JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (2/11/08)--PetFirst Healthcare, a nationwide provider of health insurance policies for dogs and cats, said it expects the $250 million pet insurance industry to double by 2012. A few credit unions offer this type of insurance. Operating similarly to human health insurance, pet insurance covers the costs associated with veterinary expenses. PetFirst plans include routine care such as yearly exams, vaccinations, flea control, and spay/neuter services. Also covered are x-rays, surgeries and hospitalizations that result from illness or injury (PR Newswire Feb. 7). PetFirst insurance plans are available to hundreds of thousands of employees through the $727.5 million asset Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly CU, the American Humane Association and Kroger Co. PetFirst announced a partnership in January with National Benefits Partners--a benefits wholesaler that provides voluntary benefits to more than 3,000 employers and three million employees. Pet insurance trends are imitating the human health insurance industry with obesity, cardiac arrest, hypertension and hypothyroidism seen as growing problems, PetFirst said. Two Colorado credit unions--Ent FCU and Air Academy FCU--began offering pet insurance in 2003 (News Now July 23, 2003).