Focus on vision benefits reflects increased interest in preventative health

Dive Brief:

  • Vision remains one of the top most desired benefits for potential employees, but only half of employers offer it as an option, Employee Benefit Adviser reports.
  • Of those employers that do offer vision coverage, more are packaging them as part of a holistic approach to health. Companies are focusing on preventative care to reduce overall costs and improve health, EBA reports. 
  • Employees who receive a yearly eye exam are more likely to receive early treatment for serious health conditions, thus improving health and reducing costs for employers. According to an HCMS study cited by EBA, employers who offer vision benefits save $5.8 billion over four years from productivity gains and lower turnover.

Dive Insight:

Vision benefits, a classic employer offering, have remained desirable even as the benefits landscape has exploded with variety. This data shows it has powerful effects on employee health overall or, at the very least, that it sends signals to employees about the organization's focus on wellness.

More employers are looking to preventative health programs to improve wellness overall, as simply going to the doctor once a year and receiving proper screenings can help ensure dangerous health issues are caught early — an outcome that is both excellent for employee health and good for employer and employee wallets. As employers consistently seek out ways to live by their cultural values, wellness is often a good place to start.

Organizations lean heavily on wellness in this era of controversial healthcare policy, especially as uncertainty reigns in the legislative branch over the fate of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA strongly supports the implementation of wellness programs as a way to trim costs and improve health ROI, and it is unlikely that federal stance on such approaches will change, even if a replacement for the ACA ever passes. 

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Filed Under: Comp & Benefits