Banfield Wellness Plan Review
In 1955 in Portland, Oregon, veterinarian Warren J. Wegert had a dream of supplying top quality veterinary medicine. With this goal in mind, he started Banfield Pet Hospital. Since then, it has grown to nearly a thousand locations across the country. They have been offering their Optimum Wellness Plans since 1988.
Banfield Pet Hospital has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since March of 2014. They have an A+ rating with that organization. Banfield believes in giving back to the community. They have partnered with the American Humane Society, PetSmart, Meals on Wheels, and other businesses for charitable purposes.
Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plans are different from other pet insurance plans in that they are not technically pet insurance plans. You are not paying for coverage you may never use. Instead, you are always provided with the services you have paid for, including preventive care that will improve your pet’s quality of life.
Banfield Wellness Plan supplies inexpensively priced medical care plans that conveniently spread your costs over the many months. The Optimum Wellness Plans are not intended to treat illness or injury. They encourage early diagnosis and disease prevention. They are essentially bundled, discounted preventive care plans that include discounts and free office visits throughout the year.
There are three plans for pets six months and older. From least to most expensive they are:
- Essential Wellness – This plan includes fecal exams, deworming, and comprehensive physical exams twice per year. Also, vaccinations, diagnostic testing, and unlimited free office visits are available.
- Active Prevention – In addition to everything offered in the Essential Wellness Plan, Active Prevention offers urine testing and dental cleaning.
- Special Care – This builds upon the Active Prevention Plan by supplying urine testing, eye pressure tests, and electrocardiograms twice per year as well as preventive X-rays.
For kittens and puppies under six months of age, there are two options:
- Early Care – This plan includes fecal exams three times per year, comprehensive physical exams twice per year, deworming four times, diagnostic testing, vaccinations, and unlimited free office visits.
- Early Care Plus – This offers all of the same things the Early Care Plan provides with the addition of spay or neuter surgery.
In addition, you can personalize your pet’s wellness plan based on what you and your Banfield veterinarian deem appropriate. Any add-ons are discounted, and the price of the additional care can be spread over the term of your Banfield Wellness plan. To meet the one of a kind requirements of your kitten, dog, cat, or puppy, you can add adult neuter or spay, tick and flea preventive, additional dental cleaning, and heartworm preventive care.
For all of the plans, the coverage is just good for Banfield Pet Hospitals. Fortunately, these facilities are located throughout the country in PetSmart stores.
Since Banfield Wellness Plans do not function as classic pet insurance plans, payout limits are not applicable. They cover all of the above services included in the specific plan you choose at 100 percent.
Again, Banfield Wellness Plans are not your run of the mill pet insurance plans. There are no deductibles. All you pay for is your monthly fee. Nothing more. If you want services that are not covered by your plan, you can still get discounts of up to twenty percent.
The Optimum Wellness Plans at Banfield are divided up by age. The age cut off for the Puppy and Kitten Wellness Plans is six months. For the adult pet plans, there are no age cutoffs.
A lot of the time, other pet insurance plans will have exclusions for different breeds or for pre-existing conditions. This is not the case with Banfield Wellness Plan. The Optimum Wellness Plans include free office visits to address any new or existing pet health concerns.
The plans only cover preventive care during office visits. This includes diagnostics, vaccines, nutritional consultation, early screenings, and more. There is no coverage for vet visits for injury or illness treatment.
On the surface, this may sound like a downfall. But remember, when you take full advantage of your Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan, the preventive care will minimize any chance of illness or injury. It will also keep your pet happy.
Customer Reviews and Complaints
I called Banfield today to advise that I had to have my pet put down last week and they tell me I have to continue to pay the monthly premiums for the remainder of the year!! MY DOG IS DEAD and they want the rest of their payments! I am ** PISSED! People need to know this is what can happen. I am beyond shocked and just outright livid.
Do not go to Banfield Pet Hospital, and never get into their wellness program! Their only motivation is getting money from you. My wife signed our two dogs and a cat up. Now we’re paying over a hundred dollars a month whether we take them in or not. I’ve tried repeatedly to cancel this annual contract but they have many tricks up their sleeve to keep you from canceling. She talked to someone at their headquarters and was told she would owe them 750.00 dollars to cancel. Please if you care for your pet, take them to a real vet who cares!
I didn’t realize I had to pay for my wellness plan after my pet passed away. When I brought my pet into Banfield, I was also surprised they aren’t a real hospital, they did not have the equipment to help my dog. I also was offered a bigger plan to cover Xrays, in which I did up my plan. My dog passed away the next day and here I am stuck with a higher bill every month. $52.00. They were also suppose to give my dog a dental cleaning, that never happened.
You can read more customer complaints and reviews at: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/banfield.html
You can still get discounts on services that are not covered by your Banfield Wellness Plan. Depending on the plan, the discounts range from five to twenty percent off. The discounts apply to medications and prescriptions, medical services and tests, shampoos and lotions, and parasite preventives, such as Wormshield, Comfortis, and FirstShield.
The prices for Banfield Wellness Plans vary based on your location, the services that best meet the needs of your pet, and your dog’s or cat’s age. The monthly payments can be automatically charged to your credit card or withdrawn from your savings or checking account. Or, you can pay in full for the year.
If you have more than one pet, there are discounts for multiple plans. Once you are an Optimum Wellness Plan member, you get a $15 discount on the membership fee for multiple pets.
Should I Use Banfield Wellness Plan Pet Insurance?
After reading customer reviews and complaints about the Banfield Wellness Plan, we recommend NOT using this company for your pet insurance needs. Many customers complain that it’s very difficult to avoid the recurring monthly charges once you sign up (even if your dog has passed away already). Their unfair billing practices are one of the primary reasons why recommend you staying as far away from the Banfield Wellness Plan as possible.