Unlike human emergency rooms, vets aren’t required by law to treat patients and they don’t get government funding. You, the pet owner, need to be prepared to cover the costs. Unfortunately, emergency veterinary services can get very expensive very fast, just like human emergencies. Fortunately, several options are available to assist you in time of need.
Like human insurance, pet insurance is about peace of mind, and it’s getting very popular in the US. You don’t want to be forced into making a healthcare decision based solely on the cost nor do you want to start a family feud over the “value” of your pet’s health. Policies cover up to 90 percent of costs and are reasonably priced — with far fewer government regulations, making it easier for you to shop the best rates and most appropriate coverage.
Health Credit Cards
They work just like any other credit cards and many companies offer plans that cover pets — in addition to or in place of their coverage for human family members. Rates and coverage vary (many cover routine services as well as emergencies) depending on your location and credit score. Again, thorough research will get you the deal most appropriate to your situation.
Health Savings Accounts
Tax advantages make a health savings account (HSA) for humans very attractive, but, sadly, they aren’t part of pet savings plans. However, if your bank (or some other financial institution) offers specialized pet HSAs, they may also offer savings on services through a network of health providers, like an HMO. Obviously, discipline is key, but you can make that easier by setting up an automatic deposit with your bank — the out-of-sight-out-of-mind method. The potential drawback is time — it will take a while to build up sufficient reserves to deal with major emergencies.
Non-profits & Charities
People with means often don’t start life that way and most love to help others who are where they’ve been. National and state-specific nonprofits have been established throughout the US to help care for pets in need. The Humane Society of the United States maintains a list of charities that offer assistance to pet owners.
Let Us Help
Nor Cal Vet isn’t just San Francisco’s premier pet ER and critical care center, we’re a business, and being unaffordable is bad for our business. Our staff understands your financial situation, we take home paychecks, just like you. We will never perform an unnecessary test nor recommend an unnecessary procedure. We’ll offer every service and skill at our disposal for your pet’s health and vitality, and then, we’ll follow your lead.