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Banfield (Petsmart) Hospital Health Plan - Is it worth it?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Toby

I'd rather be- sleeping...
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 28, '09 7:55am PST 
I'm considering signing up for the Banfield health plan with my Dogs. It's about $60 for initial sign up for the first dog, and $40 for each additional. Then it's $18/month for each. For that price you get all your annual vaccines, bloodwork, and fecal exams for free and a 2nd checkup half-way through the year free. Plus you get 5% off of all medications and products and unlimited walk-in appointments for free (they don't charge an office visit, but obviously any additional testing costs). Do you guys think it's worth the money? Just the annual vaccines and visit is about $150 per dog.

There's also different "levels" and for more monthly money you can upgrade /downgrade from plans that include dental cleanings and chest x-rays for free too.
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Oni~Prince of Thieves

Unable to- respond...
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 28, '09 8:35am PST 
When you break it down:

initial cost of $60 plus
18*12=216
total is 276 a year

adding a second dog
$40 216=256

For both dogs you end up paying $472 per year. You are limited to Banfield Clinics. Also, if something happens to any of your dogs, or if you change your mind and want to get out of the plan-you're basically stuck with it for a year-since it is more of a prepay service than insurance.

I don't have the plan, but I was interested in it a while back so I looked into it. Maybe there are Dogsters here who can give you their opinions and more info.
smile

Edited by author Tue Apr 28, '09 8:38am PST

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Chewbacca

Play?! Let's- PLAY!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 28, '09 9:21am PST 
I think it just depends on what you plan on having done.

I had a Wellness plan for my cat that needed teeth cleaning VERY badly and I searched around and most places wanted to charge an arm and a leg, that's how I learned about the Banfield Wellness program. Not only was the teeth cleaning included, but we got his vaccines up to date and all for much less than most places want to charge for the cleaning only.

With Chewie we got the puppy Wellness plan which inlcuded ALL of his vaccines, fecal tests, worming AND nuetering-this was GREAT.!We also get all of the free vet visits, but of course the vet usually wants to run tests (that conveniently aren't included) but you still get a discount.
The only thing that I don't like is that IMO the care isn't very personalized. I have found a few vets that I really liked and few that I was not fond of at all.

Hope that helps!
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Otis

"More- Walks....Less- Toys"
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 28, '09 11:37am PST 
I have had several furiends that used the Banfield health plan...In both cases there were problems...Paws down...Not a good deal.
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Toby

I'd rather be- sleeping...
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 28, '09 3:50pm PST 
glad to hear the input. Sounds like 2 votes no, one vote yes so far.

anyone else want to weigh in?
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Member Since
04/11/2009
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 28, '09 5:04pm PST 
I have a Banfield Wellness plan and it's great when you don't have all the money upfront for yearly shots and labs or have a new puppy and need the shots,spay,labs etc. But when you need vet care for anything else forget it they charge a lot of money even after the discount. I started it when I got my new puppy last year it was just easier for me and cheaper to get all the puppy stuff done. But if you don't cancel it 30 days before the end of your one year it will start another one year contract. Then your stuck paying for another year or if you move it's not transferable to another store you have to go to that store till your year is up. If you cancel early you still have to pay for the rest of the year.
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Toby

I'd rather be- sleeping...
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 28, '09 5:28pm PST 
WOW! that's really valuable information about it not being transferrable to another location! It's definitely sounding like it's not such a great deal after all!
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Goofball - CGC, CL1

Just Goofy.
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 28, '09 8:21pm PST 
I have had Banfield for over 2 years with a dog and in the end, I am thumbs down.

If you don't get along with your location's doctor, transferring to another Banfield means you get your contract renewed for another year. Moving is the same... You have to use the Banfield location you signed up for some of the features, but can go to any Banfield and get a free office visit I think. But if you want meds else where or services included in your plan, you must go to your Banfield you signed up at.

I don't believe anymore in getting much more than Core vaccinations and last I was with Banfield, they were shotting my dog with everything they had.

Their doctors seemed impersonal. I dislike the fact they take my dog to the back room out of my sight to do vaccines, which I refuse to let them do and tell them they must do it in my presence.

Like mentioned before, it is not insurance, but a plan for basic things. Shots, office visits, etc. In the end I decided Banfield was not for me.
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Bam-Bam, CGC

Lil' Rubble
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 29, '09 5:08pm PST 
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/banfield.html

If you just google banfield and consumer complaints or affairs, tons of websites come up. Its enough negative to deter me! We just put money aside in a bank account for Bam-Bam!
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Sunny &- Buster

Naptown Pups
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 29, '09 5:21pm PST 
The only thing I liked about it was paying the monthly fee rather than having to have all the money up front or deal with submitting claims to an insurance company. I found, as Chewie said, that the level of care was pretty impersonal. Their mantra is 'treating pets like family' but I feel as though they treat them like items at a grocery store check out counter. They have a very assembly line approach to care.

For the annual wellness exam they want you to drop the pet off, leave it for however long and then they'll call you when they're done. When you go to pick up your pet they give you some handouts and tell you to call if you have any follow up questions. If you have a question and you call back in be prepared to deal with the receptionist who goes back and forth between you and the doctor/pet nurse. It makes for a long, frustrating conversation.

And yes, we switched from one location to the next and we had to re-up on our contract for another year. It took me a while before I figured out I could do much better in terms of the medical care I got for Sunny.
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