As a small business owner, or HR decision-maker, you want to provide the best benefits package possible for your employees so they can continue to perform their best, remain productive and feel valued. Offering top-notch benefits can also help if you’re seeking new talent to join your company. One great way to help support these goals is by including vision insurance in your package, which can be inexpensive and easy to implement while providing significant tangible benefits that impact workers’ on and off-the-job performance.
If you’re interested in offering competitive benefits that attract and retain talent, vision insurance is an option worth considering. Vision insurance can help your employees cover the costs of eye exams, glasses, contact lenses and more. And, best of all, it’s usually quite affordable for employers. So if you’re looking for a way to improve your employees’ health and wellbeing, consider adding this benefit. Read on to learn how offering comprehensive vision coverage could be the right fit for your specific organization.
According to the 2022 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey, Health-related benefits are a top priority for employees, with 88% ranking them as extremely important, so companies looking to make an impactful difference in their employees’ experience should definitely prioritize their health and wellness programs. Did you know that, according to The Vision Council’s report, about 75% of adults in America use vision correction? With a statistic that high, it couldn’t be more important to consider your employees’ eye health needs as a part of your overall benefits package.
The Value of Vision Insurance
A HCMS Group study found that investing in vision benefits is actually an excellent way for companies to maximize their ROI. They discovered that every dollar spent on vision benefits yields $1.45 of value, including lower overall healthcare costs, increased workplace productivity and reduced employee turnover rates. Vision insurance is just good business.
The financial value of investing in eye health for employees and businesses is clear, but the health benefits it screens could also lead to more savings for employers. Annual eye exams are more than just an opportunity to check one’s vision – they provide medical staff with a chance to detect emerging health issues early, before health care for them becomes costly. A comprehensive optical check-up can help identify signs of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and more. Finding these issues early on means less long term medical costs down the line for your company.
In the same HCMS Group study, patients whose chronic conditions were identified through an eye exam had a reduced need for medication after their diagnosis and experienced a remarkable 26.7% decrease in emergency room visits and hospital admissions compared to those with diseases discovered by other healthcare providers. Vision benefits produced savings of up to $3,120 per employee over the four years recorded.
Vision Insurance Is A Highly Sought Benefit
By monitoring and recognizing potential ailments through eye exams and other health and wellness initiatives, organizations benefit from healthier employees and lower healthcare premiums – making preventive care a sound investment.
Despite this increased value, LIMRA found only 47% of employers with 10 or more employees offer vision insurance as a part of their benefits package. So if you decide to offer this highly-sought after benefit, it will also help your business stand out in today’s competitive labor market. Top talent is seeking the most attractive benefit package right along with salary. You can bet they are also considering health and vision when weighing the pros and cons between jobs.
Vision insurance is an offering that is right up there with health care in terms of demand and utilization. By choosing to invest in this voluntary benefit, you’re ensuring a workplace where team members have access to quality visual care, setting them up for less sick days and for long-term success.
Desk Work Could Lead To Poor Eye Health
About 80% of Americans work sedentary jobs, most involve sitting and working on a computer. All this staring at screens for the majority of the workday could cause eyestrain, an ailment that leads to headaches, sore neck and shoulders, blurred vision, sore eyes, increased sensitivity to light and difficulty concentrating.
As an employer, if your team is working remotely or focuses on screens most of the time it’s extremely crucial to provide access to eye doctors.
Computer Vision Syndrome
The American Optometric Association reports, “The average American worker spends seven hours a day on the computer either in the office or working from home.” The eyes work extremely hard when focusing on a computer, tablet or mobile screen and this long-term effort could result in an even more severe form of eyestrain known as computer vision syndrome (CVS).
CVS is exacerbated by digital screen glare, poor lighting, uncorrected vision problems, bad posture and sitting too close to screens. Symptoms, though usually temporary, include severe headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain.
A comprehensive eye exam is the only way to diagnose computer vision syndrome.
Preventing Eyestrain and Computer Vision Syndrome
In order to prevent eyestrain and it’s more severe counterpart, computer vision syndrome, The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends:
- Positioning yourself an arm’s length away from monitor, gazing slightly downward
- Increasing the contrast on screens
- Using the “20-20-20” rule. So shifting the eyes to look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds, every 20 minutes
These recommendations along with routine eye care can help ease the plight of eyestrain and keep your employees’ eye health in pristine shape.
What is Blue Light?
Johns Hopkins defines blue light as, “high energy visible light ray that is given off by the sun, as well as human-made sources such as fluorescent lighting and the LED light emitted by digital screens.” Computers, phones, tablets and tvs all emit blue light, but the American Academy of Ophthalmology doesn’t recommend blue light glasses for use yet because of the limited availability of data regarding their benefit.
Esen Karamursel Akpek, M.D, an expert at Johns Hopkins, believes that blue light does not cause eyestrain because the cornea is able to block excessive blue light.
However, despite the limited data, some began wearing blue light glasses during the COVID-19 pandemic as many Americans worked remotely, (Google Trends data shows a spike in searches for “blue light glasses”in late April 2020 and then an even higher peak in September of 2020).
How Much Does Vision Insurance Cost?
The cost of vision insurance for small businesses is often inexpensive, with the average cost of plans ranging from $5-$10 per month per employee.There are also a variety of carriers to choose from: VSP, EyeMed, United Healthcare and Delta Dental, to name a few.
Coverage is usually very broad and gives access to more in-network doctors. Eye exams and prescription lenses, and either glasses or contacts, depending on the individual’s needs, are typically covered. Vision insurance can save your employees hundreds, or possibly thousands, of dollars each year on those eye-related expenses. There are also more comprehensive and expensive plans that cover the cost of corrective vision procedures like LASIK surgery.
Educating Your Employees About Vision Benefits
Once you’ve elected to offer vision insurance as a part of your benefits package, it’s important to provide your staff with a summary of all of their benefits. This resource lets your team know what’s covered, which providers they can visit, and how much premiums will cost, plus they can refer to it over and over again, thus freeing up time for your HR department.
Group vision insurance is an important benefit for employees, and it’s one that can be easily, and affordably, added to your benefits package. The return on investment is proven to be worth the added expense and will actually save you more money in the long run! Happy, healthy employees are much more likely to remain loyal to your business, which also reduces your turnover.
We understand that choosing the right vision or health plan can be time-consuming, so we’re happy to walk you through the process and help you find the best possible coverage for your team. Contact us today at (888) 658-2374 or enter your zip code in the bar above to get started. We’ll give you a free, personalized quote and compare every carrier in your area to find the best quality plan within your budget.