Pet Insurance That Covers Spaying & Neutering Costs
Veterinary background provided by Dr. Elyse Macartney
Updated August 17, 2022
Does pet insurance cover spaying or neutering for your dog or cat? Unfortunately, most insurance companies don’t cover these procedures—called orchiectomies and ovariohysterectomies, respectively—as they are considered elective procedures.
Spaying or neutering your cat or dog is one of the most responsible things you can do as a pet parent. It helps prevent unplanned litters that could lead to more stray animals. Pet overpopulation is an increasing issue, and the overpopulation problem has reached crisis levels. Spaying and neutering your pet can help alleviate the strain put on animal shelters and pet foster organizations, especially considering that an average cat can have two to three litters per year with one to eight kittens per litter. The average dog can have three litters per year, with three to seven dogs per litter.
What pet insurance covers spaying or neutering?
While pet health insurance can help pet parents manage the cost of major medical procedures, finding pet insurance that covers neutering and spaying will prove difficult. This is because spaying and neutering are considered elective. However, many pet health insurance plans do have wellness plan add-ons that can help you manage costly elective—albeit important—procedures.
Pet wellness plans—also called preventive plans— can be added to your pet insurance and help offset the full cost of routine veterinarian visits. Many wellness plans include full or partial reimbursement for annual check-ups and some standard tests, including routine blood work, fecal exams, urinalysis, routine vaccines, dental cleanings and sometimes spay or neuter procedures.
How do pet insurance wellness plan add-ons work?
When you purchase a wellness plan, you are basically prepaying for the preventive care services your dog or cat may need. In most cases, when you purchase a pet insurance plan, the insurance company’s pet wellness plan is offered as an optional add-on. However, not all insurance companies offer this additional coverage option. You may find that even the top pet insurance providers do not have an option to add on a wellness plan or one that covers spaying and neutering. Below are some of the best pet insurance plans that offer wellness plans that include reimbursements for spaying or neutering.
ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance Program
ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance Program covers advanced treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and even alternative-treatment therapies like acupuncture, massage therapy and hydrotherapy. This pet insurance plan is worth considering especially if you have a senior pet, as cancer and arthritis typically occur in pets that are in the later stages of their life.
You have the option to add on a wellness plan to your ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance Program and they offer two wellness plan options—Basic or Prime. The Basic wellness plan add-on costs $9.95 per month but does not cover spaying or neutering. For $24.95 per month, the Prime wellness plan will reimburse up to $150 for spaying or neutering and reimburse more of your out-of-pocket costs for dental cleanings, vaccines, flea and heartworm prevention, and more.
Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace offers coverage for most issues caused by injury and illness, and you can take your cat or dog to any licensed veterinarian—making it a worthwhile option if you travel often with your pet or haven’t found a regular vet. While Embrace does not cover preventative care, the insurer does provide an optional non-insurance-based wellness rewards plan that covers routine exams, teeth cleaning and other services like spaying or neutering. Embrace will reimburse 100% of your pet’s routine care costs up to the selected amount of coverage you choose.
One of the highlights of Embrace’s pet wellness plans are that they can be personalized more than other wellness plan provider options to fit your needs and budget. The three different options for Embrace’s Wellness Rewards reimbursement are:
- $250 allowance per policy year for $18.75 per month
- $450 allowance per policy year for $35.42 per month
- $650 allowance per policy year for $52.09 per month
Embrace suggests that you purchase a wellness plan amount based on your pet’s age. For example, a puppy or kitten will have more upfront annual cost than an older dog or cat. And as your pet approaches their senior years, it may be prudent to increase your wellness allowance per year. Also, note that Embrace’s wellness options are not available in Rhode Island.
Pets Best Pet Health Insurance
Founded by a veterinarian in 2005, Pets Best Insurance was created with the goal of helping reduce incidences of pets being put down because their pet parents couldn’t afford veterinary care. Pets Best offers insurance plans for dogs and cats, including coverage for everything from routine wellness checkups to surgery. It does not, however, cover elective procedures, such as teeth cleaning, flea and tick prevention or others unless you add on one of Pets Bests wellness plans. Pets Best BestWellness™ plan costs $26 per month and will reimburse you up to $150 for spay or neuter surgery along with reimbursements for wellness exams, microchipping deworming and more. For Washington residents, the cost is $30 per month for the Pets Best BestWellness™ plan.
Lemonade Pet Insurance
Lemonade’s pet insurance launched in July 2020, but the whimsically named company has been providing renters and homeowners insurance since 2016. Lemonade offers one standard pet insurance plan providing coverage for both accidents and illnesses, including injuries, poisonings, infections, cancer, heart disease, skin conditions and others. It also will help cover vet bills related to those incidents or conditions, such as hospitalization, lab work and surgeries.
As with many other pet insurances, Lemonade does not cover the cost of spaying or neutering unless you add on one of their wellness plans. Lemonade offers three wellness plan options:
- Lemonade Preventative Package
- Lemonade Preventative+ Package
- Lemonade Puppy/Kitten Preventative Package (for pets under two years old)
Only the package for pets under 2 years old reimburses pet parents for spay or neuter surgery.
For $50 per month for dogs and $40 per month for cats, Lemonade reimburses up to $135 of spaying or neutering costs. If you have a younger dog or cat, Lemonade’s wellness plan could be a good option to help recoup the costs associated with vaccinations and preventative care required for your puppy or kitten.
Spot Pet Insurance
Like Lemonade, Spot didn’t start out as a pet insurance company—they are underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company, and they have been covering canines and cats since 2020. Spot offers a range of flexible pet insurance policy options—six annual coverage limit options and five deductibles—allowing budget-conscious pet parents to customize their pet’s coverage to lower premiums.
While Spot’s pet insurance does not cover spay or neuter surgeries, their wellness plans offer a reimbursement. They offer Gold and Platinum wellness plan add-ons, but it’s only the Platinum wellness plan at $24.95 per month that offers a $150 annual benefit for spaying or neutering.
You can get a quote from Spot to find which plan works best for you and your pet.
We’ve got the resources to help you shop for pet insurance plans that cover wellness, illness, accidents and more. You can compare wellness plans and research the pet insurance provider that can best help you cover the cost of your pet’s spay or neuter procedure.
FAQs About Pet Insurance Covering Spaying and Neutering Procedures
Why don’t most pet insurances cover spaying or neutering?
Unfortunately, spay and neuter procedures are considered “elective surgeries”, meaning they aren’t necessary to ensure the health of your cat or dog. However, many pet insurance pans do offer wellness plan add-ons that can help you offset the cost of spaying or neutering.
What pet insurances offer wellness plans to help cover spaying or neutering?
If you’re looking pet wellness plans that cover spay and neuter surgeries, you have several options. The pet insurance companies that offer wellness plans are:
- Pets Best
Note that the lower-tired wellness plans typically won’t cover spaying or neutering, so if you want reimbursement, you will generally have to purchase a premium wellness plan.
How much does spaying or neutering cost?
There are a lot of factors involved in the cost of spaying or neutering, such as where you live, your dog or cat’s breed, your pet’s age, pre-existing conditions and which veterinarian clinic you visit. You can expect to pay around $250, but this varies greatly. Spaying or neutering a smaller dog or cat generally costs less than a larger pet, as it requires less anesthesia.
Which pet insurance offers the cheapest wellness plan?
At $18.75 per month, Embrace offers one of the least expensive wellness plans that can be applied to the cost of spaying or neutering your pet. However, in most cases, the less expensive the plan, the less reimbursement you’ll receive. This plan is only available with the purchase of insurance.
Is it important to spay or neuter your cat or dog?
Besides helping prevent unwanted pets, spaying and neutering offer several health benefits to your cat or canine. Several studies show that cats and dogs that have been spayed or neutered are less likely to suffer from common health problems like breast tumors, urinary infections and certain types of cancers.