As a loyal owner of a dog, my family provides pet insurance for our 11 year old Beagle. He’s a chubby one, weighing slightly over 25 pounds. Our pet insurance tops $500 annually, and is well worth the cost. He’s gone through multiple treatments for different veterinary illnesses, and our pet insurance helps pay for these things. Anybody remember Obamacare? It’s going to affect the insurance for my loving pet.
Veterinarians typically use human treatments and medical devices built for humans on pets. These treatments are effective, and also work on pets. The Affordable Care Act established a 2.3% medical devise tax for insurers and manufacturers. With Veterinarians commonly using these devices to help pets, the manufacturer of the devises will take the tax, and increase the price of the devices.
And yes, even though these are for pets, they will be taxed. Just view the IRS code:
Section 4191 [of the Internal Revenue Code] limits the definition of a taxable medical device to devices described in section 201(h) of the [Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act] that are intended for humans, but does not provide that the device must be intended exclusively for humans. Under existing [Food and Drug Administration] regulations, a device intended for use exclusively in veterinary medicine is not required to be listed as a device with the FDA, whereas a device intended for use in human medicine is required to be listed as a device with the FDA even if the device may also be used in veterinary medicine.
Examination gloves, thermometers, and catheters all fall under this category, and will also be taxed. Manufacturers of this equipment will transfer the tax onto the consumer, and the consumer will ultimately face higher Veterinary expenses. Pet Owners with pet insurance will also face higher pet insurance premiums and pay structures as a result of this increased expense for the insurance company.
There was a survey of 181 medical device manufacturers, and 52.5% say that they will, someway or another, pass on the increased tax to the consumers. Among North American manufacturers, this number was 58%. If you are providing pet insurance for your pet, expect higher insurance prices. If you work for a company which provides this as a benefit, expect there to be higher employee insurance contributions to pay for this.
My pet insurance will go up. I have no doubt that it will top $600 a year. My Beagle better stop getting hurt…