CategoryHealth

Dentist Malpractice Insurance

How to Know if You Need an Emergency Dentist

Going to the dentist isn’t exactly everyone’s favorite thing to do.

In fact, some people avoid the dentist altogether. This may be due to severe dental anxiety or one bad experience in the past. But, everyone needs a dentist!

This is especially true if you find yourself in an emergency dental situation.

In the event that something severe happens to your teeth, gums, or even your jaw, you have to contact an emergency dentist.

Here are some examples of what may cause this need.

  1. You Have an Intense Toothache

It’s one thing to experience a bit of a toothache after eating something particularly cold or crunchy. This may be a sign of tooth sensitivity, but it doesn’t always call for an emergency dentist visit.

If you have a significant, long-lasting pain in a tooth, though, your case is worth looking into.

Such an ache could be the first sign of an infection in the root of the tooth or along the gums, or even another problem you can’t see with the naked eye. This could happen to a naked tooth or to one that has had previous filling or crown work done.

  1. A Tooth Is Loose, Chipped, or Broken

Although the root of an ache is not as easy to see right away, there is no denying a loose, chipped, or broken tooth. This is something you can feel or see as soon as it happens and it requires immediate attention.

A loose tooth could simply be the result of biting down on something the wrong way. Or, it could be more drastic like a decaying tooth or an issue with any dental gear you wear.

Similarly, a chipped or broken tooth could be the result of many things. But, this doesn’t have to be the way your smile looks forever. There are many forms of cosmetic dentistry and fillings available to make you look good as new.

Exploring these options begins with a visit to your emergency dentist, though.

  1. A Filling or Other Dental Tool is Damaged

Speaking of cosmetic dentistry, what happens if this the kind of dental issue you are having?

You don’t necessarily need to go back to the dentist who first did your filling or fixed your smile. A local emergency dentist might be able to step in where they left off. This all depends on the kind of work you had done and how severe the damage is, though.

One quick consultation can tell you everything you need to know. It gets you in the door of an emergency office to provide you with all the next steps to look and feel as good as new.

  1. Your Gums Bleed or Ache

Bleeding gums or an ache in the area around your teeth could be another reason you need an emergency dental visit.

This condition is a sign of poor dental care.

It is often caused by lack of frequent brushing or flossing. Then, when you do go to clean your teeth, your gums begin to bleed. If it happens frequently, your gums may burn or bleed randomly as time goes on.

Not to mention, it’s not the best look. Get to the emergency dentist as soon as you can to keep this problem from progressing.

  1. Your Jaw Is Swollen

Bleeding or aching gums are one way to notice if you have an infection growing underneath the teeth. A more serious – and demanding – sign is a swollen jaw.

This could be the result of an infection in the gums as well as the salivary glands.

A salivary gland infection is not something to take lightly. It can create trouble chewing and swallowing, altering your diet significantly until it is cured.

This infection also has the possibility of causing a bad taste in your mouth, a head cold, or trouble breathing. Sometimes, such symptoms can lead to sleep apnea or bad coughing.

Stop all of these issues before they start. Your emergency dentist can help, and your body will thank you.

  1. You Have a Growing Dental Abscess

Another dental issue to treat as soon as you can is an abscess.

This the final straw to take care of an infected tooth. An abscess occurs when pus forms around a tooth infection. The pus gathers together in a small pocket underneath the gums, which will look like a bump to the naked eye.

This can sometimes be painful, although the level of discomfort varies.

Either way, it is not something you should just keep as is. The abscess may grow in size or spread your infection to neighboring teeth.

  1. Your Canker Sore Hasn’t Gone Away

A canker sore is kind of like the more common, less serious cousin of a dental abscess. These are wounds that appear on the soft tissue inside the lips or around the gums.

Canker sores vary in size and strength. Some are minor and can be treated at home. Others need immediate attention due to their extremity – sometimes appearing in clusters of ten or more in the most severe cases.

If you try to tough your canker sore(s) out, but to no avail, it’s time to call an emergency dentist. Their efforts will be much more effective than your DIY approach to dentistry.

  1. Your Mouth Tastes Like Metal

When your mouth tastes like metal, it is not because of something bad you ate.

This is most commonly caused by some sort of damage to a piece of metal you have in your mouth. Such dental materials may be braces, a filling, or a crown. When these items become loose or broken, the taste in your mouth will tell the difference.

But, only a dentist will be able to find the right solution.

 

Do I really have to go to the dentist every six months? Do I need x-rays at each visit?

How often you go for dental exams depends on your oral health needs. The goal is to catch small problems early. For many people, this means a dental exam every six months. Your dentist may suggest that you visit more or less often depending on how well you care for your teeth and gums, problems you have that need to be checked or treated, how fast tartar builds up on your teeth, and so on.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I floss every day?
  • Do I brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and follow my dentist’s instructions on how to brush properly?
  • Do I eat a well-balanced diet, including food from all food groups, and limit sweets and sticky foods?
  • Do I smoke?
  • Do I have a history of cavities or gum disease?
  • Is my overall health good?

The answers to these questions are all factors that affect your oral health. They will help you and your dentist decide how often you need to visit for dental exams. It’s worth noting that you should not determine your need for dental care on what your dental plan covers.

Do I need x-rays at each visit?

How often you need to have x-rays also depends on your oral health. A healthy adult who has not had cavities or other problems for a couple of years probably won’t need x-rays at every appointment. If your dental situation is less stable and your dentist is monitoring your progress, you may require more frequent x-rays.

If you are not sure why a particular x-ray is being taken, ask your dentist. Remember that dental x-rays deliver very little radiation; they are a vital tool for your dentist to ensure that small problems don’t develop into bigger ones.

 

Dangers of Ignoring Wisdom Teeth Pain

In some cases, patients don’t have wisdom teeth removed because they do not have an effect on the rest of the teeth or jaw. Alternatively, these molars will keep growing until they cause dental issues for most people, in addition to the pain and discomfort described earlier.

Even if they haven’t broken through the surface of your gums yet, you could have parts of your wisdom teeth growing sideways into the surrounding molars or jaw bone. This is known as an impacted tooth and can potentially cause severe health and dental problems.

In addition, the increased pressure caused by the wisdom teeth may result in numbness in your jaw and face. Because most wisdom teeth do not grow in perfectly straight, infections, irritation, and overcrowding are almost certain if the wisdom teeth are not removed This could eventually lead to the need for orthodontic or periodontal treatments, so you should consider removing your wisdom teeth before getting braces.

If you can’t see your dentist right away when experiencing discomfort, there are home remedies that will alleviate some of the pain caused by wisdom teeth until you can see a dental professional.

 

Knocked-out tooth

A knocked-out adult tooth can usually be saved by putting it back in place or in milk as soon as possible, before seeing a dentist.

What to do if a tooth has been knocked out

If it’s an adult (permanent) tooth:

  • Hold it by the white bit that sticks out of the gum (the crown). Do not touch the root.
  • Lick it clean if it’s dirty, or quickly rinse it in cold running water for no more than 10 seconds.
  • Try to put it back into the hole in the gum. If it does not go in easily:
  • put it in milk
  • put it in saliva – by spitting into a container (if it’s your tooth) or having your child spit into a container (if it’s theirs)
  • hold it in your cheek until you see the dentist – but do not have younger children do this in case they swallow it
  • If it goes back in, bite down gently on a clean cloth to hold the tooth in place.

If it’s a baby tooth:

  • do not put it back in – it could damage the tooth growing underneath

If you do not know if it’s an adult or baby tooth:

  • put it in milk or saliva (by having your child spit into a container) and bring it to the dentist

 

It’s time to take high-tech dental x-rays

Once your paperwork is caught up, a team member will walk you back to take a digital x-ray of your mouth. These x-rays help reveal tooth decay, jaw bone issues, and other dental health concerns.

Though some people may find this process a little awkward, it’s quite fast and not at all painful. We’ll do all we can to make sure you feel at ease throughout.

Here’s how it works:

  • You’ll sit upright in a chair — feel free to scoot back and get comfortable!
  • Your dental technician will place a lead apron over your chest — while this apron feels a little heavy, we find many people find it comforting!
  • We’ll gently situate an x-ray sensor in your mouth — the technician will walk you through how to bite down and hold it properly. We’ll take our time to make sure it’s not causing you any discomfort or gag reflexes.
  • Once the sensor is in place, the technician will turn on the machine and take the x-ray image — this takes a couple seconds
  • The technician will review the images as they are taken and we’ll move the senor a few times in your mouth to make sure we get a good look at your entire mouth.

It’s a fast process and when we review the x-rays with you later, you’ll get a really interesting look at what’s going on under the surface of your mouth!

Know About Pediatric

What is a Pediatric Physical Therapist?

“Isn’t physical therapy just for athletes and adults in recovery?” Nope! Sometimes, children and even babies need physical therapy, too. You might not give a second thought to walking up the stairs or picking up a drink. But for a child with an injury or delay in development, those simple tasks can be a real challenge.

What is a Pediatric Physical Therapist?

If your child needs physical therapy, they’ll work with a pediatric physical therapist (PT). Typically, pediatric PTs treat kids under 18, from newborns to teenagers. They see children for a variety of different reasons, including bone/muscle issues, sports-related injuries, or genetic, brain,spine,or nerve disorders. PTs have years of training, and some even earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

 

Pediatric Physical Therapist Job Description

Pediatric physical therapists are physical therapists that specialize in treating and caring for patients who are toddlers, babies, children, teenagers and young adults. They treat conditions related to genetic, neurological and orthopedic disorders. Techniques like functional training and exercise are used alongside medication and diet changes. Additionally, pediatric physical therapists use specialized medical equipment that is designed to help treat and alleviate pain from conditions that hinder mobility.

Pediatric physical therapists work a typical 40-hour week with some evenings and weekends required. Remaining emotionally strong and handling stress well is crucial for this career due to the frustrations patients can experience with their conditions. Possessing excellent communication skills helps when speaking to family members and patients about the treatment options and health conditions. Typical employers for this career include private practice, hospitals and other medical settings.

Requirements for Pediatric Physical Therapist

A pediatric physical therapist needs a Doctor of Physical Therapy, which typically takes three years to earn. Educational programs need to be accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association. Specializations and minors are available that are specifically geared for pediatric physical therapy. Students need to pursue these programs in order to acquire the proper education to work with children. Common courses in pediatric physical therapy programs include anatomy, exercise physiology, biology, pharmacology, radiology, behavioral science and pathology. While enrolled in these educational programs, a pediatric physical therapist typically has to complete some supervised work through an internship or assistantship.

 

Things You Should Know About Pediatric Physical Therapy

With pediatric physical therapy, kids who are injured or who have certain health conditions can reach their full potential and function better at home, in school, and in other environments. If you’re considering whether your child could benefit from working with a pediatric physical therapist, here are some basic facts you should know about this type of health care.

  1. Treating injured children is different from helping adults and requires a unique approach. Pediatric physical therapy must involve a team of experts trained specifically to deal with kids’ bone and muscle structure. Additionally, therapists must demonstrate a high level of patience and compassion, since children might not understand the need for physical therapy and can have more trouble staying on task than adults would.
  2. Parents and family members become part of the process. Pediatric physical therapists work not only with the child who needs treatment but also with family members. A child’s caretakers play a vital role in successfully enacting a treatment program. Therapists can support families in advancing their children’s development and physical therapy progress by offering services such as providing specific information on the patient’s needs, offering guidance on using physical therapy equipment directly, and more, according to the APTA.
  3. Insurance coverage for pediatric physical therapy varies. If your child needs physical therapy, it’s important to review your health insurance policy or program to see what types of treatment it covers and what the reimbursement levels are for those services, the APTA states. Additionally, it helps to become familiar with laws that require and affect the provision of pediatric physical therapy, such as the Individuals With Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
  4. Pediatric physical therapy can benefit children dealing with a wide range of conditions. Physical therapy can help kids in various circumstances. Pediatric physical therapists at Little Steps specialize (but aren’t limited to) the following:
  • Prematurity
  • Developmental delay
  • Birth defects
  • Muscle diseases
  • Genetic disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Torticollis
  • Acute trauma
  • Head injury
  • Sports injury
  • Orthopedic disabilities/injury

 

What conditions can be treated with pediatric PT?

There are many familiar childhood disorders and diseases that present with movement dysfunction and motor skill issues that can be treated by physical therapy. These include Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy and associated disorders, Spina Bifida, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Arthrogyposis, Cardio-PulmonaryDisorders, Cystic Fibrosis, Cancer, and Traumatic Brain Injury. In addition, many children present with hypotonia and developmental coordination disorder without a formal diagnosis. Orthopedic conditions that can also be treated with PT include scoliosis, back pain, sports injuries, fractures, and orthopedic surgeries.

What is the pediatric PT’s role?

The role of the pediatric physical therapist is to evaluate and provide treatment for delays in motor skills by developing the strength and range of motion that children need to move through their environment easily and effectively. In addition to assessment of flexibility, strength, posture, gait, sensory processing, balance, coordination and skill, the pediatric therapist is trained to assess motor development using standardized testing for age equivalents. The long-term goal includes gross motor skill development solid to age with good quality to both sides of the body.

 

A child’s bones, muscles and joints require special care

A child’s growth plates – the areas at the end of the long bones in the arms and legs responsible for making new bone tissue – are still open. If a child or teenager injures these growth plates, and is not diagnosed or treated properly, it can lead to damage that may leave them permanently sidelined from their favorite activities. Pediatric physical therapists are trained to recognize, identify and treat these types of injuries specifically. And while general PTs can treat pediatric patients, they may make up only 5-10% of their practice. Pediatric PT’s on the other hand, are kid experts, treating children 100 percent of the time.

Pediatric physical therapists cater rehabilitation specifically to your kids

A child needs to be stimulated and engaged in their physical therapy to reap the biggest benefits and recover quickly. If they aren’t challenged and entertained, they become disengaged – potentially prolonging their recovery time. Pediatric PTs can translate your child’s therapeutic goals into exercises that seem more like play than therapy, making rehabilitation fun – which translates into better compliance and a faster recovery.

Find The Best Plastic Surgery

How To Find A Good Plastic Surgeon

A lot rests on your choice—not only your appearance, but your safety as well. Whether you’re having an elective procedure like a tummy tuck, scar removal or fillers, or you’re reconstructing a breast after mastectomy, you want to make sure your surgeon is well-trained, has an excellent reputation and will be able to look at you in a holistic way to give you options that make sense for your situation and lifestyle, says Dr. Oren Lerman, a cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon at Northwell Health’s Lenox Hill Hospital and associate professor of surgery at Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

Look for a board-certified plastic surgeon

Plastic surgery is a complicated specialty, and you want someone who has been expertly trained in it. Board certification by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) assures you that the doctor has graduated from an accredited medical school, has completed at least six to eight years of surgical training, including general and plastic surgery, and continues with ongoing education and testing.

Ask friends, family and your physician for recommendations

Do you know anyone who has had work done that looks good? They can provide useful information about their doctor and prepare you for what’s going to happen from start to finish. Ask detailed questions about any doctor they’ve used: How is his bedside manner? Did the doc address all their concerns? Were they given realistic expectations? Were they happy with the results?

View Google with the proverbial grain

When it comes to picking doctors, social media is both a blessing and a burden. Online review sites can reveal a surgeon’s education and training, what people are saying about him, and even include before and after pictures. Many surgeons’ websites have helpful information to teach you about the procedures you’re considering.

Meet the surgeon beforehand

Of all the pieces of advice, this is probably the most important. “You want a good fit,” says Dr. Lerman. “You want to make sure that the surgeon understands your concerns, that they give you good options to treat those concerns, and that you trust that person.”

 

tips for picking a good plastic surgeon

Make sure the surgeon is board-certified

This one, say experts, is a no-brainer. For plastic surgery, you want a doctor who’s certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. It’s simple: The American Board of Medical Specialties’ Web site will tell you if a doctor is board-certified in plastic surgery.

Check the surgeon’s record

Trobaugh says she never would have gone to Adams if she’d known he had two malpractice judgments against him. She could have found that out easily by going to the Medical Board of California’s Web site. Links to the Web sites of every state’s medical board can be found

Ask if the surgeon has hospital privileges

Even if you’re having a plastic surgery procedure at an outpatient clinic, it’s worth asking where the doctor has hospital privileges, because hospitals do background checks, says Dr. Rod Rohrich, past president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “If they don’t have hospital privileges, that’s a huge red flag,” he says.

Come armed with questions for the doctor

One crucial question for your potential surgeon is how often he or she does the procedure you’re interested in. “If I’m coming to you for a facelift, you’d better do it almost weekly,” says Rohrich, who’s also chairman of the department of plastic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Be wary of multiple procedures

Trobaugh says when she went to Adams, he suggested three procedures. “When you bundle procedures, the risk goes up,” says Stuzin, the plastic surgeon in Miami. The more procedures you have, the more money the doctor makes. Dr. Grant Carlson, a plastic surgeon at Emory University School of Medicine, says an unethical surgeon might suggest a neck lift when someone has come in looking for just for a nose job. “Unfortunately, money is a motivation in some people.”

 

How to Choose a Cosmetic Surgeon

If you are considering cosmetic or plastic surgery to your body (breasts and face are the most common locations), don’t overlook the importance of choosing the right surgeon, as not all are equally trained or competent. Consider the following tips when researching for potential plastic surgeons

Ask a friend or trusted doctor for a referral.

Use the advantages of word-of-mouth to find a plastic surgeon. Friends who have undergone a cosmetic surgery, operating room nurses, or surgical technicians who have worked with a cosmetic surgeons can help point you in the right direction!

Make sure the surgeon is board certified

Ensure that your doctor has actually graduated from an accredited medical school and ask for board certification information. By law, any medical doctor can perform virtually any medical procedure, so make sure they are a trained specialist in the surgery you need

Ask about their experience

Once you’ve established they are a board certified surgeon in the specialty you require (such as breast augmentation or face lift), ask about their experience.[6] Find out how many times they’ve done your type of surgery and when the most recent time was. Some doctor who focuses on breast implants, may occasionally do face lifts to augment their income

Check the doctor’s record

Thanks to the internet, it’s easier now than ever to do research online from your home, so use this to your advantage by checking your doctor’s record.[7] The status of your doctor’s license can be found through their state licensing boards. Pick surgeons with clean records and no history of serious discipline or malpractice.

 

TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE BEST PLASTIC SURGEON

Find out if the surgeon is board certified

Surgeons that are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) are uniquely qualified and specially trained in the field of plastic surgery. Typically board certified plastic surgeons have lower complication rates and provide superior patient care compared to physicians without certification.

Check the surgeon’s record

You can go the medical board of your state to verify that the surgeon is licensed to practice within that state and view any disciplinary actions taken against the surgeon. Typically all that’s needed to obtain this information from the board is to submit a records request either through the mail or online.

Make sure the surgery will be performed in an accredited facility

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) requires that its members operate in accredited facilities when any significant anesthesia is used in the procedure. Accredited facilities are surgical rooms that meet strict standards for equipment, personnel, and room safety. In order to receive and maintain accreditation, the facility must adhere to various standards established by state and federal guidelines.

Ask if the surgeon has hospital privileges

This is an easy way to verify the qualifications of a surgeon. Hospitals conduct detailed background checks prior to granting a physician privileges to operate within their facilities. Thus, privileges from a reputable hospital are a good indication that the surgeon is qualified and in good standing.

Ask detailed questions

One of the best things to do is to ask the surgeon detailed questions that may include

 

Choosing the Right Cosmetic Surgeon

First, you should interview two or three surgeons whose specialties match your needs. The surgeons should be board-certified and members of one of these professional organizations

Personal recommendations are important. Ask friends for referrals if they have gotten a similar procedure. Get opinions from your family doctor and other doctor acquaintances. Surgical technicians and operating room nurses are an excellent source for information about a surgeon’s skill in the operating room

Remember, cosmetic surgery is a highly competitive field. Don’t be confused by groups claiming to be “the only” or “the best” because this excludes many surgeons who may be better choices for your particular issues. Ask about their fellowship training — specialized training in specific procedures. Check with your state’s medical board to verify the surgeon’s board certification, education, and license. And check whether disciplinary action has been taken against the surgeon.

Keep in mind, excellent credentials and a good rapport with your surgeon do not guarantee a favorable outcome. However, they are the foundation of a successful partnership between your surgeon and you.

Find The Best Veterinarian For Your Pet

How To Choose The Right Veterinarian For Your Pet

Choosing the right veterinarian for your dog is something that you should carefully consider. This is the person that could potentially save your pet’s life and keep them healthy. Both and your pet should come to a consensus about this person before you make a long-term commitment to work with them. Here are some things to consider when choosing a veterinarian.

Ask for personal recommendations

One of the best ways to find the right veterinarian is to ask your friends and family members for recommendations. Other families with pets in your area may know some good veterinarians to check out, so that should be the first place you look for advice.

Find a veterinarian with an expertise in treating dogs

Veterinarians are not all created equal. There are different types of veterinarians that specialize in working with different types of animals, and some of them may have more experience treating cats, rabbits, or other types of non-canine animals. You will definitely want to work with a veterinarian who has an expertise in treating dogs specifically, so ask about how much experience they have with dogs before you get started.

Look for licensed personnel

Although most people would assume this would be a given, that is not always the case. Make sure that veterinarian really is licensed in your state and also see if some of the other workers are licensed, because there are also registered veterinary technicians. You can ask to see their licenses or contact your state board of veterinary medicine for more information.

Inquire about their approach to pets and medicine

A veterinarian is not just there to administer medication, but to provide care for the entire being. Vets tend to have different approaches when it comes to pets and medication. Have a brief discussion with your potential vet and see what they think about wellness and prevention issues when it comes to dogs. If they are not on the same page with you, then you should keep looking.

Consider the cost and location

If an emergency situation occurs, then you will need to be able to get to the vet’s office quickly. Try to find a veterinarian that is less than an hour away from you at the most. Costs can also vary depending on the vet, so see if their prices fit into your budget before you commit to them.

Both you and your pet should be comfortable

Being comfortable around your veterinarian is important because you should be able to tell them everything about your dog. The same thing applies to your dog because they should also feel at ease around the vet. Some initial discomfort around a vet can be normal for some dogs, but signs of anger, fear, or distress toward a vet is certainly a red flag that you should move on.

Look for a clean facility

Have a look around the facility and notice the level of cleanliness. If the place seems a little dingy or dirty, then that is also a sign to move on. Since it is a medical facility, it should be just as clean as a hospital for humans.

Personal referrals are a great way to start the search, but you should still spend some time to get know the vet and staff first. Ask about their background and experience, and then see if they hold views similar to yours on medical treatments for pets. Make sure that both you and your pet are comfortable with the vet and facility. The veterinarian will play a significant role in your pet’s life, so keep looking until you find the right one.

 

How Do I Look for a Vet?

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) evaluates veterinary practices on the quality of their facilities, staff, equipment and patient care. Search the organization’s website at www.aahanet.org for a list of accredited vets in your area.

It’s also a good idea to ask for recommendations from friends, family and trusted neighbors-especially those who take a keen interest in their dogs’ health and well-being.

 

What is Your Vaccination Protocol?

Does the potential new veterinarian believe in three-year vaccinations or vaccinating every year? Some veterinarians argue that annual boosters get the pet in for annual exams. The reality is annual exams get the pet in for annual exams. Every year of life for a dog or cat is somewhere between five and eight years for a human. It’s good to have things checked out as they can change in that period. However, using unnecessary procedures is dangerous for the pet and only lines the pocket of the veterinarian.

 

Are pet wellness plans worth it?

Depending on the recommended care for your pet, the frequency of treatment and how much you spend annually on preventative measures, a wellness plan could save you money. With different tiers of coverage available, choosing the best plan for your pet’s needs is easy. Some wellness plans also include discounts for additional veterinary services.

However, if your plan’s coverage is not comparable or your pet’s annual wellness needs would exceed the benefits, a wellness plan might not be for you. Keep in mind that most veterinarians offer preventative care at relatively inexpensive fees compared to the costs of treating an unexpected accident. Your pet might also not require a full suite of wellness services every year, which could limit the value.

It’s important you know exactly what is and is not covered before making your decision. You should compare wellness programs to see which works best for you and your pet.

 

How Pet Insurance Works

To prevent people from getting insurance when their pet is already sick, companies also have a waiting period between when you buy your policy and when illness coverage begins. For accident coverage, the waiting period is usually a few days. Insurers will require your pet to get a check-up before your coverage kicks in to establish any pre-existing conditions.

To get reimbursed by your pet insurer, you must pay out of pocket first and then file a claim afterwards. Insurers will evaluate your claim and, if approved, either direct deposit you the reimbursement funds or send a check in the mail. This process usually takes two to three business days, though it can take longer than a week for more complicated claims or if you receive reimbursement funds in the mail. Your reimbursement depends on how your plan is structured, and the main parts are:

  • Deductible: The money you have to pay towards a bill (either per year or incident) before the insurer pays. Ranges from $0 to $1,000.
  • Reimbursement level: After the deductible is paid, the percentage of the bill that will be reimbursed by the insurer. Usually 50% through 100%.
  • Annual max: The maximum amount your insurer will pay in medical bills each year. Any charges incurred above the max will be paid out of pocket.

For example, let’s say your plan has a 100% reimbursement level, $50 deductible and a $10,000 annual max. If your pet gets into an accident that ends in $15,000 of medical bills, you “pay” for the first $50, and the insurer would reimburse you for $10,000, and you are responsible for the remaining $4,950.

Does it pay to have both pet insurance and a pet wellness plan?

Wellness plans encourage owners to be more proactive about caring for their furry loved one. It is far less expensive to prevent a problem than it is to treat it. Wellness plans work to catch conditions early, before complications develop, so treatment can be more successful and your pet has a longer, happier life.

Even with diligent, preventative care, 1 in 3 pets will require a sudden visit to the vet each year. Pet insurance helps protect you from these unexpected costs; by paying affordable monthly premiums, you’ll be covered if any serious health issues do occur.