stressful and the the last thing we think about in those situations is money. That is why it is prudent to establish a separate fund for your pet just for peace of mind and important to give your pet wellness and preventative care, as it can help keep future costs more manageable.
This article is not financial or medical advice, and is intended for educational and informative purposes only. Neither the authors, blog or blog owner are not affiliated with any of the services mentioned in the article. Pawlicy.com and its services and infographics are property of Pawlicy Advisor Inc. Care Credit is a credit card and is subject to approval and cardmember agreement. Promotional offers may vary. Care Credit LLC is property of Synchrony Financial. See https://www.carecredit.com/howcarecreditworks/prospective/ for more information. Rebates are determined and offered by their respective pharmaceutical companies and are not offered by veterinary practices unless otherwise specified. Rebate rewards, including from Zoetis Pet Care Rewards, are subject to change. Zoetis, Zoetis Pet Care Rewards, and the Pet Care Rewards Card and infographic are properties of Zoetis Services LLC. See https://www.zoetispetcare.com for more information.