Employers Challenged by Poor Optics of Employee Vision Coverage

group benefit plan

A Sanofi Canada health-care survey in 2016 found that employees rank vision care third in importance to them after prescription drugs and dental coverage. However, only 35% said that their vision-care benefits are good or very good. The reason is many plan managers have not increased vision-care benefits to match the increases in eye-care, glasses, contact lenses, and the growing demand for laser eye surgery. In some cases, eye-care amounts have been static for years. 

Not good optics for Companies

In many plans, eye-care spending limits range from $100 – $400 per person every two years. A very basic pair of prescription glasses might be around $200 but for designer frames, the cost is more like $600 to $800. If the employee needs Progressive lenses, then the cost of the glasses goes $1000. Most plans will cover the cost of basic lenses for the glasses, but not the frames.

However, the cost of eye-care goes beyond glasses, contact lenses, or eye surgery. Eye exams are an additional cost. Exams now run around $100 to $150 range. According to the CNIB, it is possible to prevent vision loss with regular eye exams which can detect diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and early-stage diabetic retinopathy.

So, the overall gap between eye-care benefits and the actual costs is problematic for most employees. 

What can employers do?

The cost of pharmaceuticals, dental care, and eye-care have been on a steep rise and benefits managers have been more focused on trying to keep up with increased costs of medications and dental care. It may be time to focus on eye-care.

Health Spending Accounts offer one of the best ways to address eye-care. Rather than increasing the benefit amounts for glasses, contact lenses or eye surgery, increasing the amount of the Health Spending Accounts places the employees in charge of managing their benefits, and ultimately, this is a more cost-effective solution for employers. Employees need to understand how best to use their Health Spending Accounts, how to submit claims and how to leverage their spend on eye-care by combining the eye-care benefits with funds from the Health Spending Account. 

The goal is to provide employees with the flexibility they need and the benefit levels they want in order to feel satisfied with their benefits. This goal has to be matched with the return on investment for the employer in having a happier, healthier, more satisfied workforce.

At Health Risk Services, we have many years of experience in helping benefits managers revise their benefits plans to incorporate Health Spending Accounts. We know how to find the best possible solution for both the employees and the employer in crafting benefit plans.  We would like you to know more about how Health Risk Services can assist you with a 2021 plan to address changes to vision care benefits, so please schedule a Complimentary Consultation with us.

At Health Risk Services we will Empathize, Educate, and Empower you and your team in 2021! 

To schedule your Complimentary Consultation with Health Risk Services, please call 403-236-9430 OR email: [email protected]