Well-Care Programs and Wellness Plans Can Help Make Vet Care AffordablePublished October 25, 2011
While keeping our pets healthy is a priority for all pet owners, the cost of providing this care can present quite a challenge, and can even deter folks from bringing their fur-friends to the vet.
According to the Bayer 2011 Veterinary Care Usage Study (recently published on Market Wire), the high price of vet care (which often means proper care is not affordable) often overrides an owner’s loyalty to their veterinarian.
The study shows that 26 percent of pet owners surveyed are now seeking ways to save money and would consider switching veterinary practices for options that are more affordable.
With that said, almost half of the pet owners surveyed replied that they would bring their pets to their vet on a more regular basis if the practice offered a monthly-billed annual wellness plan.
The Advantages of an Annual Wellness / Well-Care Plan, and How They Make Vet Care Affordable
Veterinary clinics offering Well-Care programs do so as they are a convenient and affordable way for pet owners to provide their pets with preventative care on a regular basis. Many plans are billed monthly at a nominal fee which includes discounted and free services offered to subscribers. In many practices, pet owners who subscribe pay a one-time enrollment fee in addition to the monthly charge, the cost of which varies at different practices.
Included in many pre-paid wellness programs are discounts on vaccinations, annual wellness examinations, routine dental care, heartworm testing, nail clipping (a boon for dog owners), brushing teeth, and other simple procedures. Some programs often offer free vaccinations following the completion of the first year of coverage.
Although low cost or free vaccination and neuter/spay programs are available throughout the country, many of these programs do not offer the complete veterinary care necessary to monitor a pet’s overall health. Since animals age approximately at a rate of seven years to our one, an annual veterinary check-up is tantamount to humans visiting their doctor once every seven years.*
*Interesting Note: Veterinarian, Dr. Arnold Plotnick disagrees strongly with this popular cat-human age comparison. Check out his cat-human comparison chart.
The Difference Between Wellness / Well-Care Programs and Pet Insurance
Wellness and Well-Care programs are distinctly different than pet health insurance.
For example, pet health insurance programs, depending on the scope of the policy, may reimburse subscribers 50% or more for costly medical procedures, while Wellness programs may only offer a 10% reduction.
With all things considered, however, this writer thinks Wellness and Well-Care programs give pet owners an affordable alternative to the often more costly pet health insurance programs.
What are your opinions about veterinary Wellness and Well-Care programs? Share them in a comment.