Consumer Reports Recommends HSAs for Pets

The same group that wants national health insurance for humans? The very one. Here's the full story:

Shopping for pet care:

When it was time to spay and neuter our cats, our veterinarian gave me a price close to $1,000 for both…… He came down a few hundred dollars, but it was still too much. So I went searching and found several options…… I received guidance through our local shelter and ended up paying less than $200 for both our cats.

Pet health insurance:

For about $400 to $500 a cat each year – minus deductibles – we could be covered for both wellness care and accident or illness. That would be less than we paid out of pocket.

Pet HSAs:

Noting that the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association reports that an average surgical visit to a veterinarian is $363 for a cat and $453 for a dog, Consumer Reports suggests that it may be better to put the amount you would spend in premiums in an interest-bearing account.

Pet medical tourism:

A friend of mine was told it would cost around $1,000 to clean her two dogs' teeth in the New York area. Since her family was planning a trip to North Carolina with the pets, she checked out the cost there. It was less than half, and her dogs ended up with shiny white teeth and a vacation.

Comments (5)

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  1. Charlie says:

    Center of Excellence:
    I guess I use the “Mayo clinic” of vets. Our visits are much cheaper than the “average surgical visit to a veterinarian is $363 for a cat and $453 for a dog.” If everyone visited my vet, the cost of catcare could be reduced by 60%.

  2. Joe S. says:

    I’ve never heard anybody recommend national health insurance for pets. As far as I know, all rational people favor a free market for pet care and the freer the better.

    All of which proves people are much more capable of thinking rationally about pets than they are about people.

  3. Ron Greiner says:

    $500 a year for insurance for a cat?

    A human child can get HSA insurance in Tampa Bay, 34691 zip code, for $463.68 a year with $5 million lifetime maximum benefit. (Humana Autograph Total HSA) Check it out on ehealthinsurance. It’s only $415.68 a year unless you raise the lifetime max to $5 million.

    I bet the cat insurance doesn’t have a $5 million lifetime max.

    Of course an interest bearing account for the cat’s medical expenses would be a taxed account. A taxed account would be very different from the tax free HSA.

  4. […] Goodman summarizes a Consumer Reports article recommending that pet owners self-insure instead of spending money on […]