AAHA to stop endorsing pet insurance policies

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In July the American Animal Hospital Association announced it had started phasing out its endorsement program for high-deductible pet insurance policies with the goal of eliminating the program by year's end.

The AAHA Seal of Acceptance program was introduced in 2008 as a means of educating pet owners about meeting the cost of veterinary care for their pets. Companies awarded the seal had to let pet owners choose their veterinary care provider and also provide direct reimbursement to the owner.

Companies that earned the seal include Trupanion, PurinaCare, and Pets Best Insurance.

In a statement, the AAHA explained that mounting requests from association members, pet insurance representatives, and pet owners for additional Seal of Acceptance requirements and policy scrutiny led to the program's demise.

The AAHA board of directors decided that members and pet owners would be better served if the association discontinued the Seal of Acceptance and reallocated resources to general pet insurance education for the veterinary profession and pet owners.

The association also announced it had alerted pet insurance companies having policies that had earned the organization's endorsement about the board's decision. The AAHA Seal of Acceptance program will officially end Dec. 31, 2011.

In the meantime, the AAHA will continue to invest in educating pet owners about insurance and other payment options to help them meet the cost of veterinary care.