Seeing the Benefits of Vision Insurance Clearly

Gene Sherman

Jul 7, 2014

 Seeing the Benefits of Vision Insurance Clearly

Offering a comprehensive benefit package that includes the coverage that employees and potential employees want is important to employee retention and recruitment.  Faced with rising healthcare costs and the desire to increase employee benefits, some employers are deciding to offer their employees a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical insurance along with a few ancillary benefits that provide a positive return on investment (ROI).  While it may be challenging to quantify the return on certain ancillary benefits initially, voluntary benefits enable employers to offer access to coverage with partial or full employee-paid options that may help to control their employer-paid benefits costs. One of the most popular voluntary benefits is vision insurance ; it is often seen as an affordable way to enhance employer benefits packages while meeting business objectives. 

Vision insurance is an affordable and convenient way to provide employees with access to a network of eye care professionals while offering coverage that reduces and possibly eliminates employee out-of-pocket costs for exams, materials and additional optical services. The benefits of vision insurance extend beyond corrective materials and services. It is instrumental in helping meet health and well-being needs. Many employers understand that when it comes to the health and overall wellness of their employees, the ROI of benefits goes beyond traditional metrics and cost reductions; it extends into areas such as creating a healthy workplace culture, increasing productivity, improving job satisfaction and enhancing the quality of candidates for employment. 

Many employees have a limited perception of the benefits of vision insurance; through education and increased employee benefits communication, employers can help shift perception and help employees see how vision insurance can benefit them beyond corrective services and materials. The information below provides a few insights to help employees see the benefits of vision insurance more clearly.

Vision insurance helps increase productivity.

Almost 70 percent of adults in the United States experience some form of digital eye strain while using their electronic devices.   Employees may experience blurred vision, dry eyes, eyestrain, headaches and neck pain, which can result in decreased productivity, fatigue, an increase in errors, absenteeism, presenteeism and poor posture – significantly impacting workplace wellness.   

Other employees may experience some form of vision loss they believe they can manage because the deterioration may have only slightly impacted their daily routines. These employees may not be cognizant of how their vision loss is affecting their productivity at work. There may even be a few employees who need to wear safety eyewear and are removing their prescription glasses to accommodate a pair of non-prescription safety glasses. This leaves them open to an increased risk of accidental injury or a potential eye hazard because of their limited vision.

Poor vision directly correlates with decreased productivity. Even without any symptoms, with a comprehensive eye exam, an eye care professional can identify vision issues and make recommendations to protect and maintain eyesight. Employees need to see well to be productive and function at an optimal level. Vision insurance can make vision care more affordable and convenient for employees, increasing the likelihood that they will take the steps to get the corrective materials and services they need.  

Vision insurance helps manage many systemic conditions and diseases.

The eyes are the only place that blood vessels can be observed without surgery. They are also windows into overall health. With a comprehensive eye exam, your employees can learn whether they have early signs of many conditions and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, sickle cell anemia, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc. before they experience any symptoms or receive a definitive diagnosis from their primary care physician.  

Through the identification of health conditions and diseases in their early stages, employees can manage areas of concern by following their doctor’s orders and save money on potentially more serious medical expenses in the future. Preventive measures like comprehensive eye exams have proven to be far less expensive and more efficient than treatment of conditions and diseases in later stages of development. Vision insurance can make eye exams more affordable for employees and can ultimately result in reduced healthcare costs and/or disease management costs. 

Vision insurance boosts employee overall health and wellness.

Preventive care is essential to maintaining and improving overall health and well-being.  Even if your employees do not wear glasses or contacts and have not experienced any vision issues, it is important to take preventive measures to maintain their vision and overall health. Vision neglect can lead to blindness and delayed detection and diagnosis of major conditions and diseases. With increased participation in preventive care such as a comprehensive eye exam, your employees can potentially see a drop in overall illness rates and the number of conditions or diseases that require expensive treatment.  

Employee benefits communication plays a significant role in changing perceptions and empowering your employees to make well-informed decisions about their healthcare options. Vision insurance is a great addition to any benefits package. It is coverage that employees typically use for corrective services or materials purchases, or when they experience an issue with their eyesight. It provides employees with access to a network of conveniently located, credentialed eye care professionals and retail optical outlets. When looking at the overall benefits, vision insurance offers a lot more than just coverage that enables individuals to have healthy vision.  

Helping your employees see the benefits of vision insurance beyond corrective services may motivate them to enroll and use their coverage. It may also help them become more proactive about their health and well-being, using their eye exam benefits more regularly.  

Vision insurance is not only an investment in the health and well-being of your employees; it is also a way to improve workplace well-being, increase productivity, improve job satisfaction and enhance the quality of candidates for employment, while meeting your business objectives and goals.

About the Author 

Gene Sherman, DMD, MBA is Senior Vice President of business development and professional relations at AlwaysCare Benefits, Inc. and is actively involved with the National Association of Vision Care Plans. AlwaysCare offers and administers voluntary and employer paid benefits, including Vision, Dental, Critical Illness, Accident, Life, Disability and Limited Benefit Medial plans.  We make life a little easier for our members and administrators with one bill, one point of contact, one phone number, one customer service center and one website to manage their supplemental benefits. Contact Gene at GeneS@AlwaysCareBenefits.com.