Pets are family, too. Ask health insurers to add pets to family plans!

When my beloved pet had an unexpected medical emergency recently, I was shocked at the price tag the vet hospital quoted to treat her: Six. Thousands. Dollars. It was that, I was told, or euthanasia (also costy). Life or death. Staggering bills or less-staggering bills. The only affordable option was to watch her waste away, suffering slowly.

Most pets can't even get covered by privately-purchased pet health insurance in the U.S. As an elderly cat even when I first adopted her, my baby was not eligible. Plus, pet insurance companies usually refuse to cover animals that have pre-existing conditions -- such as kidney or liver issues, heart murmurs or arrhythmias, or in the case of dogs, a recorded history of bites.

That means when pet parents like me are suddenly confronted with a companion animal's urgent illness or injury, we are forced to make difficult choices. Not necessarily choices about what's best for the dog, cat, rabbit, or others in question. But choices about money. Such choices are agonizing, especially because -- like many other pet parents -- for me, my cat is like my child. She's my family. Her life and wellbeing are my priority.

This is callous and wrong. Sign the petition to help pets get the quality, affordable healthcare they need!

Humans have experienced the same issues in the U.S. Insurance coverage denied because of pre-existing conditions. Few insurance options to choose from. Mysterious reasons why we are refused reimbursement for care.

Luckily, because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some of those issues have been remedied -- and other remedies are in the works. Health insurance options are much better regulated now, and more are available through the Marketplace. Pre-existing conditions are no longer acceptable grounds to turn away patients seeking insurance. But beloved pets who are members of our families are still left out in the cold, hoping their parents can afford to pay whatever ghastly amount is needed to keep them healthy, comfortable, and alive.

That's why it's time for the U.S. Congress to add another regulation to human health insurance plans -- all insurers must allow humans to add pets as family members!

Right now, insurance companies allow people to add children, spouses, or other dependent relatives to their family plans. That's a great place to start. But children and partners aren't the only dependent family members for many people. In fact, more households in the U.S. have reported having a pet than having children. And 80% of pet owners consider our "fur babies" as our own children.

We need better options to keep our precious pups, kittens, and more well-cared for. The current out-of-pocket system is leaving countless animals out in the cold. Pet parents shouldn't have to choose between letting their animals suffer, untreated, or going without rent to pay the vet. And we shouldn't have to add euthanasia to the option list just because it's cheaper than lab work.

Tell Congress to acknowledge the reality that 67 million households in the U.S. include a pet that is considered "family." Health insurance must include an option to add companion animals so our pets can finally get affordable, accessible healthcare!

Sign Petition
Sign Petition
You have JavaScript disabled. Without it, our site might not function properly.

Privacy Policy

By signing, you accept Care2's Terms of Service.
You can unsub at any time here.

Having problems signing this? Let us know.