It’s one thing to offer vision care to clients, but another to get members to use the plan as intended. While vision care is a key component of most health care coverages, it is often underutilized by members.

This issue not only affects individual well-being, but also company productivity and expenses, says Elizabeth Klunk, RN, BSN, CCM-R, and Versant Health’s senior vice president of medical management.

“Employers should clearly communicate the benefits and value of vision care and how it connects to overall health and wellness,” she says, citing that undiagnosed problems can quickly lead to larger issues, which can cascade into impacting different areas of an individual’s life.

Klunk says emphasizing the value of eye exams is critical not only to vision care, but overall health care, noting that more than 30 medical conditions are identified through routine eye exams. These low-cost exams can often catch medical conditions before they become advanced or chronic, connecting individuals to the medical system even earlier and reducing treatment costs.

And while managing optical wellness is important, it can also carry over to the workplace, and specifically, the company’s bottom line.

“If an individual is not at their optimal health and wellness, they won’t be able to produce as well at work, and of course, medical costs will be higher,” she says.

Klunk notes that uncorrected vision problems, such as near and farsightedness, or the need for progressive lenses, can have an impact on the global economy to the tune of $272 billion in lost productivity annually.

Press play to hear more about the link between optical care and overall health, gender disparities in vision care and the financial considerations of underutilized vision coverage.

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