This is a forum to discuss legislation and legal matters pertaining to the rights and welfare of cats. Please remember to counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice and responses.

Nicky- 4/12/08-10/3- 0/11

It's good to be- loved!
Purred: Sat Nov 5, '11 9:24am PST 
I am Nicky's daddy. Obviously It is not Nicky because Nicky was put to rest on October 30, 2011.

Since he got sick and since his passing we have become more committed than ever to changing most forms of Pet Insurance- that are really vet bill rebate programs- to actual insurance that is like human health insurance.

We have a two income household but recently one of the incomes stopped because work stopped when baseball season ended (the other income in the house works for the San Diego Padres).

Even though Nicky had Pet Insurance, when we found ourselves in the midst of a medical crisis with him we were short on cash since bills had been paid just before he needed to see the vet.

Even though we pay paid monthly premiums and had a deductible to meet we were horrified when the vet told us that the insurance was useless unless we were able to pay the bill, in full, and wait for a rebate from the so-called insurance.

We could not afford an estimated bill that was close to $500. On ytop of that helping organizations either denied us or drug their feet- one almost two weeks even though the vet stated this was an emergency situation. As a result Nicky was sent home with pain meds and antibiotic without a definitive diagnosis.

Chances are he would have been terminal anyway but there was a slight chance that if his insurance acted like human health insurance- where the animal gets treatment in emergency situations right away and the insurance covers it after the deductible he may still be with us or at least he would not have had to suffer for two weeks until he body really started giving up.

The vet was between a rock and a hard place. As a small practice they cannot afford to extend credit (we were not approved for the credit card) and experience a lot of defaulting on payments like human hospital emergency rooms do these days.

They all fell in love with Nicky and wanted to help. But it costs money to run a vet practice. The vet told me they are all for Pet Insurance being reworked, having laws changed, so it is like human health insurance. They hate denying care- it literally broke their heart- you should have seen the tears from even the doctor as she euthanized Nicky.

So we are going to try to get that law changed in California. Pet Insurance should be just that- insurance. When illness arises, as it usually does, at the worst possible financial time pet owners whether affluent or living paycheck to paycheck should be able to get the animal emergency care.

the way it is set up now only pets in affluent households can get full care while pets in modest income homes usually get the bare minimum. This is animal abuse my friends. To have too deny care to a sick animal because the so called insurance programs are really rebate programs and folks have to pay the bill, in full, up front is cruel.

Nicky deserved the same health care and emergency tests and X-Rays as other pets who's owners could afford to pay in cash and wait for a partial rebate.

Every pet deserves that and to deny it and to continue allow insurance companies to offer "pet insurance" that is no more than a rebate program is condoning the abuse of animals like Nicky.

With pet insurance you pay a premium like human health insurance. You have to meet a deductible like with human health insurance so why is it NOT like human health insurance that does not require a full, up front payment, before treatment will be given and the insurer approves or denies the cost of the estimate.

Rich or poor all animals deserve the same health care and access to it. Pet insurance must be made to act like human insurance and in Nicky's name we are lobbying state of California and federal politicians to write laws that make insurance companies that collect premiums and demand deductibles make their insurance for pets the same as human insurance so no pet has to suffer and be denied care.

little angellittle angel

Nicky- 4/12/08-10/3- 0/11

It's good to be- loved!
Purred: Sat Nov 5, '11 9:43am PST 
I forgot to mention that what we had paid in premiums while Nicky was alive equals almost 3/4 of the estimated vet bill at the time. Had we just put that same money into a savings account and did not spend it on useless insurance when we needed it we could have paid the bill - or the most important parts of it,

Tink the Cat

Never met a- mouse I didn\'t- bat!
Purred: Sat Nov 5, '11 10:52am PST 
We're with you on this. Although it hasn't happened to us, we firmly believe that people should be informed UP FRONT to what they are getting & not getting!!!way to go


Purred: Sat Nov 5, '11 3:09pm PST 
I am sincerely sorry Nicky is gone. frown

However, I humbly disagree with your idea. To make pet insurance just like human insurance will make things worse. It will drive up costs for the uninsured, it will drive up costs for premiums, and even worse, it will likely cause many vets to refuse to accept insurance. The hassle of billing insurance directly from the vets WILL increase overhead for the vet, as they will need to accommodate that request from the client. The insurance company will play the same games as they do with human doctors, and even more health care decisions will be out of your hands and into a company's bottom line. Additionally, NO pet insurance pays upfront, all of them require you pay and submit the receipt for reimbursement. In the pet insurance industry, this is standard, and not a surprise.

I'm sorry but what you propose is asking for trouble, and as someone who already has affordable insurance for her pets, cannot get behind this idea.

Edited by author Sat Nov 5, '11 3:11pm PST


Beatrice- (Miss You!- '94-'12)

The very Beast- of all

Purred: Sun Nov 6, '11 10:04pm PST 
I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet Nicky! cry
Sending comforting and healing purrs.

I like your idea of putting the money into a savings account instead of paying insurance premiums. At least that way you'd be able to get to it right away if you needed to pay up front.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I hope it can prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future.

Hunter- *Dreamboat- #82*

Master of- Disaster!
Purred: Mon Nov 7, '11 3:54am PST 
I'm so sorry about Nicky. hug

I had pet insurance for my dog. I was paying $465 yearly and she was only going to the vets for her yearly check ups. The money I was paying was going down the drain. Also, the insurance never told me that I was only allowed to bring her for her check ups after a certain date, because that is when their new 'calendar year' started. So, I brought her one year in May, and then the next year I brought her in april. Because I didn't wait 30 days to bring her in May, the insurance said "You brought her for her yearly check up twice in our calendar year, therefore we can't reimburse you for it." I was so mad. So I canceled the insurance.

I too, started to save money in my savings account for her. But I found myself using it for other emergencies as well. So, for my dog I got Care Credit. Its a credit card you can use for certain items. I use it only for my dog if she needs emergency vet care, its paid, if she needs surgery, its paid. I won't have the hassle and trouble of trying to find money somewhere when an emergency arrives. Its an option for you if you have other pets.

Again, I'm sorry about Nicky. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Smokie Boo- Dreamboat- #104b

Rescued cats- like me are the- best!
Purred: Mon Nov 7, '11 1:58pm PST 
Dear Nicky's folks,
Mommy and Daddy are with you, and we live in NY. They had pet insurance for me, but found that it covered very little, and wound up quite literally not being helpful at all.
Mommy and Daddy love their vet, but truthfully have begun to search for another. They simply can't afford her prices that have gone up. Real Pet insurance sure would help!
We're aching with you about Nicky...and mom and dad face similar crisis's ahead with some of us, or finding a less costly vet, as they have had some serious financial problems. That said, mommy and daddy had Care Credit, but it was terrible...it's a scam, expensive if things don't get paid off on time, and it cost mommy and daddy for Natalie's care with interest and 2 follow ups $4,000. Mommy believes that GE MONEYBANK are shyster's with banking licenses and don't put their reality out front.

But thats another matter.

Our heart goes out to you for your Nicky. We are behind you 100 per cent. We also are angry that your vet didn't step forward and work with you. Why? Because that is what ethical people....let alone vets...do. It makes mommy sad and mad all at the same time.

If we can sign anything, or voice our own conccerns...we're behind you!

love and purrs with lots of hugs from the humans,
Deb, James and the KG cats