Does Pet Insurance Cover Heartworm Treatment? Does It Cost More?
By Jessica Kim
Due to the high prevalence of heartworms in the United States, heartworm prevention is standard care for dogs. Fortunately, preventative care is relatively cheap. However, once your dog tests positive for heartworms, treatment costs can grow exponentially, and you may end up paying thousands of dollars.
Despite being a common health concern, heartworm treatment isn’t typically covered by basic pet insurance plans. You usually have to find special plans that include treatment and preventative care to receive coverage for heartworm treatment. If you’re planning to get pet insurance and want coverage for heartworm treatment, do your own research first. This will help you to get a plan that reimburses heartworm treatments while helping you to earn savings.
Types of Care Covered by Pet Insurance
- Accident-only coverage
- Accident and illness coverage
- Comprehensive care coverage
- Wellness care coverage
Only some pet insurance providers will provide accident-only plans and wellness care plans. These plans tend to be cheaper because of their limited coverage. Accident-only plans are typically for healthy adult dogs that just need coverage for any unforeseen, unpreventable injuries.
While many wellness plans will help pay for preventative care, they won’t cover treatment costs if your dog tests positive for heartworms. However, you can find some plans that will help pay for initial heartworm testing.
Most pet insurance companies will offer accident and illness coverage and comprehensive care coverage. Accident and illness plans cover treatments and services, such as diagnostic testing, surgeries, hereditary conditions, and emergency care. Comprehensive care plans are like more robust accident and illness plans that tend to have higher annual limits and reimbursement rates.
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Why Pet Insurance Companies Don’t Cover Heartworm Treatment
Beware that even comprehensive care plans don’t cover heartworm treatment. The main reason for this is that heartworm disease is considered preventable, and pet insurance policies won’t reimburse costs related to preventable illnesses.
In some very rare cases, dogs can get heartworms, even if they’ve been taking heartworm medication regularly. You may be able to contest such cases with your pet insurance company with thorough documentation. However, there’s still no guarantee that your provider will process your claims for heartworm treatment.
To have a best chance of finding the pet insurance policy that covers heartworm treatment, we recommend you to compare different top-rated pet insurance companies. These are the example of the best ones on the market you can start your comparison with:
Top Rated Pet Insurance Companies:
How To Save on Heartworm Costs
Regarding heartworms, the best way to save on costs is preventative care. Being consistent with giving your dog its heartworm medication is the best and cheapest way to avoid heartworm disease.
You can also purchase wellness plans that help pay for initial heartworm tests. Doing regular testing can help you catch heartworms in the early stages, which can help reduce treatment costs. The following pet insurance companies offer standalone wellness plans:
- ASPCA Pet Insurance
- Lemonade Pet Insurance
- Nationwide Pet Insurance
- Spot Health Insurance
If you’re planning on getting pet insurance, you can also include wellness care as an add-on or rider. These add-ons are cheaper than standalone wellness plans, and you don’t have to worry about balancing two insurance policies for one pet. Here are some companies that offer wellness programs or riders:
- Embrace Pet Insurance
- Pets Best Pet Insurance
- USAA Pet Insurance
You can also check with local veterinarian offices to see if they have their own wellness programs. Large veterinary care companies, such as Banfield and Vetco Total Care, tend to have wellness plans and membership programs that offer discounts for preventative care.
It doesn’t hurt to ask pet insurance companies if they cover heartworm treatment, but it’s best not to expect any reimbursements for it. So, the best way to address heartworms is through preventative care.
If you live in an area that has a high prevalence rate of heartworm disease, you can try looking for pet insurance companies that have wellness plans or programs that help pay for initial heartworm tests. Staying on top of heartworm prevention is the most effective way to save on costs and also keep your dog healthy and free of contracting a highly preventable disease.
Featured Image Credit: visivastudio, Shutterstock