How to Submit an Insurance Claim After a Veterinary Visit
Published May 6, 2022
Our pets are like family. We will do anything to keep them well, but the increasing cost of veterinary care can often feel like an obstacle to getting your pets the services they need.
Fortunately, pet insurance is an option to help offset the cost of pricey veterinary bills.
Understanding how to file a pet insurance claim form is key to getting reimbursement. Let’s take a closer look at the specifics of pet insurance claims.
Review Your Insurance Policy
Pet insurance is similar to your own health insurance in a handful of ways. You probably took the time to thoughtfully select a pet insurance company – you considered cost, deductibles, and coverage.
Your deductible is the amount you will pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. This amount varies from plan to plan. This is different from your reimbursement amount, which is the percentage of overall cost of the total amount that your policy pays. Plans also have an annual coverage cap.
Review your insurance policy to prepare well in-advance for any out-of-pocket costs you may have regarding your pets’ preventative care and possible treatment costs.
Methods of Payment
You also want to understand the specifics of your policy before you actually have to file a claim. Going this route, you will know what is and isn’t covered by insurance, plus the method of payment your insurance company uses.
- Reimbursement is usually the standard operation with pet insurance claim forms. This means you pay upfront for your pet’s care, then you are compensated later, according to your policy’s terms.
- Direct pay is less common. This means your insurance pays your provider directly, and you are not required to pay anything out-of-pocket.
For the purposes of this article, we are going to review the specifics of reimbursement-related cases.
Steps to File a Pet Insurance Claim Form
The exact steps to file a pet insurance claim form can vary from policy to policy. Because of this, you want to review your individual policy closely. You can also reach out to your insurer to have them walk you through the claims process.
That said, the reimbursement method for filing a pet insurance claim form usually follows the steps below:
- Pay your pet’s care provider for the services directly. Be sure to obtain and keep all receipts and records.
- Complete a pet insurance claim form provided by your insurer.
- Submit the form with the required documentation to your insurer. Read more on this below. How you file will depend on both your provider and your preference. Most providers offer multiple ways to submit claims. These might include online portals, mail, fax, or via app.
- Once your claim is approved, you will be reimbursed.
Important Items to Include
Review your insurance claim form closely to determine the required documentation. Most claims will require some or all of the following items:
- Your claim form from the insurer.
- Your veterinarian’s bill for services rendered. Notify them of your filing so that they provide you with an itemized version. Make sure any additional receipts are included for medicines, etc.
- Your banking information – if your insurance company reimburses via direct deposit rather than mailing a check. Check your policy terms.
- Your pet’s medical records – you may have the option to upload these to your insurance portal, prior to your claim. Verify the format the insurance company requires
Remember, most insurance companies will not cover expenses related to pre-existing conditions for your pet.
How Long Does Reimbursement Take?
Because no two claims are exactly the same, there is no set turnaround time. However, usually, if you file a claim correctly, you can expect reimbursement in 1-2 business weeks.
If your claim is missing vital information or documentation, it may take longer. Remember that, in some cases, claims can be denied. This generally can happen if the claim was submitted too late, the procedure wasn’t covered, or your pet has a pre-existing condition.
At Essentials PetCare, we understand that the rising cost of quality veterinary treatments can feel overwhelming. Whether you have pet insurance or not, you want to make sure your pet gets the care they deserve. That’s why we created our bundled packages for your pet – so you can select the services you need at a price point that is right for you.
Essential Tip: Curious about our affordable value packages for your dog or cat? Qualifying pet parents can apply to pay over time on purchases of $150+. Learn more.