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Claiming insurance for hock injection...

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  • Claiming insurance for hock injection...

    My vet has recommended hock injections for my mare. I believe our insurance (Markel) covers it the first time it is done,

    When I asked the vet, they said I may not want to claim b/c it could impact what they do/don't cover later. They said that no one they can remember has ever claimed for hock injections. As it costs $700, I think it is worth claiming--but I don't want to have issues down the road if a more expensive issue arises!

    Has anyone else claimed--or chosen not to claim, for hock injections? Am particularly interested to hear from Markel customers...

  • #2
    Good heavens! $700 for hock injections!! Whereabouts are you? I think my bill was about $200 last time I had them done.


    • #3
      I think on the next year's renewal form you'll have to indicate that the hocks were injected, so they might be moved to the "won't cover anything else" category anyway.

      You really have to call and ask.
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


      • #4
        $700 for hock injections does seem steep. My bill for injections + rads + blocks + lameness exam was in the $900 range.

        I know on MY renewal form, it definitely asks if the horse has been injected.

        I would just call up Markel and ask them some questions. Whenever I've spoken with my broker (Blue Bridle) or my insurance company (Great American) they've always been VERY helpful. I would be really surprised if Markel covered injections--I didn't think *anyone* did.


        • #5
          I'd get out your policy and read it to see what it covers. Most I've seen exclude joint injections.
          The Evil Chem Prof


          • #6
            I have not heard of anybody covering injections for maintenance. However, my insurance company paid for a pastern and coffin bone injection, because it was related to an injury and the vet said it was a treatment that would greatly increase the horses chance of return to soundness long term because the trama caused inflamation of the joints which untreated may lead to preventable arthritis and loss of use. The joint inflammation was diagnosed by mri so they were not just guessing that injections might help. My insurance company paid for diagnostic (x-ray, mri, u/s, blocks, ect), hospital stay of 3 days, 3 shock wave treatment (for ligament tear), 2 joint injections, gastrogard during hospital stay and travel home time (1500 miles), 7 doses adequan (this one suprised me, but I think they were really wanting to avoid paying out loss of use on this horse!!) They then even cover lameness in the other leg a month later(pre-founder) since it was caused by putting more weight on that leg from the initial injury and it was under the same deductable.

            PS $700 for hock injections, Yikes!! I pay about $300 for both hocks "top and bottom" and I have it done at "the expensive place". Is there another respectable vet in the area you can get a quote from? It might even be worth traveling a bit if you need to inorder to avoid this vet. Maybe you should ask them if this included something beyond sedation, 2 ia drugs, and injection fees.


            • #7
              I'd say don't claim; I can almost guarentee they will exclude that hock if not the entire leg when insurance comes up for renewal. I knew someone with Taylor Harris insurance (I assume they're all similar though) who mentioned that their horse had sore hocks and next time around the entire hind end was excluded. Better to pay the $700 now and have the peace of mind that if your horse does something to really mess up that leg and needs MRI/hospital stay/etc that insurance will cover it.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jumper221 View Post
                I'd say don't claim; I can almost guarentee they will exclude that hock if not the entire leg when insurance comes up for renewal. I knew someone with Taylor Harris insurance (I assume they're all similar though) who mentioned that their horse had sore hocks and next time around the entire hind end was excluded. Better to pay the $700 now and have the peace of mind that if your horse does something to really mess up that leg and needs MRI/hospital stay/etc that insurance will cover it.
                Yes, but when you renew, they ASK specifically if you've done any joint injections. At least my company sure did.

                I suspect that they will exclude the joint or the leg or all DJD/arthritis when you tell them you injected.

                Not telling them you injected the horse is insurance fraud.

                IF Markell does cover joint injections, claim it now. Yeah, they'll put some sort of rider on your policy when you renew, but they're probably going to do that ANYWAY.


                • #9
                  Agree with Simkie. Mine (Equine Insurance Center/Great American) most definitely asks about injections (joint, or Adequan/Legend/etc).

                  That will likely mean that leg, or at least that structure, not covered from there on out, so you might as well make sure you get all the reimbursement that your policy allows.

                  In the end, you just have to call your company, or better yet, look at your contract.
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  • #10
                    I have not had insurance that covered any sort of joint injections, no matter what the circumstance (even when my horse had surgery, which was covered, and they wanted to do an injection during his recovery, that wasn't covered). I use a different provider now, but did have Markel years ago and my mare's hock injections back then were not covered. I informed them that she was receiving them and never had an exclusion for anything on her hocks -- but that was a long time ago and that may have changed. I am with Great American now and my renewal forms do ask whether the horse has received any injections. Over the years, my horses have received other injections (stifle, hocks, coffin joints) and I have filled out the forms accordingly and not had any of that affect any exclusions placed on me for the next year.


                    • #11
                      My insurance will not cover intra articular injections ..Any vet who wants to charge you $700 for hock injections is a bandit. (Top and bottom joint 300 with depo and HA)
                      The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.


                      • #12
                        My insurance considers joint injection normal maintenance and do not cover, not do they exclude anything when I put down upon renewal when they were done the previous year. . .


                        • Original Poster

                          UPDATE and question

                          I called the company and some of you are right--not covered. Although when I bought the policy and asked re hock injections, they specifically said that it was the first time. Whadda ya gonna do...

                          Those of you who think I am being ripped off to pay $700, where do you live? I think everything costs more where I am...


                          • #14
                            yes rip off!

                            I am in the midwest. I have 2 vet clinics I work with and both are not more and or just around $500. Which includes injections at 2 sights each hock, sedation, and sometimes the horse is given a banamine shot and a one time antibiotic shot.


                            • #15
                              For what it's worth, I do not think $700 is out of line to have upper and lower hocks done on both legs when you factor in a farm call, sedatives, injections and anti-inflammatories.


                              • #16
                                Seems High to Me...

                                Originally posted by trinkamally View Post
                                Those of you who think I am being ripped off to pay $700, where do you live? I think everything costs more where I am...
                                I just happen to have my bill from the last time I had hocks injected sitting here -- this was in Oregon, with one of the best lameness vets around, and I know from experience that his charges are usually a bit more than my "usual" local vet. But the actual hock injections were $250 for both (right and left). This says "low joints" so maybe he only did one on each hock, not the upper joint that I hear people mentioning. Then there was $15 for aseptic prep, $50 for sedation, and $12 for IV bute. He also did a full lameness exam and some other treatment stuff, but those are the charges that relate to the actual injections.

                                When I first did my mare, so many years ago, I remember paying $150 for both...wow, that must have been a long time ago!