CLEVELAND — Health Insurance for Pets

I received an email from a viewer who wanted to know whether or not to get health insurance for their pet. Before he passed, they spent about $1,000 a month on their elderly Lab, between medications and varying procedures. Now, they are about to get a new puppy and are debating whether the coverage would be worth the cost.

The answer is, it is really an individual decision because a lot of factors go into determining whether the insurance ends up being cost effective.

Things to consider:

-Insurance for dogs cost more than for cats.

-Premiums will likely be more for pure-breeds because they're more susceptible to hereditary conditions...which, by the way, most policies won't cover.

-Premiums also go up as your pet ages.

-Read the fine print because there are lots of exclusions, monetary caps and even restrictions on which vets you can go to.

-Look for coverage with simple, percentage-based payouts.

-Talk to your vet about the health issues they typically see with your pet's breed and what to expect.


The best option is setting up a dedicated savings account for emergency costs. If you put aside $200 to $550 dollars a year, which is the average range for cats and dogs who see the vet for office visits and surgeries, and your pet doesn't get sick in its younger years, you'll likely be in good shape.

And if your pet does get sick and finances are an issue, shop around.  The prices of vet services vary widely.

Here is more information on health insurance for pets:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/43916934/ns/business-consumer_news/t/pet-insurance-good-deal-or-rip/#.XPgt94hKiM9

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/pet-insurance/

Sunscreens

So, I have a very bad thing to admit. I do not wear sunscreen...except around my eyes to prevent crow’s feet. But that’s a mistake.

According to skincancer.org, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. To help protect yourself, you need to wear sunscreen with at least 30 SPF (sun protection factor).

Consumer Reports rated the top sunscreens this year by applying products to people's backs, having them soak in a tub of water to see how long the sunscreen stayed on, then exposing their skin to UV light and then testing for redness.

Lotions

The lotion with a perfect score is something called La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Melt in Sunscreen Milk. It sounds fancy, and so is the price: $36 for 5 ounces.

A more affordable favorite is BullFrog Land Sport Quick Gel SPF 50 at $13 dollars for 5 ounces.

They also liked Coppertone’s Ultra Guard Lotion SPF 70. It’s a best buy at $8 for 8 ounces.


Sprays

Consumer Reports pick for best Spray is Trader Joe’s Spray 50+ at $6 for 6 ounces.

They also tested sunscreens without Oxybenzone, which the FDA is concerned about causing health problems.

Their favorite brand there is Walgreen’s Hydrating Lotion SPF 50 at $3 for 3 ounces. We couldn’t find that specific brand on Walgreen’s site, but did find a similar Oxybenzone free product which is their Sport lotion at the same price.

Before picking any brand, you should also consider the scent and feel. Because if you don't like one or the other, you probably won't wear it, which defeats the purpose.

And that's One For The Money.