Justin Donald Leader

Benefits Professional
  • I Love John Stamos

    Jan 28, 2016

by Justin Leader


I really love John Stamos.  I am not referring to the Greek Yogurt loving actor who portrayed Uncle Jessie on TV’s Full House either.  I am talking about my 4 year old Orange Tabby Cat, John Stamos Favre.  The name just sort of happened after I adopted him from some friends a few years ago.  I am pretty sure Full House was on TV at the time followed by me asking a buddy of mine who his favorite football player was.  His response, Brett Favre.  Over the course of a few weeks “Stamos” as many have come to know him became a part of my family.  My best friend, if you will, in many ways.

I believe most families can relate to my feelings in regards to their own pets.  We call them our “fur babies” and those of us that own dogs will agree that they are Man and Woman’s Best Friend.   The American Pet Products Association (APPA) stated in 2014 that 68% of U.S. Households own at least 1 pet with 91% of those households considering their pet as a family member.

Any of us who had to take our pet to the Veterinarian will agree that those visits have not become any less expensive either.  The APPA reports that U.S pet owners spent a record $15 Billion dollars in 2014 alone with a reported 170 million veterinary visits.  To put this into perspective there were only 12 million identity thefts in that same time period.

It is no wonder that when we received the results from a survey of a 12,000 employee organization regarding what voluntary employee benefits they desired, the #1 most requested product was Pet insurance.  As the product was rolled out participation was high with many employees purchasing a policy for each pet that they own.  Implementation and communication is very easy with plenty of communication and information made available during the enrollment.  Much like the delivery of Human Health Insurance, Pet Health Insurance is evolving to meet the financial demands impacting our paychecks.  The benefit in my opinion is robust with a seamless claims process.

This payroll deducted product is one that I encourage all groups to at least review  and consider adding into their benefits mix.   One in three Fortune 500 companies is currently offering pet insurance to their employees and groups with 100 employees or more are able to take advantage.  The beauty of this as well is that there is now Teledoc available or should I say, Televet!  I see this as being useful the next time Stamos eats something he probably shouldn’t have and will save a lot of time and money.

I know that John Stamos will not be here forever, however in the time we have together it is my responsibility to make sure that he is as healthy as possible.

Justin Leader is Vice President of Business Development with Benefit Design Specialists, Inc.  BDS is committed to a two-fold goal; delivering quality, cost-effective employee benefit plans coupled with hassle-free benefits management for our client’s HR departments.  Transparent Health, By BDS is a solution that drives down Healthcare costs while giving complete investment transparency.  Thank you to the folks at VPI/Nationwide on their great work!