Paying for Vet Bills

Written By: The Irongate Team

Written By: The Irongate Team

Veterinary expenses can come up when you least expect it and leave you struggling to cover the bill. If you’ve found yourself in this situation in the past, hopefully the information below gives you some ideas on how to plan for a similar situation in the future. We’ll go over several options to help assist you with your horse’s medical expenses.

Preventative Care

This may seem unrelated, but routine wellness visits can help detect problems earlier, when they may be less expensive to treat. Keeping your horse on an appropriate vaccination and parasite control program, have regular dental examinations, and good nutrition is essential to reducing long-term health care costs.

Equine Insurance

There are a variety of insurance companies that have policy options for horses. With small monthly payments, you can have security in case your beloved equine becomes injured or ill. The equine insurance premium rate generally varies based on your horse's use, breed, value, and age. A minimum premium may apply. There are several types of insurance:

  • Loss of Use policies - these are generally used for performance horses, and may reimburse you for some of the horse's value should they become injured or ill and unable to perform their specified use.

  • Major Medical/Surgical policies - these can be used specifically to pay back reasonable fees for surgeries, commonly used for colic surgeries, expensive lacerations, hospital care, etc.

  • Mortality Insurance - This won't diminish the grief in losing your equine, but it can reduce the financial burden.

  • Preventative Care Insurance - Receive a specific amount of money back for preventative services that protect your horse from getting sick, like vaccines, dental floating, and an annual wellness exam.

You can receive a fast-online quote from the following companies: ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, Markel Horse and Farm Insurance, Excalibur Insurance (located right in Hartland, Wisconsin), and C. Jarvis Insurance.  

Dedicated Savings Account

If insurance doesn’t sound like the right path for you, you can set up a dedicated savings account for your horse. The advantage to this method is that you have the ability to spend the money if it’s not used for your horse. The disadvantage is that you may not have enough saved up for the specific medical procedure your horse needs. Careful planning and budgeting is key to the success of this program.

Care Credit

Care Credit is a credit card that helps you pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses, including veterinary expenses, by extending special financing options. You can do a six month, no interest, payment plan on purchases $200 or more when you make the minimum monthly payment and pay the full amount due by the end of the promotion period. If you do not pay off the balance by the end of your promotional period, you will be charged with the full interest from the initial purchase date at a rate of 26.99% (check with Care Credit for updated rates). The application process is easy and allows you to have an instant approval with no activation fee. Care Credit is not just used for veterinary care, it can also be used for your health care needs as well.

Payment Plans

Many veterinary clinics offer payment plans. Be sure to touch base with your veterinary office to see if this is something they offer. Be honest and upfront with your veterinarian, and let them know when you have financial limitations.