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Pet insurance: Company offering pet health coverage

Pet insurance is now being offered by a Pennsylvania-based Capital Blue Cross. An estimated 1 million people have pet insurance, the company estimates.

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Roxy a 7-year-old maltipoo, gets fitted with a microchip at Summit Dog and Cat Hospital in Summit, New Jersey. A Pennsylvania insurance company has begun offering pet insurance as a coverage option.

Barbara Goldberg/Rueters/File

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A major Pennsylvania health insurer has started offering pet insurance and that's no tall tail.

Officials at Harrisburg-based Capital Blue Cross tell The Philadelphia Inquirer they believe the company is the first Blue Cross company to offer pet insurance.

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The program is managed by Philadelphia-based PetPlan.

Capital Blue Cross strategic development director Stacy Balaban says a lot of Americans consider pets family members, so the new program makes sense. About 500 people attended a pets and people health fair last week in Harrisburg to get information.

The Inquirer report (http://bit.ly/uJzoyc ) says an English couple who studied at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School began the PetPlan program after their cat needed a kidney transplant.

Founder Chris Ashton says an estimated 1 million Americans insure their pets.