Most of my employees don’t wear glasses; is vision insurance a benefit I should be offering?

Short answer-yes, it is. Vision is crucial to the overall health of employees even if their eyesight is 20/20. Are you sure your staff don’t wear glasses?: The first thing to consider is, how do you know your staff doesn’t wear glasses? It seems likely that a high proportion of them will require some form […]

2018 HSA contribution limit

Short answer-yes, it is. Vision is crucial to the overall health of employees even if their eyesight is 20/20.

Are you sure your staff don’t wear glasses?:

The first thing to consider is, how do you know your staff doesn’t wear glasses? It seems likely that a high proportion of them will require some form of vision correction–roughly half the population does, according to the National Association of Vision Care Plans, as do 80 percent of those over age 45. Also, if your staff is spending two hours or more per day working on computers, they are at significant risk of suffering from vision problems associated with digital eyestrain.

Vision plans are not just about eye health:

The second thing to note is that vision plans are not just about eye health. During a routine eye exam, eye doctors may detect other serious health conditions, even when the patient is not experiencing any symptoms. These conditions include:

  • diabetes
  • cancer of the eye
  • glaucoma
  • hypertension
  • high cholesterol
  • multiple sclerosis
  • increased risk of stroke and heart disease
  • Failing to provide vision benefits might delay access to medical care for these conditions, which can lead to increased absenteeism and higher health care costs in the future.

    Which leads us to the third point–vision plans can have a serious positive impact on your bottom line.

    The financial impact of vision health:

    Each year, vision disorders account for more than $68 billion in direct healthcare costs and lost productivity, macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma increase significantly in those over 40 ) across the United States. Even slight vision problems can reduce productivity by up to 20 percent. That’s because workers with poor vision typically require additional time to complete tasks and may put out a decreased quality of work. Productivity is of particular concern among older workers, as the risk of presbyopia (trouble focusing on objects at varying distances.

    The cost of providing preventative eye care? Vision coverage remains a cost-effective benefit, especially when compared to annual premiums for an employer-sponsored health plan. For instance, annual dollars** per employee for a premium vision benefits package typically falls within the **$150-$200 range, depending on the plan you choose and your state of residence, compared with $6,025 for single coverage medical insurance.

    For these and other reasons, it’s worth including vision as part of the healthcare discussion even if your workers are apparently blessed with perfect vision.

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