You probably think of vision benefits as something only people with known eyesight problems really need. However, according to the National Association of Vision Plans, Americans with vision care insurance exhibit healthier eye care habits overall. And since we can all develop health issues with our eyes (even if we don’t have a history of vision problems), regular checkups are important for everyone. These checkups can keep your employees healthy, help them manage overall healthcare costs, and even prevent time lost from work due to events ranging from severe headaches to eye surgery.
According to the study, 62 percent of people with vision benefits had an eye exam within the last year. A whopping 90 percent planned to see the eye doctor at some point next year. Meanwhile, only 40 percent of people without a vision care plan had visited an eye care professional in the preceding 12 months, and only 67 percent said they would probably make an appointment within the next year.
In other words, people with vision benefits tend to visit eye care professionals much more often than those who do not have this type of insurance. That information probably does not surprise you. However, what might surprise you is the fact that eye care providers tend to be the first line of defense against many diseases and chronic conditions. And since early detection of some problems can lead to a faster and easier resolution, vision care benefits can actually lower overall long-term health care costs.
In fact, 5.6 percent of all chronic conditions are first identified by a comprehensive eye exam. Imagine how long those conditions might have gone untreated! Many chronic conditions must progress much farther before they are noticed by the patient or his primary care physician, at which point the condition could be much more difficult and expensive to treat.
Regular vision care also helps those with vision problems to receive up-to-date prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses. Using outdated corrective lenses can result in chronic headaches, and advancements in technology can help to ward off problems that would otherwise develop from wearing old contact lenses. Vision problems can also develop as we age, so even those who have never experienced difficulties should visit an eye care professional regularly for early detection of nearsightedness and other conditions.
For more information on vision care benefits, give us a call. We can help you determine if adding vision care to your roster of employee benefits would be a useful and cost-saving measure for your employees.