Pet health care discount plans aren't actually health insurance plans at all. Instead, they are programs that offer discounts from local vets in exchange for a monthly or annual membership fee. Their chief advantage is that they cost less than traditional pet health insurance plans. On the down side, while discount plans can save a little money on routine pet care, they won't provide anything close to full coverage if your pet needs expensive treatment. One option might be to put what you save on routine care and less expensive treatments into a savings account to be used should the need arise. The other negative is that there are no benefits at all if you use a non-plan vet. That has lead several consumer reviewers to recommend checking to see what vets in your area participate in discount plan you are considering -- and double-checking with them by phone -- before signing up.
Among pet health discount plans, we saw the best recommendations for Pet Assure. Pet Assure is a simple discount plan; take your pet to a participating veterinarian and you get 25 percent off virtually any service or procedure. Pet Assure offers this discount for any kind of pet, from cats and dogs to horses and exotic birds, with no age limit and no variable pricing. There are three basic plans. For $100 per year or $10 per month, you can enroll one dog or horse (or another large animal); for $60 per year or $6 per month you can enroll one cat, rodent, bird, or reptile; and for $150 per year or $14 per month you can enroll four pets of any kind. Your enrolment also entitles you to discounts at participating retailers, although Petco and PetSmart are not included. You can also pay $40 per year to get the retailer discount alone.
Pet Assure is cited as a good low-cost option by CheapestPetInsuranceReviews.com, while existing customers rate the company 7 out of 10 at PetInsuranceReview.com. Some customers complain that they went to a vet who was listed as being in the network, only to find that he or she was not. Other customers complain about not being to choose their own veterinarian. Yet others are more positive.