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Vets - Do Yours Charge For Completing Insurance Forms?

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furryfriends (TEAS)

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My vet practice has just started to make an admin charge of £7.50 for each insurance claim form. They have always made a small charge for those who are doing a direct claim (having the insurance company pay the vet directly) but have never charged if the owner is paying their vet bill and then claiming back what they can on their insurance. To be honest I haven't really got a problem with this £7.50 charge, but I have heard that many people are furious about this. I just wondered how many of you have had to pay an admin charge when submitting an insurance claim to your vet practice?
 

A&T

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Oh wow, Thats the first time I've heard about that! My vets don't charge anything, I don't see why they need to? All they have to do is scan them all to the insurance company?! Seems like they just wanna make a bit of extra cash. 'Admin fee' how rediclous!
 

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Touch wood, I've never had to make a claim. Unfortunately, my piggies have always hidden their illness until it was too late to do anything. :(
 

Pebble

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I have no insurance for my pigs (too many and most with long term med problems).

However, I would like to comment if I may.

I may not have submitted a pet insurance claim - but I have had to submit a building and contents insurance claim when my whole house was flooded and needed substantial building work to re-instate it. The cost to me personally was a lot of time and money having to do it myself and went on for 2 years! So even pursuing a pet insurance claim can "cost" the owner a lot of time and money getting it submitted correctly and chasing reimbursement.

I could have employed a loss assessor to handle the claim for me at a % fee of the claim value (5%) - i.e. in my case approx £7500.
Pet insurance has not reached the giddy heights of needing to employ loss assessors on behalf of the owner yet (thankfully) so putting that into perspective, (and on the basis that a pet insurance claim can be anything from £250 up to £10,000), a pet owner would pay a loss assessor anything from £3.30 to £500 for administration of a claim. That puts the £7.50 into perspective.

In the first scenario quoted, the vets are having to reclaim their fees direct from the insurance. This takes time, affects cash-flow and has implications for loss of interest compared to if the money had already been paid by the owner. The vets are therefore providing a service to the owner and saving them having to pay the vets first and reclaim the cost themselves.

In the second scenario, on a commercial level, the vets are still providing a service to the owner by helping them with the information required to submit their claim and recover the vet fees already paid (which still costs the vets time and money in terms of administration/staff etc). However the bottom line is the vets have already been paid by the owner, This is more about "Customer Service" "Value Added" and "Retention of long-term business". This is a "Business Decision" for the owners of the practice to be taken in context with competition, local situation etc

I do not think it unreasonable to charge a MINIMAL Administrative fee for Scenario 2 -
BUT the difference in fees between scenario 1 and scenario 2 should reflect the amount of time and effort it costs the pet owner. and the vets...
In scenario 1 the vets haven;'t been paid and the owner has minimal work to do
In scenario 2 the vets have already been paid at the cost to the owner who then has a lot of work to do.

£7.50 fixed fee to help fill in insurance forms for owner to reclaim is a very reasonable sum - (GP's have been charging a minimum of £10 for years).
I'm assuming that the pet owners should be able to recover the cost of this fee from their insurance company - (this has been the case in human health insurance)
........so perhaps in order to "sell" this change - the vets need to investigate whether this is possible and emphasise it in their sales and marketing to "sweeten the pill"?

Hope these comments help
x
 

Flutterby

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I don't have insurance on the piggies, but my vets don't charge for the form filling for my dogs. They are quite happy to print one off to if i'm unable too, All I have to do is sign it. My vets are ace, wouldn't be without them!
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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I have no insurance for my pigs (too many and most with long term med problems).

However, I would like to comment if I may.

I may not have submitted a pet insurance claim - but I have had to submit a building and contents insurance claim when my whole house was flooded and needed substantial building work to re-instate it. The cost to me personally was a lot of time and money having to do it myself and went on for 2 years! So even pursuing a pet insurance claim can "cost" the owner a lot of time and money getting it submitted correctly and chasing reimbursement.

I could have employed a loss assessor to handle the claim for me at a % fee of the claim value (5%) - i.e. in my case approx £7500.
Pet insurance has not reached the giddy heights of needing to employ loss assessors on behalf of the owner yet (thankfully) so putting that into perspective, (and on the basis that a pet insurance claim can be anything from £250 up to £10,000), a pet owner would pay a loss assessor anything from £3.30 to £500 for administration of a claim. That puts the £7.50 into perspective.

In the first scenario quoted, the vets are having to reclaim their fees direct from the insurance. This takes time, affects cash-flow and has implications for loss of interest compared to if the money had already been paid by the owner. The vets are therefore providing a service to the owner and saving them having to pay the vets first and reclaim the cost themselves.

In the second scenario, on a commercial level, the vets are still providing a service to the owner by helping them with the information required to submit their claim and recover the vet fees already paid (which still costs the vets time and money in terms of administration/staff etc). However the bottom line is the vets have already been paid by the owner, This is more about "Customer Service" "Value Added" and "Retention of long-term business". This is a "Business Decision" for the owners of the practice to be taken in context with competition, local situation etc

I do not think it unreasonable to charge a MINIMAL Administrative fee for Scenario 2 -
BUT the [you]difference[/you] in fees between scenario 1 and scenario 2 should reflect the amount of time and effort it costs the pet owner. and the vets...
In scenario 1 the vets haven;'t been paid and the owner has minimal work to do
In scenario 2 the vets have already been paid at the cost to the owner who then has a lot of work to do.

£7.50 fixed fee to help fill in insurance forms for owner to reclaim is a very reasonable sum - (GP's have been charging a minimum of £10 for years).
I'm assuming that the pet owners should be able to recover the cost of this fee from their insurance company - (this has been the case in human health insurance)
........so perhaps in order to "sell" this change - the vets need to investigate whether this is possible and emphasise it in their sales and marketing to "sweeten the pill"?

Hope these comments help
x

I am pretty sure you can't recover the cost from the insurance company. The £7.50 fee is just for a normal claim, and they have put the cost of the direct claim up to £25 (or it may be £20) which I really do feel is OTT. The receptionists are taking a lot of stick about these charges, but they have been told by the owners of the practice that 'all vets charge this'. Clearly they don't!
 

Flutterby

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No they definitely don't! That's just the plain cheek of the owner's I think!
 

Pebble

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I am pretty sure you can't recover the cost from the insurance company. The £7.50 fee is just for a normal claim, and they have put the cost of the direct claim up to £25 (or it may be £20) which I really do feel is OTT. The receptionists are taking a lot of stick about these charges, but they have been told by the owners of the practice that 'all vets charge this'. Clearly they don't!
I'm sorry bu given the exrta info - that sounds like a bad deal
x
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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I'm sorry bu given the exrta info - that sounds like a bad deal
x
When the practice was first taken over they hiked up the price of the direct claim but there was so much trouble about it, with people getting very upset and complaining that it was dropped. Clearly they have decided to go ahead with it now. The people who tend to want to do the direct claim are the ones who can least afford to be paying that much extra. Whilst I don't see why they need to charge for the normal claims, I do feel £7.50 isn't enough to get too upset about, but the charge for the direct claims is just crazy and I think they are going to lose clients because of it.
 

guineabecs

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The vets I work for do not charge, but I have been to referral places that do charge. Seeing it done in work, it can take a lot of hassle to complete a form and it certainly isnt straight forward and is time consuming, sometimes having to go back and forth with certain ins companies who aren't very good at paying out. I can understand the charge, and personally think at some point all vets will probably charge to do it, but at present my vets don't :)
 
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