Routine eye exams can uncover serious health concerns, many of which can be costly to manage and detrimental to one’s health. However, many employees are reluctant to undergo routine vision checkups simply due to the cost. To encourage your employees to have regular eye exams, consider offering vision insurance as part of your benefits package.
Many times, optometrists can detect conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol before your employee or his or her primary care doctor is even aware of any such concerns.
- Diabetes: Causes diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to vision problems if it is left untreated. Optometrists can easily identify diabetes when examining the blood vessels of the eye—one of the symptoms is bleeding in the back of the eye.
- Hypertension: Optometrists can detect hypertension by looking at how the blood vessels of the eye cross one another. If certain patterns become evident, high blood pressure is likely the cause.
- High Cholesterol: This condition causes plaque to get stuck in the forks of the blood vessels in the back of the eye.
Types of Group Vision Insurance Plans
Vision insurance plans are designed to provide routine preventive care, such as eye exams, eyewear and other vision services at a reduced rate. This benefit is typically offered in one of two forms for employees:
- Offered through a vision benefits package: Provides vision care to employees in exchange for an annual premium or membership fee, yearly deductible or copayment.
- Offered through a discounted vision plan: Provides vision care at a fixed reduced rate after members pay an annual premium or membership fee and deductible.
Employees typically pay for the benefit through a payroll deduction. Plan design options generally include the following:
- Annual or biannual eye exams (including dilation) covered in full.
- Eyeglass frames and lenses (glass or plastic; single vision; lined bifocal and lined trifocal). Amount covered depends on the plan. Additional pairs along with scratch-resistant coating are also design options.
- Contact lens services. Amount covered and whether lenses are included depends on the plan.