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Certified Health Coach, Award Winning Author, Motivational Muse

The Best Affordable Health Care- But, Here’s the Catch

Many of us have faced the highs and lows of securing affordable health insurance. It’s especially hard for self-employed freelancers and other independent contractors.  We are now on our third health insurance plan after our two former insurers were no longer available to us on the New York Health Exchange which is our best option for “affordable” health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Now the ACA is changing, and we are waiting to see how our coverage and costs will be impacted.

But, I have news for you: I finally found a good health insurance plan with a low annual deductible of $100, reasonable quarterly payments under $300, a wellness program, just a few exclusions in coverage, easy paperwork to complete and timely reimbursements. The catch? You have to be a dog.

That’s right! My Maltese, Sazerac, has more affordable health care coverage than I do. I’m a big advocate for health insurance for humans and for pets, who are important family members. I’d never want to have to make a decision to forgo medical treatment for myself or a loved one because we could not afford it.  I researched many pet insurance plans.  Benefits, exclusions and deductibles vary by state and location (like humans’ health insurance plans). It pays to do your homework, get references and read reviews.  I chose ASPCA pet insurance.  I have been pretty happy. No long waits for response as indicated by this recent claim:


March 3, 2017

Dear Melanie ,

We wanted to let you know that we received the claim referenced above you sent us for Sazerac. We’ll process your claim as quickly as possible according to the terms and conditions of your plan. If we need any additional medical information, we’ll contact your veterinarian directly.

March 7, 2017

Your claim reimbursement is on the way!

Pet’s Name: Sazerac
Claim Number: 1609043
Date of Claim: 3/1/2017


Humans should have it that easy!  It can take months of haggling with the insurance companies to get accurate paperwork and reimbursement.  You could get sick from the anxiety it causes. Most pet insurance plans even help you when your furry friend is ready to take his final journey. When my first Maltese, Chance, died in 2012 his pet insurance company sent me the sweetest condolence note with a check to cover most of his cremation expenses.

And when was the last time your health insurance provider reached out about something other than a claim?  Sazerac and I receive notes like this one from his insurance company:


Wishing you and your pet happiness,
good health, and lots of snuggles in 2017.

Your friends (the human and furry ones)
from ASPCA Pet Health Insurance


Maybe affordable pet insurance works because it doesn’t take an Act of Congress to approve and a bunch of corporate red tape to stick it to you. Maybe it’s because companies providing pet insurance know making the pet and owner’s life better in sickness and in health is just as important as making money off them. Large health insurance companies could learn a lesson in compassion from pet insurance companies. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if providing coverage for a human was as affordable and humane as providing for your pet?


Melanie and Sazerac


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