The North American Pet Health Insurance Awareness Month is September

Lately, the media has been reporting the proposed changes to health reform for humans, which has resulted in a lot of debate over differing viewpoints. However, although human health is important, so too is the health of our beloved pets and during the month of September the North American Pet Health Insurance Association will be bringing awareness of the health insurance needs of pets to the forefront.

Petsecure, a pet health insurance company in Canada began the Pet Health Insurance Month awareness campaign four years ago in an effort to educate pet owners on the importance of protecting the health of the pets by taking out pet health insurance as part of being a responsible pet owner.

The North American Pet Health Insurance Association

The US was not to be outdone and in 2007 the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) was created. According to the NAPHIA website, its members are “committed to educating and promoting to North American pet owners, the general public, and the veterinary industry, the values and benefits of pet health insurance.”

This year NAPHIA will again join forces with the Canadian Petsecure health insurance company to raise awareness of how invaluable pet health insurance really is.

To do this, NAPHIA, has created two different, nationwide, contests. In the first contest, NAPHIA, is looking for a true story to be submitted that details exactly how pet health insurance was able to help a pet who was in dire need of medical attention. All entries should include a digital photo of your pet and should be sent in via email to lhickton@naphia.org by 30 September 2009. A panel of NAPHIA board members will choose the best story and that winner will receive a $500 cash prize.

The second contest finds NAPHIA requesting pet owners to vote on their favorite veterinarian from over 20,000 veterinarians all across North America. All entries should give clear details as to exactly why you feel that your veterinarian is the absolute best; do not forget to include your veterinarian’s name and the address of the veterinary clinic. As with the first competition, this second contest ends on 30 September 2009 and entries should be emailed to lhickton@naphia.org. The veterinarian who wins will also win an educational grant as well as a plaque of excellence.

More Cats Than Dogs

The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that nearly 60% of all US households contain at least one dog, cat, bird, or other small companion pet. Most surprising though is that across all of the pet households in America today, cats outnumbered dogs by nearly10 million!

Statistics show that there are approximately 82 million pet cats whilst there are only 72 million pet dogs in the United States of America. Luckily for these cats and dogs, the general American population spends quite a lot of money on their pets. In North America the projected 2009 expenditures are estimated to be in excess of $45 billion, with $25 billion of that amount being spent on veterinary care.

Pet Health Insurance Policies

Health insurance policies for humans are roughly the same as those policies that are exclusively for pets. For example, they both have deductibles and annual premiums that need to be paid. And, just with a human health insurance policy, a pet’s health insurance policy also has a wide variety of coverage options from which to choose from.

Pet health policies are also based upon the age of the pet, its species and whether any pre-existing conditions exist or not. Another common thread that pet health insurance coverage has with human health insurance coverage is that there are a number of pet health insurance companies that will deny coverage to any animal that has known medical condition or terminal illness. However another aspect of pet health insurance is that some of the plans actually discriminate against certain breeds on the grounds that those particular breeds are usually prone to develop diseases that are commonly found in the breed.

A pet’s health insurance policy can include prescription medications, annual checkups and vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries as well as routine care. There are other policies that will only cover an illness of an accident. For multiple pet households, a multi-pet discount is also offered by most pet health insurance carriers.

Most pet owners have health insurance for their pet for the simple peace of mind that it gives them that if anything should happen to their pet, it will be covered.

The North American Pet Health Insurance Association has a lovely website that contains more about the ins and outs of pet health insurance in America.

Photo Credit: Miguel Vera

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