Trupanion vs Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Shopping for pet health insurance? Both Trupanion and Healthy Paws offer illness and injury protection for cats and dogs. However, there are key differences to consider in order to make the best decision for your budget and your pet’s health needs. To help you on your pet insurance research journey, we’ve put together this side-by-side comparison of Trupanion and Healthy Paws. Let’s dive in!

How Trupanion and Healthy Paws compare

Plan features


Healthy Paws

Vet Direct Pay

right-iconCan pay participating hospitals directly at checkout

right-iconNo automatic process to pay veterinarians directly at checkout

No age-based restrictions in payouts and coverage

right-iconDoes not discriminate based on pet's age at enrollment

right-iconLimits reimbursement and deductible options at enrollment for older pets

No breed-based restrictions in payouts and coverage

right-iconDoes not discriminate based on pet's breed

right-iconLimits reimbursement and deductible options at enrollment for certain breeds

No birthday pricing

right-iconNo rate increases just because your pet has a birthday

right-iconIn most states, they will automatically increase rates because your pet gets older

Complete coverage

right-iconYou're fully covered after 30 days

right-iconYou're not fully covered for the first 12 months

Trupanion can pay vets directly at checkout. Healthy Paws cannot

Trupanion is the only provider that can pay your eligible veterinary costs directly at time of checkout from your pet’s appointment — often in just seconds. You can go to any hospital (including emergency and specialty care) you like with Trupanion, though not all are set up for direct pay. In these cases, most claims are still processed within 24 hours.

Curious about not having to wait for reimbursement? It’s easy to find out if your veterinarian of choice accepts Trupanion’s Vet Direct Pay.

Other pet insurance companies typically do not pay directly, and Healthy Paws is no exception. Healthy Paws reimburses pet parents once they have already paid their veterinary bill, or if you call in during their customer service hours and request a special pre-approval.


Why not having to wait for reimbursement matters

The point of having health insurance for your pet is to be able to get them the veterinary care they need for surprise illnesses and injuries without worrying about it breaking your budget. But if you have to pay upfront and then wait a long time for reimbursement, you could find yourself in a difficult financial situation nonetheless.

Healthy Paws may restrict coverage by age. Trupanion will not

Healthy Paws adjusts their coverage amount and deductible options based on the age of your pet at enrollment. The older your pet is, the lower their coverage percentage options and the higher the deductible. These restrictions apply to pets five years and older.

Trupanion meanwhile offers 90% coverage for all pets from birth to 14 years old and never decreases or restricts coverage options at enrollment. This comprehensive coverage is provided no matter what deductible you choose (anywhere from $0 to $1,000).

Breed restrictions apply with Healthy Paws, not with Trupanion

Healthy Paws changes their coverage amount and deductible options based on your pet’s breed. Even if your pet is a mixed breed, like a Great Dane mix or a Bulldog mix, they may not be eligible for Healthy Paws’ highest level of reimbursement or all deductible options.

Similar to how a Trupanion doesn’t discriminate in coverage based on a pet’s age, there’s also no coverage restrictions for different breeds at enrollment. No matter what breed or mix you have, you will always be able to choose the highest-quality coverage offered.

Trupanion does not raise costs due to pet aging. Healthy Paws might

Healthy Paws is like most other pet health insurance companies in that it adjusts your rate based on a model called “birthday pricing.” This means your monthly cost is likely to go up annually just because your furry pal aged another year — regardless of whether you filed a claim. Birthday pricing increases often are in addition to inflation and other factors that can make your cost go up.

Trupanion is different from other companies when it comes to pricing. Your pet’s starting rate is based on their age at enrollment and typical veterinary costs for their breed and location. While your cost with Trupanion can fluctuate over time due to things like inflation and changing veterinary costs, it will never increase simply because your pet has a birthday or you had to use their coverage.

Full coverage after 30 days with Trupanion, 1 year with Healthy Paws

Just like other kinds of insurance, waiting periods are normal when it comes to medical coverage for your pet.

After a waiting period of 5 days for injuries and 30 days for illnesses, Trupanion covers all hereditary and congenital conditions without limits, as long as they are not pre-existing.

Healthy Paws meanwhile has a 12-month waiting period for any treatment associated with hip dysplasia, an inherited condition that can affect many dog breeds. If you enroll your pet at six years of age or older, Healthy Paws will not offer any coverage for hip dysplasia at all.

The cost of hip dysplasia

A year can be a long time to wait for hip dysplasia coverage, especially since this common condition can be extremely costly to treat once diagnosed. It is also most often diagnosed at a young age.

According to Trupanion claims data, a Golden Retriever is 3.4 times more likely than the average dog to be diagnosed with hip dysplasia before they are a year old, and treatment will likely cost more than $2,000. If hip dysplasia is not diagnosed and treated as soon as possible, it can lead to the need for total hip replacement, which on average can cost nearly $5,000.

Why choose Trupanion over Healthy Paws?

Compared to Healthy Paws, there are multiple reasons why Trupanion may be a better fit for you and your pet:

  • Trupanion is the only pet health insurance provider that can pay veterinarians directly at checkout, often in seconds.

  • Trupanion does not limit or restrict coverage based on a pet’s age at enrollment whereas Healthy Paws limits reimbursement and deductibles for older pets.

  • Trupanion does not have breed restrictions. Healthy Paws has limitations on certain breeds.

  • Unlike Healthy Paws and most other pet insurance companies, Trupanion does not practice birthday pricing.

  • Your pet gets full coverage with Trupanion after 30 days. With Healthy Paws, they’ll have to wait a year for hip dysplasia coverage.

Discover why veterinarians recommend Trupanion.

Explore more pet health insurance comparisons

#1 in America, chosen by veterinarians

Survey commissioned by dvm360, from 3/30-5/1/2023. Read more.

Chat Icon