Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Our First Declined Trupanion Claim

We jumped on the pet health insurance wagon late in the year 2012. 

After our experiences and the huge expense with Jasmine's medical care we decided to insure JD. He was still perfectly healthy with no medical record, it was time to do that.

Having our dogs fully covered became a high priority.

We would not have been able to cover any more medical disasters out of our pockets which were now more than empty. We're still trying to get out of all the debt we got into.

It was so important to us we even decided to pass on the first girl we were going to adopt because of her murky medical records. There was too much there which could make almost anything she'd come down with later on a pre-existing condition.

Cookie had a clean slate and we insured her immediately after adoption.

While I do feel that the premiums are relatively high, I like that with Trupanion coverage EVERYTHING is covered. Any diagnostic or treatment you can come up with is covered. With our extended plan, this also includes alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic, laser therapy, physical therapy, even hyperbaric chamber therapy ... if you can think of it, it is covered.

Since then we have made a number of claims for both Cookie's and JD's medical care.

Cookie's pancreatitis treatment, treatment of her sore leg, diagnostics of her elevated ALT ... as well as JD's mast cell tumor treatment.

All diagnostics and treatment of Cookie's iliopsoas injury are also covered.

Until we claimed Cookie's chiropractic treatment.

Here is the interesting bit. It was declined not because chiropractic treatment isn't covered, or because it was not a treatment indicated for Cookie.

It wasn't covered because "the chiropractic work was not done by a veterinarian or in a veterinary clinic under the supervision of a veterinarian."

Unfortunately, up we don't have much choice. There is only one chiropractor doing animal chiropractic far and wide. She is a medical doctor and human chiropractor who is licensed for animal chiropractic. She studied at the Veterinary Chiropractic Learning Centre, where, as it happens, our last chiropractor teaches.

But, she indeed is not a veterinarian and does not provide the treatments in a veterinary clinic.

I am trying to argue my point but it doesn't seem I'll have much success with that.

Rules are rules, I guess, and with large corporations they don't bend. I don't really blame Trupanion for sticking strictly to their rules even though I might not agree with them. I can see why such a rule would be in place.

There isn't much we can do about this since Cookie does need the chiropractic care and this is our only option and we are thankful to have it available.

If you do have a choice, though, be careful not to get caught in such a technicality.

Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie 
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard 
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot? 
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide  
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy 
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking 
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary  
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment  
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit? 
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore 
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely? 
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal  
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work   
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?  
Happy Birthday, Cookie 
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks 
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps 
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit 
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update 
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is 
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach 
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated 
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury 
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection 
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology  
Cookie's ALT Update
The Importance of Observation: Cookie's Chiropractic Adjustment
Sometimes You Don't Even Know What You're Looking at: Cookie's Scary "We Have No Idea What that Was" 
Living with an Incontinent Dog 
Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet 
To Breathe or Not To Breathe: Cookie's Hind Legs Transiently Fail to Work (Again)
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Process 
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Diagnosis 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Trazodone  
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Other Medications 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Laser, Hydrotherapy and Chiropractic 
Cookie's Recovery from Iliopsoas Injury: ToeGrips 

Do you have a story to share?

Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!

What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you


  1. Gosh that stinks, but it's wonderful that so many other things are covered. We don't have the insurance on either of our dogs so the chiropractic comes directly out of our pockets. At our vet's clinic I think it's about $55 a visit, which isn't too terrible if I'm only taking him a couple of times a month.

    I'm sending good thoughts that Cookie recovers quickly.

    1. Yeah, it does. Particularly since chiropractic IS covered if it was done under those conditions. Except up here we cannot meet those. It's not extremely expensive, so that helps, even though we've been doing it weekly for last couple of months.

      I do hope Cookie gets all well soon, she really wants her freedom back. But we need to take it slow so she doesn't set herself back.

  2. That's really good to know. I have Trupanion and was thinking of increasing our premium for the alternative therapies plan. I wonder if it's the same for acupuncture and laser treatments? I imagine so but I know that a lot of doctors performing the treatments on pets are not veterinarians. Hopefully they see your point.

    1. Yes, the additional plan includes all alternative therapies you might want to use. I'm pretty sure the rule applies to all of them. Fortunately, we are good with the laser and acupuncture and all the other things. It's just the chiropractic we weren't unable to find a veterinarian who does that.