Insurance Coverage for Service Dogs

Insurance Coverage for Service Dogs – Service dogs, also referred to as assistance dogs, are very important for the lives of people who have disabilities. These dogs go through training to help their owners perform daily tasks. Some of these tasks include pulling a wheelchair, retrieving an item, reminding them when to take medications, and many more. These service dogs help people with various disabilities, such as diabetes, autism, epilepsy, blindness, and mental conditions.

Insurance Coverage for Service Dogs

However, just like humans, service dogs can get injured or sick. When they do, you are left to consider various options. Vets are quite expensive, raising the question, ‘Does insurance cover service dogs?” This question is commonly asked by service owners. And we are here to help answer this question.

Will My Health Insurance Cover Service Dog?

No, your health insurance plan won’t cover the cost of maintaining or acquiring a service dog. This applies to both private Medicare and private health insurance. This means owners of service dogs will have to find other options to protect their friends.

Programs to Help with Service Dog Costs

If you don’t have enough to purchase a service dog, you should consider other options. The following are programs that can help lower some of the costs associated with an assistant dog.

  • You can use your pre-tax dollars from Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA), and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) to cover the costs of your dog’s care and training.
  • Crowdfunding platforms help pet owners make payments for expensive veterinary care. If you don’t own a dog yet, there are various options to help pay for the dog itself.
  • Veteran Affairs helps pay for the required service dog vet car and equipment for the qualified vets. The Department of Social Services in California provides $50 every month for qualified people using service dogs for disability reasons.
  • Pet Help Finder: Pets are people. Emergency Relief and thousands of other non-profits can help eligible people pay for and locate affordable dog food, veterinary services, and other supplies.

Types of Insurance Coverage For Service Dogs

Your health insurance may not cover assistant dogs, but there are insurance coverages you can purchase for them just like for other pets. Policies for service dogs cost the same as those for regular dogs.

Liability Insurance

Even though service dogs are trained dogs, they are still animals. Your renter’s or homeowners insurance policy covers the liability for dog bites by guests or people outside your household. Also, it may cover damages the dog causes to other people’s properties up to the policy limit regarding animals.

Owning a service dog or other pets may increase your home insurance rates. This depends on several factors, such as breed. Many insurers see breeds as riskier. However, some states bar insurance companies from excluding homeowners or raising their rates based on breed.

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance helps cover veterinary expenses and other medical bills for your service dog. The main types of policies are wellness coverage, illness comprehensive, and accident-only. Each of these covers has different types of services and treatments. Ensure that you read the policy well to know what it contains. Most types of insurance pay a percentage of claims up to a certain limit and add a deductible you must meet first.

The average premium for accident and illness dog insurance was up to $640.00 in 2022. Most employers offer dog insurance as part of employee benefits. Your dog’s health, age, and residence will affect your premiums. So you will have to shop for the most affordable pet insurance plan that matches your budget and plan.

Life Insurance

One of the best ways to protect the investment you made with a service dog is to buy a life insurance policy. Pet life insurance will help cover the costs of cremation or burial, euthanasia, and counseling for you after the assistant dog dies. It also defends the costs of replacing an assistant dog. A pet life insurance policy costs between $250 and $900 a year. The cost can depend on your service dog’s health, age, and value.

Your dog’s health must be stable when the policy is written to qualify for coverage. Just like other types of life insurance, there may be age or breed restrictions. Exclusions for deaths caused by preexisting conditions and conditions. Ensure that you check with your insurance company to see if your service dog is eligible.

Even though your health insurance won’t cover a service dog, there are other insurances and programs you can go for. With these resources, you can purchase a service dog at low or no cost. Once you purchase the dog, you can then purchase pet insurance to help with medical expenses. This way, your service dog can stay with you and assist you for many years.