Time & Attendance
By David S. Karlin
Sep. 13, 2018
Employees who enroll in and use a voluntary or employer paid vision benefit plans can significantly reduce their out-of-pocket costs for eye care and eyewear.
Many do not realize that they also receive the added benefit of potentially diagnosing ocular and systemic conditions early on, which can result in optimal health outcomes plus a reduction of overall health plan costs.
A comprehensive eye examination from an eye care professional can detect the signs and symptoms of many medical conditions. National Vision Administrators has seen this firsthand, as we analyzed a sample of our 2017 diagnosis codes and discovered that a significant proportion were for non-ocular systemic diagnoses.
The main systemic conditions discovered in this data were diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol (heart disease and diabetes alone cost the U.S. $564 billion per year, according to studies). Early identification of patients with signs of chronic disease drives early intervention, improving quality of life and reducing health care expenditures.
Making the connection for employees between eye examinations and overall health is an important factor, but so is the high cost of eyeglasses. According to the National Association of Vision Care Plans, the average cost of eyeglasses (lenses and frames) is more than $260.
Tack on the cost of a comprehensive eye examination ($110) and you’re looking at a total cost nearing $400. Most vision benefit plans cover comprehensive eye examinations in full or with a minimal copay when an in-network eye doctor is used.
As open enrollment time is rapidly approaching, help your employees value their vision benefit plan with these three suggestions.
Most vision benefit plan administrators offer communication materials to share with employees. With their help and the use of multiple methods and different outlets, benefits and HR practitioners can mount a successful education campaign. It’s well worth the effort.
David S. Karlin is an insurance industry veteran with 30 years of management experience in vision and prescription drug plan administration. He currently serves as president of National Vision Administrators, Benecard Services, and Heartland Fidelity Insurance Co. Comment below or email email@example.com.
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