For most employers, the benefits of vision have been a ‘checkbox’ offering for over 50 years because there has been little to no innovation in this area. Employees usually choose between two fairly standard plans, with limited coverage, and might never take advantage of them at all, even if you pay between $ 5 and $ 25 per month to provide coverage.
As a result, a small fraction of the workforce uses their visual advantages to obtain glasses or contact lenses each year. Worse yet, employees looking to take advantage of the benefits for preventative but optional eyewear can’t even use their benefits at all, as these optional eyewear choices are not covered by traditional plans.
Instead of going with the status quo and ‘ticking the box’ with benefit plan offerings and not seeing a real return on your investment, here are seven reasons why delivering better vision benefits will help boost employee utilization, reduce benefit costs for employers and workers, and retain top employees.
1. Employees want to better benefits for vision.
A recent study showed that 87% of employees surveyed would be more likely to stay with a company that offers high-quality visual benefits, such as coverage of premium lens and frame options. Not only do the benefits of excellent vision contribute to employee retention, but research has repeatedly shown that access to high quality social benefits is a key factor applicants should consider when deciding whether or not to join. a new business. It should not be underestimated either that most employees would take a pay cut in exchange for better benefits, too.
2. Vision insurance cost variances affect most employees.
Not only do employees want strong vision plans for themselves, they also want to cut costs to cover their families as well. For a family of four with traditional vision insurance, the average price of a pair of glasses per year exceeds $ 400 at what is considered a 3,000% mark-up, even after using the traditional benefits of vision. view.
When you consider this 60% of Americans don’t have $ 1,000 in savings for emergency spendingIt’s no wonder that the high direct costs in the retail environment cause many employees to give up using their vision plans every year.
3. Employees significantly underutilize their visual benefits.
Due to the costs and coverage limits that employees have with traditional vision plans, only 14% of the workforce uses their vision benefits for eyeglasses and 10% uses their lens benefits. contact every year. Worse, only 25% of employees take advantage of free annual eye exams, which are proven to help prevent conditions like eye strain.
4. Most employees cannot take advantage of their workplace vision plan.
As Americans have recently moved from home to work and spent more time in front of their screens, the health implications of blue light are increasing; studies have negatively linked to everything from headaches to sleep disturbances. Most employees who do not need glasses but want to reduce eye strain and the effects of blue light have to pay out of pocket for optional anti-glare glasses, as traditional vision insurance plans do not cover them. .
5. Digital eye strain is a productivity killer.
As just mentioned, research shows that increasing screen time and reducing breaks hurt employee productivity due to the resulting eye problems. A discordant 79% of employees say this time spent on their devices impacts their work performance due to headaches, fatigue and problems concentrating. Headaches alone cause $ 17 billion in absenteeism, lost productivity and medical costs for businesses per year.
6. The cost of underutilized vision benefits to employers is enormous.
If employers are just âticking the boxâ and offering benefits that come with seeing the status quo, their workers are more than likely not maximizing their coverage. The cost of underutilized vision benefits to American employers is estimated to be more than $ 15 billion. Even though an employer can offer premium family plans, their workers are likely to be unsure of how to maximize their benefits or just be unhappy with the breadth of these offers because they can only choose one. pair of glasses or contact lenses per year.
7. Improving a vision plan actually saves an employer money.
By complementing a traditional vision benefit with a low-cost booster that increases employee access to frames, contact lenses, preventative virtual exams, elective glasses, and other benefits, an employer can earn $ 7 for every $ 1 investedand save over $ 2,700 per year per employee.
Although benefit programs have traditionally focused on health care programs, growing employee demand for more comprehensive vision care. As digital eye strain and other issues related to increased screen time on the rise, employers need robust visual benefit plans that all workers can tap into to stay healthy and productive. .
Antonio Moraes is CEO and co-founder of XP Health. He can be contacted at [email protected]
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