Health coverage woes for pet owners

January 24, 2008 4:07:02 PM PST
If you have ever filed a health insurance claim, you know what a hassle it can be. It often isn't any easier when you're dealing with veterinary coverage for a pet.

I was walking up to a house, not so much to see the consumer as to check in. This was a medical house call for a dog named Rex and I was checking up on his health. It's also a financial house call for Rex's owner's, Ruth and Scott Sandie.

The Sandie's had bought doggie health insurance for Rex after they shelled out thousands for a leg operation. Shortly thereafter Rex's other hind leg needed surgery.

"So we already had the policy and called for verification that it would be covered and they said yes, went ahead and had the surgery, did everything they asked, put in the claim and they didn't cover it," says Ruth.

The surgery was a success for Rex but a financial slam to the Sandies. So, why wasn't the surgery covered?

"They said it was a preexisting condition and didn't cover it. I say no, especially since they told me over the phone it would be covered," says Ruth.

Pet Care is a major health insurer of animals and when 7 On Your Side contacted the company, they acted like it. They got right on top things in a hurry.

It appears Rex had fallen through the corporate cracks, but within days, the company has looked into the matter and issued a check to the Sandies.

"The surgery was $3,700 dollars and we got $2,500. They pay 70 percent and we were aware of that already," says Sandie.

And Rex? He has healed up nicely and is back playing a good game of fetch.

Pet Care says it had not been contacted by the policy holder about any issues with the claim. Once we got involved, the company stayed in contact. The company is a member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.