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The value of vision: A broker’s role in providing comprehensive vision insurance

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Vision insurance brokers can earn anywhere from 2 to 15 percent on commission from premiums. But most importantly, you are providing clients with a vision plan that is a critical component of their overall health.

Before signing a client on to a new plan, you also need to know about the product you’re selling. Here is everything you need to know about the importance of the plan you can provide to clients:

The value of routine vision care

The Center for Disease Control found that of the estimated 61 million U.S. adults at high risk for vision loss, only half visited an eye care professional last year. Routine vision care is essential, not only for testing for 20/20 vision, but for putting in place preventative care to stop or slow the progression of vision loss.

Individuals may believe they don’t need a comprehensive eye exam if their vision isn’t changing or their routine physical exam already tests for worsening vision. The fact of the matter is, a typical vision screening can miss at least 50 percent of vision problems, according to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.

A comprehensive eye exam completed by an eye care professional can detect more than 25 diseases, ranging from common vision impairments like glaucoma and macular degeneration to autoimmune disorders. In fact, 20 percent of people first learn that they are diabetic as a result of an eye exam. When routine eye exams occur, it promotes early detection and treatment of potentially serious or chronic conditions.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology found an additional 13 percent of adults who reported having vision problems did not see an eye care professional for an eye exam. Again, this may be because they don’t understand how an eye exam could be beneficial, but it can also come down to cost. The CDC estimates that many people with vision problems don’t get eye exams because they can’t afford them or lack insurance.

When individuals have a comprehensive vision plan, they are more inclined to seek out the routine care they need that is essential for preventing and proactively treating diseases.

Eye care in stages of life

With aging and family changes, individuals typically require different coverage from their current vision plans, which they might not realize. Each stage of life offers a crucial moment for an individual’s eye health.

As a broker, you must understand what your clients need from a vision plan depending on their stage of life and family situation. Here’s a breakdown of some important facts:

Infancy: All About Vision reports that children should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. By then, their eyesight has improved and eye care professionals can run common tests and evaluate their vision.

Childhood: According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), up to 80 percent of a child’s learning in school is through vision. Yet, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development found that one in 10 children has a vision problem significant enough to impact learning. School-aged children should regularly receive an eye exam every two years.

Adulthood: Luckily, the AOA reports that most adults between the ages of 19 and 40 enjoy healthy eyes and good vision. They recommend investing in routine vision care and avoiding visual stress and injury to keep healthy vision into their next stage of life.

Senior: After age 40, eye health can begin to naturally decline. After age 75, vision impairment and blindness rapidly increase among all racial and ethnic groups, according to the CDC. Furthermore, some of the most serious eye conditions, like glaucoma and macular degeneration, are most commonly found in people over age 60.

It’s also important to note how lifestyle has affected eye health. The Vision Council found that nearly 80 percent of American adults report using digital devices more than two hours per day. Of those, 59 percent report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain.

What consumers want from a vision plan

Only 35 percent of employers offer vision insurance to their employees, reported Workfest. That’s simply not cutting it for the modern workforce that’s demanding better, more individualized benefits to fit their needs.

There’s a great opportunity to write employees into a completely new vision plan while educating them on the benefits of routine vision care. Lack of knowledge is one of the greatest factors contributing to insufficient investment in routine eye care. In fact, Vision Monday found that of employees not enrolled in their company’s vision plan, 53 percent would be more likely to enroll after learning about how an exam is an essential component of their overall health.

Employers should also take the time to reevaluate their approach to vision care. The same report found that 87 percent of employees would be more likely to stay at a company that offered high-quality vision benefits, such as coverage of premium lens and frame options.

A high-quality, comprehensive vision plan appeals to employees. They are more likely to engage with their plan when it offers what they need and are educated on its direct benefits to their wellness. Everything comes full circle; when individuals are educated on their insurance options, they are more engaged with their eye health, which benefits their overall health and productivity.

The broker’s role

As a broker, your work must be done in the interest of your clients to find the best vision plan for their immediate and long-term needs. It’s not just about signing them into a plan. You are also a wealth of knowledge, educating them on the benefits of routine eye care and answering any questions they may have on their plan.

Individuals are more interested in vision benefits than ever. When finding a provider to work with, make sure they are constantly evolving their offerings to meet the demand and needs of your clients.

Download our eBook “How to Sell Vision Insurance 101” to find out more about the basics of being a vision insurance broker.

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