Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

How do vets work?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Lumboo, May 4, 2011.


  1. Lumboo

    Lumboo PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,762
    Likes Received:
    73
    Ok, I know this is a bit too general as each condition is different, but I want to know how vets work in terms of working out costs for treatment.

    Basically, if you suspect your cat is unwell do you go to the Vet who then treats the cat immediately, or do they tell you what is wrong and then you make a follow up appointment for treatment/investigation?

    My insurance company requires a pre-treatment code, and I am trying to work out when I would call them to get this code. Before I take them, or do I have a chance inbetween consultation and treatment, if the treatment is going to cost over the excess?

    With all those people with insurance, at what point do you inform the insurance company?
     
  2. MoggyBaby

    MoggyBaby PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    23,958
    Likes Received:
    5,531
    These are my own personal experiences:

    Cat poorly - ring vet for immediate appointment.
    Take cat to vet and get required treatment immediately.
    Pay vet whatever they charge.
    If condition requires on-going or long-term treatment, save receipts and then submit bill to insurance company for payment once excess value is passed.
    Insurance company sends me cheque.

    Sluggie was insured with Sainsburys who paid up without question when I operated the above method. Same with his cremation costs which was included in the policy.

    Merson is insured with Direct Line who also paid up without question on the above method.

    I think it depends on the treatment required - if it will immediately be into the thousands, then you should clear it with the insurers. If it is day-to-day standard treatment of a couple of hundred pounds roughly, then you should be ok on the above procedure.

    As I said at the beginning, this is what 'I' do.
     
  3. GreyHare

    GreyHare Guest

    Same as above but insured with Pet Plan.

    I did phone and get a can't remember what they called it now, but Monty had a bad tummy and the Vets were considering doing tests and I informed the insurance company and they contacted the vets and the vets gave them a cost sheet of the tests and fees involved and the insurance company gave the go ahead and said they would over the costs but we didn't go head after all as it sort of sorted itself.

    But yes usually phone vet, vet sees animal and treats and then if over my excess I then get a claim form, sign it and give it to the Vets who fill it in and send it off for me (they do charge a fee for that) and then insurance company sends me a cheque, really hoping this happens or Monty's op he has just had :D
     
  4. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    39,822
    Likes Received:
    10,365
    I noticed at least one insurance company think it was Medivet, wants pre authorisation whatever the cost, where as most only want pre authorisation for in excess of £1000 for example, in which case excluding a possible emergency it would likely give you time between 1st consultation aand then procedure/diagnostic specialists tests to get it.

    If yours say you have to advise them regardless of cost, personally I would play it safe and speak to them first even before you go. With insurance companies experience, Ive found it best to give them no possible excuses not to pay out. At least it will be recorded that you have phoned and "done your bit" as requested.
     
  5. missye87

    missye87 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,599
    Likes Received:
    33
    I find it a little bit sneaky to demand that people call beforehand. It's like asking people to call if they intend to have a car crash that day. Sure, I get it, you know you are going to take your cat in to the vets, but I think it's quite a high demand.

    We only had to call if the bills were likely to exceed £1000, which I think is reasonable :)
     
  6. GreyHare

    GreyHare Guest

    What are you meant to do in an emergency situation, because my last thought would be on phoning the insurance company to check if it was ok, I would be dashing to the vet with my animal wanting immediate medical treatment, and this would be why you have insurance, do they have operators there 24 hours a day 7 days a week, seems like madness.
     
  7. Lumboo

    Lumboo PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,762
    Likes Received:
    73
    Emergency treament (highly subjective but defined as life threatening) is accepted and you don't need pre authorisation for this. I spoke to the lady at the insurers and she said you can call after you have seen the vet, that would be fine too.

    The system was set up that way to protect the consumer from over inflated vets bills, which has been pushing premiums up for everyone. In principal that all sounds fine - but how it works in practice is another matter, as each treatment is a bit different.

    Thanks for all your comments - it has been so long since I have taken a cat to the vet, and I wasn't quite sure the timeframe to be able to get the authorisation.
     
  8. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    39,822
    Likes Received:
    10,365
    Thats the same with the two companies Im with, although emergencys you dont have too, as long as the vet states and covers you it is an emergency. Someone asked me the opinion on a policy that operated the pre auth rule for everything, and tbh I personally would find it too much of a pain.
     
  9. Etienne

    Etienne Dad to Puss and Shadow

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4,782
    Likes Received:
    892
    Shadow is insured with my vet which means I only have to pay upto the required excess and my vet never has to ask for anymore money for any on going visits. My vet deals with all the paperwork. Plus any any possible on going illness included drugs are free to me as long as I keep up the monthly payments.
     
  10. Lumboo

    Lumboo PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,762
    Likes Received:
    73
    That is a great system providing you stay with your current Vet for the lifetime of the cat. It would make it so much easier on people if all vets did that kind of monthly insurance plan.
     
  11. missye87

    missye87 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,599
    Likes Received:
    33
    I love that idea. It would be highly convenient :)

    GreyHare, emergencies you don't have to call them, as long as you call them afterwards :)
     
  12. Emma-Jayne

    Emma-Jayne PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,306
    Likes Received:
    19
    Insurance can be a tricky thing I'd check with your individual insurance company to check their policies. If you don't follow their procedure they MAY not pay out :( I used to work in insurance although it wasn't pet insurance.

    I'm not trying to scare anyone but where our fur babies are concerned it's always worth checking.

    So there is no harm in calling to ask what do I do if my pet is sick/injured just be clear that you are just checking hypothetically. They may even have this in an FAQ on their website.

    Emz x
     
  13. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    12,999
    Likes Received:
    10,043
    I know it seems a nuisance but I'm highly impressed with a company working this way. Some vets are getting particularly naughty with insured animals. For example, do you know what vaccinations your cat gets? Most vets will automatically include FeLV which really hikes the cost but don't give the owners a choice.

    OK, give the vets the benefit of the doubt there but I've then seen plenty of cases where an FeLV test is automatically carried out on a vaccinated cat as part of the investigations when the cat gets ill. Why? It's about £30-£40 profit and no extra work if bloods are being done anyway. I pulled my old vet up on it about three years ago and refused to pay that part of the bill - there were some red faces and a lot less argument than you might think.
     
  14. Chez87

    Chez87 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,793
    Likes Received:
    29
    I just checked my policy and it's the same as this with regards to payment and claiming.

    But what if I don't have the money to pay the vet beforehand? What if the bill is huge? :confused:
     
  15. missye87

    missye87 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,599
    Likes Received:
    33
    If you know your vets, they are usually quite flexible.
    Some vets accept direct payment from the insurance company but you will have to pay the excess plus a direct claim fee up front, for Goddards this is £25.

    My vet has been very understanding though, they have let me pay my bill off bit by bit. They know I'll be back though :)

    I would ask what options they have for you in the event that this happens, so you know if you ever are in that situation!
     
  16. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    12,999
    Likes Received:
    10,043
    Vets should let you know the estimated cost of a course of treatment and they ought to discuss alternatives - few do. Their code of practice requires both of these. Where it falls down is in the lack of any requirements re tests being necessary. It always refers to treatment. It leaves a nice big grey area.
     
  17. missye87

    missye87 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,599
    Likes Received:
    33
    I must be lucky! When Sooty was having his evil lump problem, they said that I could get gim up to the hospital to have an ultrasound, but if anything was found they would have to operate. Either that or explorative surgery, so I chose the latter. Sadly it was too late for him though...

    I've only ever had basic blood tests done before the op, I actually asked for them to do extra and test if his kidney function had become any better. They do also give a justification for stuff. For example for the xray, the day he had to be pts, he would need sedation, but because they didn't think it would be long they weren't going to put him on fluids, which they would have done if they had needed longer sedation.
    I didn't know about the Felv though - is it really a justified vaccination at all?
     
  18. GreyHare

    GreyHare Guest

    You also have to blame the clients that stand in the surgeries shouting at the vets that they have insurance and they want everything done on their animal no matter the cost as they aren't paying for pushing premiums up too.

    I had to ask for a FIV and FELV test to be done yesterday on my cats pre op bloods and have also been told that the insurance company won't pay for these as they weren't necessary and wouldn't affect the treatment he was receiving, they also gave me a ball park figure of how much the op would cost before hand, I don't wholly believe the pushing up of bills by vets as many insurance companies try their best to get out of paying nowadays so the chances of the vets losing out is pretty high, but then I like and respect my vets and trust their judgements and treatments of my cats.
     
  19. havoc

    havoc PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    12,999
    Likes Received:
    10,043
    Why would you want this for pre-op bloods?
     
  20. GreyHare

    GreyHare Guest


    Because of what he was in for, and because he came from a rescue and because I wanted peace of mind, but also why wouldn't I ?
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice