Boise, ID – (October 26, 2006)—Recent developments in pethealth care and diagnostics have led to great advances in pet health andlongevity—goodnews for pets andtheir owners. Unfortunately, the highcosts of the best pet health care may be daunting, even for those who considertheir pets indispensable members of the family. Pet health insurance is a simple, affordable solution for those who lovetheir pets but are concerned about the financial hardship of high-quality petcare. Misconceptions and a general lackof awareness, however, prevent many families from taking advantage of petinsurance, according to Dr. Jack Stephens, president and founder of Pets BestInsurance.
WE LOVE OUR PETS!
In theUnited Statesalone:
- 63% of households have pets, and 37% of pet owners consider their pets important family members.
- Over 70 million U.S. households own dogs or cats, and 45% of U.S. households own more than one pet.
As a consequence:
- Consumer spending on pets has more than doubled from $17 billion in 1994 to an estimated $38.4 billion in 2006, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA).
- The APPMA projects that in 2006 alone, pet owners will spend:
- $15.2 billion on food;
- $9.3 billion on supplies and over-the-counter-medications;
- $9.4 billion on veterinary care;
- $1.8 billion for animal purchases;
- and $2.7 billion for other services.
THE BAD NEWS FOR YOUR POCKETBOOK
While such screenings andtreatments are a boon for pets, they are also very expensive, dramaticallyboosting the cost of treatment and creating health care inflation in the petworld. Once-fatal conditions for petsare now treatable—but often at costs ranging from $3,000 to $10,000 orhigher. Veterinary costs have risen dueto pet owner demands for sophisticated pet care, according to a 1999 study bythe American Veterinary Medical Association. The study shows a dramatic increase in veterinary care costs in the8-year period from 1991 to 1999—up 84.6% for cat owners and 41.7% for dogowners.
As the bond with petscontinues to grow, the cost of medical care and maintenance for pets continuesto rise. Pet insurance—like any otherinsurance—should be viewed as a valuable and necessary service providing peaceof mind and financial protection, says Stephens, who is widely known as thefirst father of pet insurance in the United States. Yet only a small percentage of pet-owningfamilies take advantage of this valuable opportunity.
Comparisons between humanhealth care insurance and pet insurance are misleading, creating misconceptionsof expense that are simply unfounded, Stephens says. In fact, pet insurance is far more affordablethan human health insurance, while providing many comparable benefits to pets.
“Pet insurance clearlyprovides the financial means for pet owners to budget affordable monthlypremiums, assuring that they can always afford any care their pet requires,”Stephens said. “Pet insurance can provide coverage for any contingency—frommedical problems with a minor cost of a few hundred dollars, to the expensivetreatment for emergencies, illnesses, accidents, diseases, or chronic care thatcan cost thousands of dollars.”
In the interest of pets andtheir owners, Pets Best Insurance is beginning a communications campaign todemonstrate the benefits and value of pet insurance in general. Stephens, founder and operator of twosuccessful pet insurance companies, brings to the effort a wealth of knowledgeand expertise garnered from over 24 years of personal experience in thefield. “The market size and need arejust too great to focus only on Pets Best Insurance,” he said. “The veterinaryprofession and public should be made aware of the many advantages of insuring apet’s care just like any other family member.”
The following provides a general comparison of pet insurance versus human health insurance:
|PET INSURANCE||HUMAN INSURANCE|
|COST||$30/ Monthly Premium Average
(Range = $10-50/month)
|$300- $2,000 Per Month -
|COMPANIES||Currently Nine Companies||Hundreds of Companies|
|COVERAGE||Health & Accident||Health & Accident|
|OPTIONS||Few – Options||Many – Options|
|REIMBUSEMENT||Insured Directly Reimbursed||Doctor & Hospital Reimbursed -Usually|
|WHO PAYS||Pet Owner||Individual or Employer|
|UNINSURED ASSISTANCE||Virtually None||Broad – Medicare, Public Assistance, Emergency Care Required by Law|
|TAX DEDUCTIBILITY||None||Employment Benefit|
|REGULATION||State||State/Federal – Many Compliance Issues|
|COMPLAINTS||Provider Company and State Department of Insurance||Provider Company and legal recourse. (Unlike pet insurance which almost always State DOI, after company. This increases cost greatly for human health.)|
|DEDUCTIBLES||Generally Low Deductibles||Higher Deductibles with Many Choices|
|LIMITS||$2,000-7,000 Limit Range||Much Higher ($100,000-1million)|
|CHOICE OF DOCTOR||Always||Restrictive or None|
|INCEPTION||1982||1929, growth in 1950s|
According to Stephens, “Pet insurance is much simpler and more affordable than human health insurance. It provides a reasonable option to protectyour pocketbook, your peace of mind, and the health of your pet. As health care costs for pets increase, it just makes sense to consider budgeting for unexpected accidents and illnesses.”
Pets Best Insurance reimburses pet owners for services from the veterinarian they choose, truly establishing it as “Pet insurance that really pays!” Pets Best Insurance was founded by Dr. Jack Stephens, pioneer of the pet insurance industry, and accomplished veterinarian, avid pet enthusiast and seasoned insurance executivewith more than 24 years experience.
The product brand includes a choice of four affordable coverage plans with a straightforward 80:20 claims reimbursement structure and NO benefit schedules. The Pets Best Insurance team is a highly skilled and professional group of pet lovers who have developedproducts based on innovation and insight into veterinary care. Visit Pets BestInsurance at www.petsbest.com or phone877-PetsBest (738-7237).
Dr. Jack Stephens is available for general interviews about the important values and needs of petinsurance for families in the United Sates. Please contact Brett Johnson to arrange an interview and to obtainadditional background information and images. You can reach Brett at 877-738-7237 ext. 641.