Pet Insurance, Domestic Federal Employee Partners, and Health Insurance

What do topics as varied as pet insurance, domestic federal employee partners, and federal employee health insurance have in common? For those who may not quickly see a relationship between these widely varying topics, here is your answer.

At, we are always looking out for articles of interest to the federal workforce, especially topics that you may not have seen elsewhere or need to know about in order to get the most out of your federal career. For example, we have provided our readers with several columns regarding the upcoming open season for health insurance, dental insurance and vision insurance. (See, for example, Why Are Your Health Insurance Premiums Going Up?)

With that interest in mind, we came across a new wrinkle in the federal employee’s health insurance plan that you will not find in our insurance calculator: pet insurance.

One company is now offering a discount to federal employees who obtain pet insurance through the federal employee’s health benefits plan.

According to the ad touting this new benefit for the federal workforce: “In these challenging economic times, it’s good to know you can get some financial protection for unexpected illness and injury to your pets. Pets Best offers pet insurance plans with a range of deductible levels and coverage options. Aetna has arranged access to a 5 percent discount for you.”

Of course, in today’s society, we cannot treat our pets in dramatically different ways than we treat humans so, for your furry or, perhaps, your feathered friend, there are high option plans as well as the more basic insurance.

For that special dog or cat in your life, perhaps pet insurance is a good idea as the cost of medical care is going up for animals as well.

photo of dog and cat

Not everyone is happy about this development in the federal health benefits program though. And, frankly, the relationship between these topics is probably one that I would have missed had another writer not pointed it out.

For those readers who may have been wondering how pet insurance is related to domestic partners for gay federal employees, or for those who may never have thought that there was any relationship between these two issues, there is one writer who has seized the issue with an angry passion.

Igor Volsky does see a relationship other readers may have missed. To provide our readers with all sides of this issue here is Volsky’s view who writes: “The (pet) insurance is a handsome perk for those who can afford it, but what’s illuminating about the ad is that while federal employees can buy pet insurance ‘in these challenging economic times,’ LGBT workers are still prohibited from purchasing policies for their partners or spouses by the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) — a federal law which denies federal benefits to legally married same sex couples.”

For the various questions that may arise on how the pet insurance will work in practice or whether your pet will be adequately covered, please directly contact the advertisers referenced in this article.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47