Healthy Paws vs. Pets Best: Which Pet Insurance is Right for You?

Pet insurance can be a lifesaver, both for your pet and your wallet. With medical procedures for pets sometimes running into thousands of dollars, having a reliable insurance provider can make all the difference. So, how do Healthy Paws and Pets Best stack up against each other?

Key Takeaways:

  • For Comprehensive Coverage: Healthy Paws might be the better choice due to its extensive accident and illness coverage.
  • For Wellness Plans: Pets Best stands out with its wellness options.
  • For Stability in Premiums: Pets Best might have an edge based on user feedback.
  • For Fast Claims: Healthy Paws often gets the nod.

Overview: Healthy Paws vs. Pets Best

Healthy Paws:

  • Founded in 2009
  • Known for comprehensive accident and illness coverage
  • Popular for fast claim processing

Pets Best:

  • Established in 2005 by a veterinarian
  • Offers both wellness and illness coverage
  • Provides customizable coverage options

Coverage Comparison

Feature Healthy Paws Pets Best
Accident & Illness Yes Yes
Wellness Plans No Yes
Prescription Medications Yes Yes
Congenital Conditions Yes Yes
Hereditary Conditions Yes Yes
Exam Fees No Optional Add-on
Dental Treatment Injury only Injury & Routine (with wellness plan)

Deductible and Reimbursement

Both companies offer a variety of deductible and reimbursement options. However, one key difference is that while Pets Best offers a $0 deductible option, Healthy Paws does not.

Reimbursement: Both provide options from 70% to 90%.

Waiting Periods

Waiting periods vary between companies:

Healthy Paws:

  • 15 days for accidents and illnesses
  • 12 months for hip dysplasia

Pets Best:

  • 3 days for accidents
  • 14 days for illnesses
  • 6 months for cruciate ligament events

Price Hikes and User Feedback

Many users on Reddit have mentioned rate increases for Healthy Paws, with some seeing their premiums jump significantly. On the other hand, while Pets Best also has its share of criticisms, many users find their coverage percentages more stable.

Claims and Customer Service

Healthy Paws is often commended for its fast claim processing, often within a few days. Pets Best, while generally slower, offers a more diverse range of coverages, including wellness plans.

Mobile App Experience

Healthy Paws users have noted that their mobile app experience has decreased in user-friendliness over time. Pets Best, on the other hand, has a relatively straightforward app, but some users wish for more features.

FAQs About Healthy Paws and Pets Best

1. How are pre-existing conditions handled by Healthy Paws and Pets Best?

Healthy Paws: Pre-existing conditions, which are defined as conditions that occurred before the coverage start date, are not covered. This includes conditions that have not been diagnosed yet but show symptoms before the policy starts.

Pets Best: Similar to Healthy Paws, Pets Best also does not cover pre-existing conditions. However, if a pet is free from symptoms, treatment, or changes in conditions for 12 months, it might no longer be considered pre-existing.

2. Can I visit any veterinarian with both insurances?

Yes, for both providers. You can visit any licensed veterinarian, including specialists and emergency care providers, in the US. Both insurances do not limit you to a network of vets.

3. What is the age limit for enrolling pets?

Healthy Paws: Puppies and kittens can be enrolled as early as 8 weeks old, but there’s an upper limit of 14 years. After enrollment, pets are covered for life without age limits.

Pets Best: There’s no upper age limit for enrollment. Like Healthy Paws, puppies and kittens can be enrolled starting at 8 weeks.

4. Are there any policy exclusions I should be aware of?

Healthy Paws: Some exclusions include pre-existing conditions, preventive care (like vaccinations), and examination fees.

Pets Best: Besides the standard pre-existing conditions, exclusions might include elective procedures, preventive or routine care (unless you have the wellness plan), and some specific conditions or treatments like tail docking or ear cropping.

5. How long does it typically take to get reimbursed?

Healthy Paws: Most claims are processed within a few days, with many users praising its speedy reimbursement.

Pets Best: Depending on the complexity of the claim, it might take a bit longer than Healthy Paws. On average, processing can take about a week, but users have reported variations.

6. Are alternative therapies covered?

Healthy Paws: Yes, it covers treatments like hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care if recommended and performed by a licensed veterinarian.

Pets Best: They also cover alternative therapies. However, it’s crucial to check the specifics of the policy to understand the breadth of coverage.

7. Can I adjust my coverage after I’ve enrolled?

Both Providers: Yes, policyholders have the flexibility to adjust their coverage. However, any changes might affect your premium, and conditions that manifested under the old policy might be considered pre-existing under the new terms.

8. Are there any discounts available?

Healthy Paws: While they don’t offer multi-pet discounts, there are occasional seasonal promotions or discounts through partners.

Pets Best: They provide a multi-pet discount, making it a potentially more cost-effective option for households with multiple animals.

9. Do they cover prescription medications?

Healthy Paws: Yes, medications prescribed to treat covered conditions are included.

Pets Best: Prescription medications are covered, but there’s an option to add a wellness plan that might give broader coverage on preventive meds.

10. How easy is it to cancel a policy?

Both Providers: Both insurances allow for straightforward policy cancellation. However, it’s recommended to read the policy details or discuss with customer service to understand any implications or required notice periods.

11. How do waiting periods compare between the two?

Healthy Paws: After enrollment, there’s a 15-day waiting period for illnesses and accidents. For hip dysplasia, a 12-month waiting period is applicable for pets enrolled before they turn six.

Pets Best: They have a shorter waiting period for accidents at just 3 days. Illnesses have a 14-day waiting period. Cruciate ligament events have a 6-month waiting period.

12. Do these providers offer any direct payment to vets?

Healthy Paws: They typically reimburse the pet owner after they’ve paid the vet. Direct payment to veterinarians isn’t standard practice.

Pets Best: While you usually pay the vet first and then get reimbursed, there are cases where Pets Best can arrange direct payment to the vet, especially in emergencies.

13. Are chronic conditions covered in subsequent policy years?

Healthy Paws: Yes, as long as the condition isn’t considered pre-existing, it will be covered in subsequent policy years without additional premium charges.

Pets Best: Chronic conditions are also covered, provided they started after the policy began and after the waiting period. They don’t treat them as pre-existing in renewal years.

14. Do the policies have annual or lifetime payout limits?

Healthy Paws: They offer unlimited lifetime benefits without caps.

Pets Best: While they have an unlimited option, there are also policies with set annual limits. Ensure you choose the one that best suits your pet’s needs.

15. Are congenital and hereditary conditions covered?

Healthy Paws: Yes, these conditions are covered as long as they weren’t diagnosed or treated before the policy start date.

Pets Best: Similarly, they cover these conditions if they aren’t deemed pre-existing.

16. How do deductibles work with each provider?

Healthy Paws: They offer an annual deductible, meaning once you’ve met the deductible, all subsequent covered treatments will be paid for that year.

Pets Best: They also use an annual deductible system, but they offer a broader range of deductible options, allowing more flexibility in premium costs.

17. Is there a provision for covering behavioral issues?

Healthy Paws: Behavioral treatments are covered if related to a covered accident or illness.

Pets Best: They offer broader coverage, including treatments for behavioral conditions even if they aren’t linked to another covered condition.

18. How do they handle policy rate increases?

Healthy Paws: Your pet’s age at enrollment locks in its rate. However, rates can still change based on factors like changes in veterinary costs in your area.

Pets Best: Rates might increase due to a pet’s advancing age or rising veterinary costs. Regular review of your policy is recommended.

19. What is the policy for policy cancellation refunds?

Healthy Paws: If you cancel within 30 days and haven’t made a claim, you can get a full refund. Otherwise, cancellations will cease the coverage without refunds for the paid period.

Pets Best: They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if no claims have been filed. Beyond this, similar terms apply as with Healthy Paws.

20. How do the providers handle spaying and neutering procedures?

Healthy Paws: Routine spaying and neutering procedures aren’t covered since they’re considered preventive.

Pets Best: These procedures aren’t covered under regular accident and illness policies but might be included if you add a wellness plan.


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