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While everyone’s howling at the moon these days about health insurance, a certain voluntary benefit no longer resembles that lonely puppy with sad eyes in the pet store that gets passed over by customer after customer.

The benefit is pet insurance, which continues to grow in popularity with employees — and employers — around the country and at companies both large and small. There are a few reasons for the furry phenomenon: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is causing many employers to review their benefits packages, searching for ways to add value without adding cost. Another reason is competition. Plenty of employers offer the benefit, and with pet owners very well-represented in the workplace, it behooves companies to keep up with their competitors.

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