Jan
30
2014

Returning from active military duty to the companionship of a service dog can make a tremendous difference in a veteran's readjustment to civilian life.

But sometimes, things can become difficult if the dog's health care costs are too much for the veteran to handle.

To recognize veterans for their service and ensure that money doesn't get in the way of caring for their service dogs, pet insurance company Trupanion announced that as of Jan. 27 it will pay 100 percent of veterinary bills for dogs owned by U.S. veterans. In addition, the company said it has simplified and expedited the process through which veterinarians are reimbursed for providing care to these service dogs.

The program, called the U.S. Veteran Service Dog Program, is the result of a contract awarded from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs aimed at providing medical coverage to veteran-owned dogs. 

According to the company, there is no age limit for veteran-owned service dogs to participate, and dogs will be covered for health care costs including:

  • Treatments for pre-existing, hereditary, and congenital disorders
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Surgeries
  • Medications
  • Chronic or recurring conditions
  • Wellness and preventive exams and vaccinations

Improving on the previous veteran-owned service dog program

According to Trupanion, the Department of Veteran Affairs has paid service dogs' veterinary bills in the past, but the time from treatment of the animal to reimbursement for veterinarians was sometimes relatively lengthy. In order to receive payment, the veterinarian had to enroll in the program, fill out paperwork, and then wait for reimbursement to be sent.

With the new program, veterans can take their service dogs to any licensed veterinarian. Following medical treatments, veterinarians can simply submit the bill and expect payment within 48 hours of Trupanion receiving the bill. Veterinarians who wish to be paid up front can contact the insurance company's 24/7 support team and the insurance company will immediately begin the reimbursement process. 

More information 

For more information about the program, visit the Trupanion website. The company will also answer questions about how it works, what will be covered, or how payment is issued at 855-482-0163. 

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