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Many pet health insurance plans do not cover “genetic” diseases. With advances in DNA studies, veterinary medicine is discovering more and more diseases are genetic-based. It is important to ask what diseases they consider to be genetic for the breed that you own.

Some policies cover only up to a certain age of your pet. Some do not cover prescription drugs or dental disease. Others have a yearly or lifetime dollar limit.

Most companies have a deductible and then pay a percentage of the bill, usually 80 to 90 percent. Some companies have a set dollar reimbursement for each problem or procedure.

Another consideration is whether to obtain a basic or premium plan. It is important to compare the costs of each option. In many cases, it may be more prudent to purchase the basic coverage.

A small percentage of pets are covered by health insurance at the present time, but this is expected to change in the near future. More than 1,600 companies, including Google and Office Depot, offer pet health insurance as an optional employee benefit.

Pet Health Insurance Companies:

Embrace

Trupanion

VPI

Pet’s Best

Hartville

Petfirst Healthcare

Petplan USA

AKC

24PetWatch

PurinaCare

ASPCA

Healthy Paws

Consult your veterinarian for more information.

• Dr. Els Slurink practices veterinary medicine at Cleveland Pet Hospital and Health Center in Caldwell. She can be reached at 459-0709.

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