Grimsby, Caistor & Immingham
Click here to see our frequently asked questions about the pet healthcare plans
WOULD YOU LIKE A HEALTHCARE PLAN FOR YOUR PET WHICH:
- Has two different plans for cats and dogs at different costs to meet everyone’s needs (option one and option two), plus a special plan for rabbits?
- Does not involve any insurance companies or claim forms to fill in?
- Covers the cost of routine vaccinations as well as care for your pet when it is ill? (If you choose option one, flea and worm treatment is also free)
- Does not exclude older pets or pets that develop new conditions?
- Does not ask you to pay upfront for treatment at our surgery, then wait to be reimbursed?
- Gives better value for money than commercial insurance policies?
- Has a high enough limit to provide all the treatment most pets ever need during their lifetime, without high excesses or penalties
- Gives you something back for your money every year, even if your pet is not ill?
Our healthcare plan for dogs, cats and rabbits, which are patients of our practice, does all of this. Over the years, veterinary medicine has advanced so that we are now able to help your pets much more when they are ill. However, ensuring that your pet has the best treatment can be expensive. ‘Normal’ pet insurance has become increasingly costly, with exclusions and high excesses often causing problems. We believe that our plan is great value and offers our patients a better deal.
When we treat a condition, there is an initial charge (or ‘excess’) for each different condition we treat during normal consulting hours. You then pay nothing more until the problem has been cleared up.
If the problem comes back within two months of the last consultation or course of treatment, you still pay nothing, but after two months it would be treated as a new problem and you would have to pay the excess again.
WHAT DOES THE PET HEALTHCARE PLAN COST?
Monthly costs vary according to the size of the pet. If it is a puppy, the costs depend on how large a dog we think it will grow into. Size is important, because large animals require large quantities of medication, which cost much more than small quantities.
Option one gives FREE booster vaccinations once the pet has been with the scheme for 6 months plus FREE flea and worm treatment from one month after joining.
The excess charge for each new condition treated is £85.00.
The following are the monthly costs of Option One of the plan:
Small dogs (up to 15kg) £20.50
Medium Dogs (from 15-25kg) £21.50
Large Dogs (from 25-40kg £24.50
Giant Dogs (over 40kg) £32.50
With this option you get back about one third of what you pay us for the plan each year because of the preventative boosters, and flea and worm treatments that are included.
If your pet has a major problem or needs 3 or 4 visits to us to cure an illness, you will probably get back the whole amount of what you pay us for the plan.
N.B. If your pet puts on weight and moves into a higher weight range, you may have to pay a higher monthly cost. Of course, if your pet loses weight and comes into a lower weight range, your monthly cost will be reduced.
This gives FREE booster vaccinations once the pet has been a member with the plan for six months.
The excess charge for each new condition treated is £99.00.
The following are the monthly costs of Option One:
Small dogs (up to 15kg) £14.00
Medium Dogs (from 15-25kg) £15.00
Large Dogs (from 25-40kg £18.50
Giant Dogs (over 40kg) £24.00
Rabbit Healthcare Plan
As well as treatment for medical and surgical conditions, this gives FREE routine vaccinations against myxomatosis and haemorrhagic viral diarrhoea (HVD) once the pet has been a member of the plan for six months.
The costs of treating rabbits are often as much as for cats, so this is a very good value plan to ensure that your rabbit gets the best possible quality healthcare. Thanks to the inclusion of myxomatosis and HVD vaccines, you will always get something back every year.
What Our Pet Healthcare Plan Covers
- All routine medical and surgical treatment which we advise for your pet, less an initial fee, up to a lifetime limit of £7000 per dog or cat and £4000 per rabbit
- All standard laboratory tests and investigative procedures such as X-rays, ultrasound, electrocardiography and endoscopy
- MRI scanning and orthopaedic surgery, less an excess of £200.00. This additional excess is to cover specialised equipment and surgical techniques used.
- Free routine booster vaccinations once your pet has been a member of the Plan for six months. These are for:
- Distemper, leptospirosis, hepatitis, and parvovirus (dogs)
- Flu, feline enteritis and leukaemia (cats)
- Myxomatosis and haemorrhagic viral enteritis (rabbits)
- Free worm and flea medication (option one only)
- Any specialist care referred to an outside practice, less an excess fee of £200.00, up to a maximum of £1000.00 cover, as long as that is within the lifetime limit available
- Special diets and supplements recommended by us for convalescing pets for up to two weeks
- All dental treatment recommended by us for medical reasons
- Out of hours emergency treatment, less relevant fees. See details under FAQs
- At the end of your pet’s life, the cost of euthanasia and standard cremation
ABBEY HEALTHCARE PLAN VS COMMERCIAL PET INSURANCE
Abbey Healthcare Plan
Pays treatment costs immediately without you having to pay first and then wait to reclaim these costs.
Has the advantages of an insurance policy without having to deal with insurance companies or claim forms.
Accepts old pets.
Excludes only specific conditions which pet suffered from BEFORE you joined the Plan, which are likely to come back.
Cannot exclude any conditions if they have developed after you have joined the Plan.
Includes all normal medical and surgical treatments.
Does not have an increased monthly payment if you claim.
Gives you something back every year, as it covers illness plus booster vaccinations (all Options), plus flea and worm treatment if you are on Option One. if you vaccinate, de-flea and worm your pet at the advised intervals, you will get back about one third of the annual cost.
Commercial Pet Insurance
Makes you wait for reimbursement of money which you must first find to pay the costs of treatment.
Involves the hassle of claim forms and dealing with the insurer if there is a problem of dispute.
Rarely accepts pets over 8 years of age.
Often excludes ANY condition if it affects part of the body where your pet has had a previous problem. An ear infection as a pup can exclude ANY ear problem EVER.
Can usually be cancelled or have specific conditions excluded after a paid period of insurance has expired.
Frequently does not pay such procedures as dental work.
Usually increases your monthly payment and/or excess if you claim.
NO commercial insurance policy covers booster vaccinations or flea and worm treatment, and you only get back anything if your pet is ill enough to require treatment.
Do you only cover healthy pets?
No. The Plan will accept any pet but we cannot cover known long-term or existing conditions.
What if my pet has a problem which needs continual treatment?
If your pet is on medication all the time, you will never need to pay another fee each time your pet is examined for the condition which is being treated.
What if my pet has more than one problem at the same time?
If your pet is being treated for one problem and has to be examined because of a different problem, you will have to pay the usual excess for the new problem.
If two completely separate conditions are treated during the same cons.
What happens if my pet needs specialist treatment?
If we think it is necessary, we will arrange to refer your pet to a specialist. Before you go, you will have to pay us a £200 excess.
You will then have to pay the specialist’s fees at the time directly to the specialist, but if you bring us your receipts we will issue you with a cheque for up to £1000, as long as that is within your lifetime limit. You would have to pay any of the specialist’s fees in excess of £1000.
However, we have a number of specialist facilities within our practice which allow us to perform advanced surgical procedures such as spinal and middle ear surgery.
If these advanced procedures are performed within our practice rather than at a referral specialist, after you have paid the usual excess charge you are covered for the full remaining costs up to your pet’s available lifetime limit.
What happens if my vet is taken ill on holiday and has to go to a local vet?
This is not covered by the Healthcare Plan.
What happens if I ask a vet to visit my vet at home?
Home visits are not included in the Plan, so you pay the normal home visit charge according to the distance and the time of day or night.
You will also pay the normal initial excess charge depending on what Option you are on if your pet is not currently being treated for the problem.
What if I need to call a vet out to the surgery outside normal working hours?
If you need to call a vet out after normal working hours, you will need to pay
1) A charge to cover the costs of vets and nurses being available to see you at the
surgery out of hours.
This is currently:
Weekdays 6pm – 10pm £130.00
10pm – 9am £150.00
Saturdays 4pm – 10pm £130.00
10pm – 10am £150.00
Sundays 4pm – 10pm £130.00
Bank Holidays 10pm – 9am £150.00
However, these charges may vary in the future with rising costs
NB. This charge refers to the time you are seen at the surgery, not the time you make
2) The normal excess charge for your Option of the Plan.
However, if you are being seen for a condition which is currently under treatment and
for which you have already paid the excess, you will not be charged a further excess.
What would happen if I had made such an arrangement and forgot my regular payment?
If you wish to make regular payments personally rather than by direct debit, it would be entirely your responsibility to make those payments on time. We do not send reminders.
However, as part of our service we would certainly try to contact you to remind you about an overdue payment as soon as it came to our attention. If an overdue payment was not made within 14 days of the due date, we would assume that you wished to terminate your membership of the Plan and your cover would be withdrawn.
You would then have to reapply for membership. However, please remember a new application may involve conditions treated under the previous Plan being excluded from future cover.
Can either side cancel membership of the Plan?
If you have been a member for less than a year, and you decide to cancel your membership for any reason, you are still liable to pay up to the cost of all veterinary services provided, or for the rest of the year’s membership (whichever is the cheapest).
After being a member for a year, if you wish to cancel your membership at any time, you can do so by informing us in writing and cancelling your direct debit. We will then withdraw cover when that month’s period of cover has ended.
We cannot cancel your cover as long as payments continue to be made unless there is a serious dispute between yourself and the practice and we decide that the relationship of trust which must exist between veterinary surgeon and client has broken down.
For example, any threatening or abusive behaviour towards a member of staff would normally result in the relationship being terminated. However, we are pleased to say that this type of situation is a very rare occurrence.
Is there a maximum amount of treatment which my pet can receive from the Plan?
Yes, we cover up to £7000 of treatment for your cat or dog, and up to £4000 for your rabbit. It is very rare for a pet to need more than this value of treatment over their lifespan. If your pet exceeds this limit your healthcare plan cover can continue, but your monthly payments will increase. We will inform you of any changes before the initial level of cover is exceeded.
Can older pets join the scheme?
Yes, but because this isn’t insurance, but a Plan to cover all the likely costs of treating
their illnesses, they have to pay a little more. We increase your monthly payment by £8.00 for pets over seven years of age and by £16.00 for pets over 10 years of age.
Will you drop my pets from the scheme as they get older or develop new problems?
No. Unlike most insurance schemes we will continue cover up to the lifetime limit for as long as your pet lives, no matter how many medical problems they develop.
Once I’ve joined, what do I do if my pet needs treatment?
Make an appointment in the normal way. Please tell the reception staff when you make the appointment that your pet is a member of the Plan.
Does the Plan cover vaccination?
Yes, booster vaccinations are covered for all the diseases listed above, but only after you have been a member for six months. All pets accepted for the Plan must already be vaccinated up-to-date against the diseases covered by the boosters included in the Plan.
Does the Plan cover neutering?
No. We keep the cost of neutering operations as low as possible to make them affordable. We recommend that all pets are neutered to avoid certain cancers and hormonal problems as they get older.
Does the Plan cover worming?
Routine worming is free to all members of Option One after 1 month’s membership of the Plan.
If you choose to treat your pet more frequently than this, you will have to pay for the extra wormer yourself. If you choose Option Two, you have to pay for worming yourself. The Rabbit Healthcare Plan does not cover worming.
Does the Plan cover flea treatment?
Routine flea treatment is free to all members of Option One after 1 month’s membership of the Plan. This is a spot-on treatment applied monthly.
If you wish to treat your pet more frequently than this, you will have to pay for the extra flea treatment yourself.
If you choose to use a flea treatment which is not covered by the Health Care Plan you will need to pay the full cost of this yourself.
The Plan does not cover the cost of environmental sprays for flea control in the home. If you choose Option Two, you have to pay for flea treatment yourself.
The Rabbit Healthcare Plan does not cover flea treatment.
Does the Plan cover special diets/supplements?
Yes, if they are recommended by us for periods of convalescence of up to two weeks. If your pet needs a special diet permanently due to illness, you will have to pay for it.
Does the Plan cover the cost of dental treatment?
Yes, if we recommend it for your pet’s health. We do not pay for cosmetic dental work (tartar removal when there is no disease) or for routine clipping of overgrown front teeth in rabbits.
Does the Plan cover laboratory tests?
Yes, all relevant laboratory tests including those on blood, urine, skin samples and
histopathology are included.
Does the Plan cover X-rays and other investigations?
Yes, radiography, electrocardiography, endoscopy and ultrasound scanning are included. X-rays for scoring schemes such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are not included. MRI scans have an additional excess of £200.00 due to the requirement for specialised equipment and interpretation.
What about pregnancy, puppies and kittens?
We do not cover any cost relating to your pet’s fertility, pregnancy or the early days of their offspring. Your pet can join the Plan as soon as its first vaccination course has been completed.
How do I join the Plan?
You will need to bring in your pet for a consultation and general clinical examination before we can accept it on to the Healthcare Plan. There will be a standard consultation charge which is payable at the time.
The reason for this is that even if we have seen your pet recently, we may not have carried out a full examination. For example, if we have treated an ear problem, we are unlikely to have listened to its heart.
You then fill in the direct debit mandate and the Medical Health Declaration Form which accompany this brochure. Hand the completed forms to reception or post them back to us.
We will then confirm in writing what your monthly payment will be and if your pet suffers from any conditions which will be excluded.
Some exclusions will be for life, but many will only be for a limited period as long as the same condition does not occur again during that period.
We will also specify the date on which your cover will start.
We will then wait for 14 working days to give you an opportunity to contact us, either to ask further questions or to tell us that you do not wish to proceed.
Your direct debit mandate will not be activated unless 14 working days have passed without us hearing from you. Your pet will then be on cover under the Plan from that moment. Payments will then be taken from your account monthly.
If you want cover to start immediately after you are approved, you can make your first month’s payment at the surgery and cover will start then. Your direct debit mandate will start on the following month.
Can I pay by cash or debit/credit card?
Yes we can do this by special arrangement, but you must be remember that people can sometimes forget to make regular payments and a direct debit avoids all the problems of your membership of the Plan running out and having to reapply.
If that happens, remember that you will not be covered for any conditions existing at the time you reapply, even if they were covered before you let your payments run out.
You can arrange to pay 3-monthly, 6-monthly or annually. We unfortunately do not
accept cheques as a form of payment.