We’ve seen a record number of new veterinary hospitals introduce pet insurance as a staff benefit this year. If you’ve considered offering pet insurance to your staff, check out some advice and learnings from other practice managers and clinic owners who offer pet insurance plans from Pets Best as an employee benefit.
Why offer pet insurance?
1) Less tax implications for the clinic and staff members
Practice manager, Lorna Hamilton, introduced pet insurance as a staff benefit at the recommendation of their CPA. Hamilton wanted to provide a valued benefit to the employees of their Pet Kare Clinic that also limited the tax liabilities to their employees. All businesses are required by law to report discounts as taxable income and withhold taxes if the discount is greater than 20% on services or less than cost on products. A 50% discount on a $2,000 surgery can result in a hefty and unexpected tax liability for the employee. For more information on offering discounts to your staff and the tax implications, consult your tax consultant or accountant.
2) Pet insurance goes further than discounts
In addition to offering her employees products at a reduced cost and a 20% discount on services, Dr. Paige Garnett of Care Animal Hospital in Arvada, Colorado, offers full time staff members an additional $1,000 annual benefit to use towards the cost of veterinary care for their pets or pet insurance policies. “I urge folks to use some of that money for pet insurance policies so that it will go further. Staff members are well aware that should a serious medical event happen to one of their pets, $1,000 won’t go very far.” What’s more, pet insurance continues to cover employees if they need to seek care from an emergency veterinarian or a specialist.
3) Pet insurance is more economical than discounts
Dr. Jennifer Hechko found that their employee discounts were getting to be outrageous. In addition to potentially providing more coverage, pet insurance can be more economical for the hospital.
Dr. Sara Liddell found that the accounts receivable for her employees was steadily growing, despite a 50% discount on services. Dr. Liddell stated that, “Even with discounts, veterinary care can be expensive.” Still, Dr. Liddell wasn’t comfortable with this growing A/R amount and after doing her research, she felt pet insurance was a better option.
How to get started
1) Evaluate options
There are a lot of good pet insurance options on the market today, but here are some reasons why hospitals chose Pets Best.
- “There is no upper age limit. This was huge!” – Dr. Jennifer Hechko
In addition to offering a broader range of coverage, finding an option that would cover all her employees’ older pets was important to Dr. Hechko.
- “Because of the excellent service. They made it so easy to get everyone enrolled in an organized manner” – Lorna Hamilton
- “Price equaled the value of plans. Compared to other plans, Pets Best did not seem to have a lot of limitations or requirements for older pets.” – Stacey Rowe, Country Hills Pet Hospital
2) Determine your budget
Some hospitals provide a pet insurance allowance ranging from $10-50 per month depending on whether or not they’re supplementing the pet insurance benefit with employee discounts. With the broad range of plan options starting at less than $10 per month, employees find they’re able to insure multiple pets with the pet insurance allowance they’re provided. If the employee wants more coverage than is budgeted for by the practice, employees can pay the difference.
Pets Best premiums are billed in one installment each month to an account of the hospital’s choice. If the employee chooses more coverage than what was budgeted for the hospital will simply payroll deduct the difference.
3) Get a quote
Pets Best can provide a detailed quote with various options, all that is needed is a simple employee census that includes employee zip code, pet breed and age. Veterinary employees may qualify for a 5-12% discount (discounts not available in Alaska and Tennessee). Interested in learning more and getting a customized pet insurance quote for your staff? Our Veterinary Services team is here to help, contact them today at 1-888-349-2520 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Mon.-Fri.7am-7pm & Sat. 10am-2pm.