Does Your Pet Insurance Policy Cover Nutritional Supplements?
Most human health insurance doesn't cover nutritional supplements within the policy. Very often, these health plans for people do come with additional memberships in discount programs that provide cheaper prices for non-prescription medication, vitamins, and so on.
You or your vet may have learned that certain dietary supplements can promote wellness or even help treat medical issues in dogs. If you're considering or already have a medical plan for your dog, you might wonder if pet health insurance also covers supplements.
HOW DOES PET INSURANCE COVER NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS?
Since the right nutrition can help your dog stay healthy, it seems sensible for pet healthcare plans to encourage their use. As with health insurance for people, dog medical plans can vary widely. If you're searching for a plan, favor pet insurers with clear and transparent details that help you understand what to expect.
In any case, since plans can vary, it might help to look at one popular example to learn what to look for. The ASPCA, or Society for Prevention of Cruelty for Animals, promotes its Complete Care plan.
Since the ASPCA supports worthy causes, let's look at the way they cover supplements:
- Wellness care: The basic plan doesn't include wellness care, like vaccines, annual checkups, or flea preventatives. You can choose to upgrade to get more wellness care included for a little higher premium payment. Even so, it doesn't appear to cover nutritional supplements that you might give your dog to help them remain healthy.
- Remedies for covered ailments: Neither the basic nor upgraded plan will cover wellness supplements. However, the basic plan will cover vet-recommended dietary supplements or food that help treat a covered condition. For instance, if your vet suggested glucosamine and chondroitin dog chews to help relieve arthritis, it looks like the plan would reimburse you for the cost.
As an important note, the plan also covers possible inherited conditions that may not have generated any symptoms yet in your dog. As an example, some large breeds and even smaller dogs can inherit a tendency to develop hip dysplasia when they're older. You probably won't notice any difference in your puppy or young adult dog. Still, the right nutrition and exercise plan can help delay symptoms. That way, your pet can enjoy a better quality of life when he's a senior dog.
SHOULD YOU COUNT ON PET HEALTH PLANS TO COVER DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS?
According to the ASPCA, their basic plan is fairly unique because it helps pay for supplements or dietary support at all. In general, you should not assume that pet insurance will cover supplements, and if it does, it may only help pay for them under certain circumstances. If you're shopping for pet insurance for your dog, you should balance the coverage against the cost of the premiums and supplements.
As an example, if you want to give your puppies omega-3, fish oil supplements to support their immune system and silky coats, it doesn't look like many plans will cover them without a vet's recommendation. Still, the cost of dog chews with important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients may provide you with a great investment in the overall health and lifespan of your pet.
Besides, you can use these natural, tasty, and pet-friendly supplements as treats, and you probably need to buy treats anyway.
We understand that you want to give your pet the best nutritional supplements, and without breaking the bank, if possible. Even if your pet insurance doesn't cover the costs, we created our Multi-Plus Bites to be friendly to your pet (and your wallet) to give Moe the essentials needed for a healthy life.