Insurance and Declined Claims: Our First Declined Trupanion Claim

The reason for your denial should be spelled out clearly. And it should reflect one of the exclusions to your policy.

It is important that you know what your dog’s health insurance policy covers, what are the exceptions, deductions, and limits. A friend of mine, for example, had a policy that did cover arthritis, however, the annual limit was $150! She was in a state of shock when she submitted a bill for stem cell therapy. They cover the treatment but only up to $150.

Insurance and Declined Claims: Our First Declined Trupanion Claim

Our pet health insurance

We jumped on the pet health insurance wagon late in the year 2012. 

After our experiences and the huge expense with Jasmine’s medical care, we decided to ensure JD. He was still perfectly healthy with no medical record, it was time to do that.

Having our dogs fully covered became a high priority.

We would not have been able to cover any more medical disasters out of our pockets. We’re still trying to get out of all the debt we got into.

It was so important to us we even decided to pass on the first girl we were going to adopt. All because of her murky medical records. There was too much there which could make almost anything she’d come down with later on a pre-existing condition.

Getting ahead of pre-existing conditions

Cookie had a clean slate and we insured her immediately after adoption.

While I do feel that the premiums are relatively high, I like that with Trupanion coverage EVERYTHING is covered. Any diagnostic or treatment you can come up with is covered. Our extended plan includes alternative therapies such as

  • acupuncture
  • chiropractic
  • laser therapy,
  • physical therapy
  • even hyperbaric chamber therapy

If you can think of it, it is covered.

Our claim experience

We have made a number of claims for both Cookie’s and JD’s medical care. We claimed the cost of

  • pancreatitis treatment
  • lameness
  • advanced diagnostics
  • mast cell tumor treatment

We received reimbursement for all our claims. Until we claimed Cookie’s chiropractic treatment.

Why our claim was declined

Here is the interesting bit. It was declined not because chiropractic treatment isn’t covered, or because it was not a treatment indicated for Cookie.

It wasn’t covered because “the chiropractic work was not done by a veterinarian or in a veterinary clinic under the supervision of a veterinarian.”

Unfortunately, up we don’t have much choice. There is only one chiropractor doing animal chiropractic far and wide. She is a medical doctor and human chiropractor who is licensed for animal chiropractic. She studied at the Veterinary Chiropractic Learning Centre, where, as it happens, our last chiropractor teaches.

But, she indeed is not a veterinarian and does not provide the treatments in a veterinary clinic.

Rules are rules

I tried to argue my point but I didn’t have much success with that.

Rules are rules, I guess, and with large corporations, they don’t bend. I don’t really blame Trupanion for sticking strictly to their rules even though I might not agree with them. I can see why such a rule would be in place.

There isn’t much we can do about this. Cookie does need chiropractic care and this is our only option and we are thankful to have it available.

If you do have a choice, though, be careful not to get caught in such a technicality.

Related articles:
Trupanion Health Insurance Review: Our Claim Fulfillment With Trupanion

Further reading:
My pet insurance denied my claim, what can I do?

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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