Benefits of vision insurance
Vision care is not only essential to the health of your employees, it is also vital to your business. Employees at any age can experience vision-related health concerns that may impact your health plan budget and infringe on their productivity.
Workers of all ages may experience vision stress, which can lead to constant headaches, the inability to focus, blurred vision and a loss of concentration, according to the American Optometric Association. However, by offering vision insurance benefits to employees and encouraging them to take advantage of the benefits and to maintain consistent care, they can reduce their risks of developing the conditions such as: diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
Types of vision plans
Vision insurance plans are designed to provide routine preventive care, such as eye exams, eyewear and other vision services at a reduced rate. This benefit is typically offered in one of two forms for employees:
- Vision benefits package: Provides vision care to employees in exchange for an annual premium or membership fee, yearly deductible or copayment.
- Discounted vision plan: Provides vision care at a fixed reduced rate after members pay an annual premium or membership fee and deductible.
Vision plan design options
Employees typically pay for the benefit through a payroll deduction. Plan design options generally include the following:
Annual or biannual eye exams (including dilation) covered partially or in full.
Lenses and frames
Eyeglass frames and lenses (glass or plastic; single vision; lined bifocal and lined trifocal). Amount covered depends on the plan. Additional pairs along with scratch-resistant coating are also design options.
Contact lens services. Amount covered and whether lenses are included depends on the plan.
Eye care program
Plan design value-added benefits may include a primary eye care program, laser vision care program and a low vision program.
Laser vision care
Laser vision care programs generally include coverage levels for a complimentary screening, pre-operative exam, surgery, post-operative exams and enhancement follow-up surgery.
Other design options include computer vision care and safety plans that provide members with prescription eyewear that is in compliance with ANSI and OSHA safety guidelines. Common exclusions include replacement of lenses, frames or contacts, medical or surgical treatment, orthotics, vision training, experimental vision services, treatments and materials.
How can eye exams uncover health concerns?
Routine eye exams can uncover serious health concerns, many of which can be costly to manage and detrimental to one’s health. However, many employees are reluctant to undergo routine vision checkups simply due to the cost. To encourage your employees to have regular eye exams, consider offering vision insurance as part of your benefits package.
Many times, optometrists can detect conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol before your employee or his or her primary care doctor is even aware of any such concerns.
- Diabetes: Causes diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to vision problems if it is left untreated. Optometrists can easily identify diabetes when examining the blood vessels of the eye—one of the symptoms is bleeding in the back of the eye.
- Hypertension: Optometrists can detect hypertension by looking at how the blood vessels of the eye cross one another. If certain patterns become evident, high blood pressure is likely the cause.
- High Cholesterol: This condition causes plaque to get stuck in the forks of the blood vessels in the back of the eye.