Offering access to vision benefits is the first step employers can take toward ensuring a happier and healthier workforce—but reinforcing the importance of utilizing these benefits is just as important. The message that regular eye exams can serve as a preventive health measure resonates well with both employers and employees—so offering ample education on this topic is important.
We’ve been taking great strides to place a strong emphasis on the importance of vision benefit education. Our vision loss simulator lets users experience sight the way people with various vision diseases or conditions experience it. Users, for example, can view an everyday backyard scene and see what it looks like through the eyes of someone with glaucoma, cataract, diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration. Users can even see how glare—which can be alleviated with the right eyewear options—can affect healthy sight. The simulator illustrates the moments the viewer will miss as they click through each condition and move through the scene. The simulator can be viewed on desktop, mobile or through a virtual reality experience at versanthealth.com/visionloss—making it easy for employers to share with their employees.
Premium vision benefits save employers money
Early detection and treatment of vision problems and eye or overall health issues can ultimately lead to significant savings for both employers and employees—in terms of money spent and increased productivity. In fact, the Vision Council estimates that employers can gain as much as $7 for every $1 spent on vision coverage.
To help employers calculate the savings possible with a premium vision benefit, Davis Vision—in partnership with Transitions Optical—offers a Vision Plan ROI Estimator. Found at davisvision.com/medicalsavings, the online calculator allows employers to input their workforce’s demographics by age, gender and ethnicity. The tool shows how comprehensive eye exams—that provide early diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases and health issues—can lead to cost savings. It also shows how selecting premium eyewear options—such as photochromic lenses and anti-reflective or no-glare coatings—can enhance and protect an employee’s vision. At the end of the calculator, employers can see the total potential savings for their workforce.
We also offer an individual Sight on Savings Calculator that can be shared directly with employees. Found at davisvision.com/whatsmyrisk, employees can enter their demographic information to learn more about their eye health risks and the time, money and sight they can save through a premium vision benefit.
Premium vision benefits boost employee productivity
Premium vision benefit offerings can also boost overall employee productivity—saving time at work and even potentially avoiding sick days due to headaches and other vision-related problems. Visual disturbances are extremely common among employees. In fact, nearly three out of four employees (74 percent) say that visual disturbances bother them at work. Vision problems and disturbances—such as eyestrain and fatigue—can lead to employees taking extra breaks and time away from work. Nearly half (45 percent) of employees admit to taking breaks during the day to rest their eyes, and 38 percent say they do so multiple times each day.
One common problem among today’s workers is bright light or glare, including light reflecting off of a computer screen or surface. Today’s premium vision packages offer coverage of or discounts on lens options that can alleviate glare—and related eyestrain, fatigue and headaches. Anti-reflective lenses, for example, provide glare protection. Photochromic lenses take this a step further—changing their level of tint outdoors to offer added protection against glare. Many photochromic lenses also offer protection against UV rays and harmful blue light—indoors and out.
Setting your sights on vision benefits and showing your clients the possible savings through premium offerings can help reinforce that you have their best interest and bottom line at heart.
But while this protection is important to employees, many do not understand how their plans work or what exactly they cover—and they want this information from their employers and their vision plans. In fact, nine out of 10 (93 percent) of employees say that their vision care plan should provide information on how certain lenses can protect their eyes – like lenses that help protect against harmful light or reduce eye fatigue and glare.
Harmful blue light, often associated with electronic devices and screens, is present both indoors and outdoors with the sun being the largest singular source. Long-term exposure to harmful blue light has been linked to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Exposure to harmful blue light can also reduce contrast and lead to eyestrain and fatigue. However, less than one in five employees know that the largest source of blue light is the sun, creating an opportunity for employers to educate their employees about lens technologies that can help protect against harmful blue light.
Many vision plans and companies offer complimentary education on the various eyewear options available to help enhance and protect vision. HealthySightWorkingforYou.org, for example, offers information as well as resources that employers and employees can access directly.
Setting your sights on vision benefits and showing your clients the possible savings through premium offerings can help reinforce that you have their best interest and bottom line at heart. Be sure to take advantage of complimentary resources and tools to position yourself as an expert and help your clients uncover tailored information about the needs of their specific workforce and potential savings possible through a vision benefit.