Why Obamacare Covers Pre-Existing Conditions, but Pet Insurance Doesn’t

Every week I get a few emails from people with sick pets asking which insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions.  I have to tell them that none of the companies do and then explain that insurers would go bankrupt if they provided coverage for pre-existing conditions. This is because people would just wait until their pet got sick and then sign up for insurance. Very quickly, the pet insurance companies would be paying out much more than they took in and go out of business.

The new Obamacare law mandates that human health insurance companies can’t turn down a customer because of a pre-existing condition.  But won’t these companies suffer from the same problem, with people waiting until they get sick and then signing up for Obamacare?

No, because Obamacare requires everyone to have health insurance or pay a penalty.  This guarantees that there will be a large pool of people, including the young and healthy, who will help pay for the care of those with pre-existing conditions.

So the only realistic way to cover pre-existing conditions for pets would be to institute an individual pet mandate, where healthy puppies subsidize old sick cats.  And this will never happen anywhere, not even . . . → Read More: Why Obamacare Covers Pre-Existing Conditions, but Pet Insurance Doesn’t

The Scoop on Pre-Existing Conditions

Every week I get at least one email from someone looking for pet insurance that covers pre-existing conditions. I tell them that no insurance company covers pre-existing conditions and explain it this way: if you got into a car accident and then tried to buy auto insurance the next day, would you expect the insurance company to pay for your accident? Of course not. Well, a pre-existing condition is basically an uninsured car accident.

The reason the insurers don’t cover pets with pre-existing conditions is simple: pet owners would simply wait until their pet got sick and then buy pet insurance. And this would put every pet insurance company out of business within a year.

So it makes perfect sense that insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions.

There are a couple of additional details worth noting: 1) you can still get pet insurance if your pet has a pre-existing condition – your pet will still be covered for everything unrelated to the existing illness/condition; and 2) some insurance companies consider a pre-existing conditioned cured after a period of time (and will reinstate coverage for . . . → Read More: The Scoop on Pre-Existing Conditions