Vision benefits are growing more important – and more popular – as brokers continue to respond to client demand and highlight high-value plans.
“Employees have their eyes set on vision insurance, as sales have increased close to 25% since 2013 and are leading the pack in worksite voluntary sales growth,” writes Nick Otto for Employee Benefit News. And, 83 percent of employers offer vision, the Society of Human Resource Management found, “and five-year trends show an increase in the percentage of organizations offering vision insurance.”
Improving vision coverage can serve as an important recruitment and retention tool. However, it can also encourage overall wellness, and therefore, keep clients’ costs down and round out their total health coverage. Combine an aging workforce and constant use of digital technology, and you’ll see the importance of good vision at work.
Providing vision coverage is becoming crucial for employers who want their employees to be able to do their jobs, writes Andrea Davis for Employee Benefit Adviser. “An aging workforce, coupled with demands for the latest eyewear fashions, is putting pressure on employer-sponsored vision benefits,” she writes. “As employees age, the likelihood of needing glasses increases. And with eyewear being increasingly viewed as a fashion accessory, employers are seeing increased demand for up-to-date vision benefits.”
And while modern vision plans may help keep employees happy, they may also keep enrollees healthy and therefore, employer costs lower. Vision insurance offers a great return on investment, Elizabeth Galentine writes for Employee Benefit Adviser, as they return $1.45 for every $1 spent.
Regular eye exams can promote overall health and offer early disease detection, she writes. “A VSP study of 120,000 of its members found that, over a four-year period, eye doctors were the first to detect signs of diabetes 34 percent of the time,” she writes. “For hypertension, it was 39 percent, and for cholesterol it was 62 percent of the time.” This is especially true when plans allow eye doctors and other physicians to share information about their shared patients.
Advisers can offer clear value in this area, Galentine writes. “Advisers who excel in the vision field do the best job of making the connection between vision and medical plans,” she writes, showing clients how they can work together to create a complete health plan. Plus, the cost of vision coverage has remained relatively stable even as the cost of medical care rises, writes Sarah Sipek for Workforce. “The relatively low cost of dental and vision plans means that continuing to offer coverage should be a no-brainer,” she writes.