Routine eye exams can uncover serious health concerns, many of which are costly to manage and detrimental to one’s health. But 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 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 and discovering 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.
Vision Care and Your Business
Vision care is not only essential to the health of your employees, it is also vital to your business. Employees at any age can experience vision-related health concerns that may impact your health plan budget and infringe on their productivity. Workers of all ages may experience vision stress, which can lead to consistent headaches, the inability to focus, blurred vision and a loss of concentration, according to the American Optometric Association. However, by offering vision insurance benefits to employees and encouraging them to take advantage of the benefit and maintain consistent care, they can reduce their risks of developing the conditions listed above.
The Vision Insurance Payoff
According to a recent VSP® Vision Care study known as the VSP Eye Health Management Program, regular eye care yields a large payoff. The study required eye care professionals to report patient cases with early symptoms of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy, hypertension, corneal arcus (linked to high cholesterol), macular degeneration and glaucoma. The study found that eye examinations uncovered diabetes 20 percent of the time, hypertension 30 percent of the time and high cholesterol 65 percent of the time before the individual’s other health care providers detected the problems. Early detection of these conditions led to the following:
- Lower medical care and medication costs because later detection care is typically much more costly.
- The cost for short-term disability, long-term disability and workers’ compensation was lower when conditions were detected early.
- Individuals were more likely to remain employed a year after the condition was discovered because the health issue was easier to manage and required less treatment when discovered in its early stages.
Researchers concluded that for every dollar invested in vision insurance for eye exams, employers were reaping an additional 94 cents in value. The biggest savings resulted from the early detection of diabetes.
Connecting with your employees on the value of vision care and vision insurance is an integral part of maintaining a healthy workforce. By offering this benefit and subsequently encouraging individuals to utilize eye preventive care services, they may detect more dangerous conditions far earlier, which could save your organization money and your employees’ health in the long run.