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Keeping pets healthy

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At UC, we really do love our pets.

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During Open Enrollment last year, UC introduced a new program for faculty, staff and retirees – preferred pricing on pet insurance through Nationwide – and it was a hit! UC’s enrollment of almost 3,000 new participants doubled Nationwide’s previous record for enrollment in a group pet insurance plan. Participation is likely to grow since enrollment is available year-round, not just during Open Enrollment.

Susan Pon-Gee, director of health and welfare benefits, credits Michael Lairmore, the dean of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (consistently ranked best in the nation), with triggering her interest in adding pet insurance to the coverage offered by UC. 

“I had the opportunity to talk with Michael, and of course the conversation quickly turned to love of animals and the important role they play in our lives. Offering pet insurance is a way for us to provide healthcare to our furry family members more affordably.”

Lairmore is not surprised with enrollment results. As he noted in his recent Musings, he and those who work with him at the school “have the great privilege of observing the love of animals on a daily basis, as we celebrate the human-animal bond.”

In addition to the School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis is home to The William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, which delivers state-of-the-art clinical care to more than 50,000 animals a year. Members of the public and referring veterinarians can schedule appointments for care ranging from wellness exams through specialty services for behavior problems, cardiovascular disease, genetics, hemodialysis and more. UC Davis shares its expertise beyond the region through satellite clinical facilities in San Diego and Tulare.

“Clients with pet insurance are less stressed about their bill and they’re less likely to opt out of advanced diagnostic tests that may save their animal’s life,” said Jane Sykes, chief veterinary medical officer, explaining how important insurance can be when financial restrictions could lead a client to select an x-ray when a CT scan may be the best test to determine a pet’s illness. “If a client has pet insurance, it could lead to more treatment options for our clinicians to offer.”

Read Dean Lairmore’s thoughts about the bond between people and animals in February’s Dean’s Musings. Lairmore shares a few of the many inspirational stories of the UC Davis faculty, students, and staff who heroically worked to save cats, horses and other animals big and small during last year’s wildfires.

Learn more about how to enroll in pet insurance on UCnet’s pet insurance page or at petinsurance.com/uc.

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