Getting routine eye examinationscan boost employee productivity and ultimately the employer'sbottom line. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Are you talking about vision benefits when reviewing your client'soverall health package? It may be an afterthought, but a visionbenefit is a valuable asset to include in your benefit plan. Hereare five ways to get the conversation going with your clients.

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1. Employees want it! According to the 2016Annual Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits survey conducted byWakefield Research on behalf of Transitions Optical, eight in 10people chose to enroll in employer-sponsored vision plans. Thesurvey also found that it's the only benefit to experience ayear-over-year increase in enrollment.

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Related: Dental and vision trends focus on preventivehealth

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2. It boosts productivity for employers.Employers gain as much as $7 for every $1 they spend on visioncoverage. This is according to a study by doctors Kent Daum andKatherine Clore who further deduce that minor vision problems canreduce employee productivity by up to 20 percent.Workers with impaired vision may take longer time in completingprojects. So, getting routine eye examinations can boost employeeproductivity and ultimately the employer's bottom line.

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3. Myopia (nearsightedness) is a growing health andeconomic concern. Forty two percent of the U.S.population is affected by myopia. A comprehensive eye examinationcan identify myopia; treatment is typically as simple as a pair ofprescription eyeglasses. However, a pair of eyeglasses can getexpensive. According to the National Association of Vision Careplans, the average cost of eyeglasses (lenses and frames) is nearly$263. Having a vision benefit can either eliminate or significantlyreduce this cost for members.

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4. Children learn better with clearervision. Your clients care about their members'children. A study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) linksuncorrected farsightedness (Hyperopia) in preschoolers to a lag inreading skills. Learning for many children begins in theseformative preschool years. According to the National Eye Institute,it's estimated that 4 to 14 percent of preschoolers have moderatehyperopia (farsightedness), which often goes undiagnosed anduntreated. Early intervention could lead to greater achievementslater in children's educational careers.

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5. Eye exams can be a prevention and detectiontool. Ocular health has been determined byscientists and physicians to be a key indicator in detecting earlystages of health risks in certain conditions such as diabetes,hypertension, high cholesterol, eye cancer, brain tumors, multiplesclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and eye diseases like cataractsand glaucoma.

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NVA analyzed a sample of its 2017 ICD-10 diagnosis codes anddiscovered that a significant proportion were for non-ocularsystemic diagnoses. The main systemic conditions discovered in thisdata were diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol (heartdisease and diabetes alone cost the U.S. $564 billion per year).Early identification of patients with signs of chronic diseasedrives early intervention, improving quality of life and reducinghealthcare expenditures for plan sponsors.

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It's clear that members want a vision benefit and that employergroups can improve productivity ad save money by offering a visionoption. Open enrollment is the ideal time to implement a visionbenefit.


Learn more about vision benefits:


Dr. Carl Moroff is EVP and Chief VisionOfficer at National Vision Administrators(NVA). Moroff is a managed vision care veteranwith nearly 40 years of experience in the vision and eye carefield.

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