A routine exam is not only an “early detection” strategy for eye health, but overall health as well. Research shows that a regular eye exam can identify a number of medical conditions, often before patients even know they have the disease. In fact, one study found that a routine eye exam found signs of chronic disease long before any other health professional had noted the condition. Specifically, they found signs of high cholesterol 65 percent of the time, high blood pressure 30 percent of the time, and diabetes 20 percent of the time. In fact, 20 percent of people first learn that they are diabetic through the results of an eye exam.
Early detection and treatment of vision impairment, eye disease and chronic health conditions leads to improved quality of life and reduced healthcare costs. Without these early screenings, individuals and organizations run the risk of higher medical costs in the long run due to lack of disease management. Yet many people do not prioritize annual eye exams.
Versant Health’s Vision Wellness Study found that just over half of people get an eye exam annually, with another 18 percent getting an exam every two years. False perceptions about the affordability of both receiving care and purchasing insurance are stopping people from obtaining routine care. Patients want and need more information about the true costs of getting—and not getting—a routine eye exam.
Here’s one way to think about it: Purchasing a copy of coffee each day can cost an individual more than $1,000 a year. Yet the true annual cost of vision care is $177.40* — making it a true bargain.
The Vision Impact Institute found that uncorrected vision problems cost the global economy nearly $272 billion in lost productivity. Offering managed vision care is the first step employers can take toward ensuring a happier, healthier and more productive workforce—and ultimately leads to significant savings for them and their employees. In fact, estimates suggest that employers can gain as much as $7 for every $1 spent on vision coverage. Keeping your workforce healthier can potentially reduce sick days and visual problems that impact work, as well as lower the costs of treating chronic health conditions.
Providing vision benefits is an important investment in your workforce and your bottom line.
*Eye exams and glasses, with coverage through visionplans.com
- Cheung CY, et al. Retinal microvascular changes and risk of stroke. Stroke. 2013;44:2402-8.
- Based on visionplans.com (ZIP code: 57501) estimate as of Jan. 2020, which includes the monthly premium and eye exam + materials copays.