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Veterinarians are in control: Medical insurance for pets can avoid pitfalls of human health insurance

SEATTLE, Dec. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While human health insurance models – each with its own set of problems – are debated all over the world, medical insurance for pets is currently avoiding such criticism and can continue to do so with input from veterinarians.

Human medical insurance companies often manage care and negotiate pricing, which dictates treatment options and the choice of doctors for patients. While pet insurance in North America originated in the 80s, the products offered were low-quality and included fee schedules, exclusions on hereditary and congenital conditions, and penalties when pets were “unlucky” and needed to use the insurance.

Veterinarians overwhelmingly saw the inherent flaws in these products and avoided recommending them to their clients. With veterinarians in control, and through their trustworthy influence, these substandard products ultimately failed to thrive.

Today, there are better options.  Trupanion (TRUP), a leader in medical insurance for pets throughout the U.S. and Canada, provides high-quality coverage designed specifically to enhance the relationship between a loving, responsible pet owner and their trusted family veterinarian.

It’s important to distinguish between low-quality pet insurance of the past and high-quality medical insurance for pets available today.

For pets covered by a Trupanion policy, the fixed percentage from the actual eligible invoice is paid regardless of what the veterinarian charges. Through Trupanion’s patented software, payout is at the time of service and paid directly into a hospital’s bank account. A Trupanion policy has no annual or lifetime payout limits or fee schedules, and pet owners can choose any veterinarian in the U.S. and Canada.

The Trupanion policy is designed to specifically not interfere with a pets’ treatment or the recommended course of veterinary care.  For pets covered with a Trupanion policy, the member can choose any veterinarian in North America and there are no payout limits or fee schedules. The policy is for the life of the pet, so while rates will reflect the cost of veterinary care, coverage remains consistent for its members.

Dr. Steve Weinrauch, BVMS, MRCVS and chief product officer for Trupanion believes this paradigm shift will continue, with experienced veterinarians and veterinary professionals guiding the product development both internally and on the front lines in practice.

“Veterinary input is a big part of the solution,” said Weinrauch. “We are working with thousands and thousands of practices to put our proprietary software into their hospitals and have a direct feedback loop with them. We want to hear everybody’s voice to solve today’s problems while avoiding tomorrow’s missteps.”

As an experienced veterinarian, Weinrauch, who has practiced in hospitals in the U.S. and the U.K., understands why some colleagues fear pet medical insurance companies will attempt to manage care and negotiate fees. Veterinarians don’t want to be told how to practice medicine or what to charge for their services. And pet owners do not want to be forced into insurance-approved “in-network” veterinary hospitals. But, rather than avoiding medical insurance for pets all together, which would decrease access to care, Dr. Weinrauch urges veterinary professionals to get involved so that they are informed and have a voice.

“Veterinarians know medicine. Trupanion is there to help responsible, loving pet owners budget for the unexpected. In doing so we enable veterinary professionals to do what they are uniquely trained and qualified to do,” said Weinrauch.

Terms and conditions apply. Please see the full policy for details.

About Trupanion
Trupanion is a leader in medical insurance for cats and dogs throughout the United States and Canada. For almost two decades, Trupanion has helped provide pet owners peace of mind so they can focus on their pet’s recovery, not financial stress. Trupanion is committed to providing pet owners with the highest value in pet medical insurance. Trupanion is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol “TRUP.” The company was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. In the United States, Trupanion policies are issued by its wholly owned entity, American Pet Insurance Company. In Canada, Trupanion policies are issued by Omega General Insurance Company. For more information, visit trupanion.com.