Big Increase in Demand for Vision Benefits

More Employees Seeking Vision Employee Benefits from Employers

Optician testing patients sight
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A popular form of employee benefits offered is vision coverage. With Affordable Care Act mandates putting more strain on already expensive health insurance plans, the demand for lower cost group vision benefits has been increasing for many employees.

According to a study from LIMRA, the U.S. Worksite Sales survey, sales on vision insurance have increased by 24 percent in 2014. These sales also lead the category of worksite voluntary sales growth.

To go along with this, The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2014 Employee Benefits Survey found that 83 percent of employers now offer employees vision coverage.

Have Our Eyes Gotten Worse?

Is it possible that our eyes have gotten much worse over the last few decades? There is a possibility that the development of technology has actually hurt our eyes. Think about it: the longer we sit and stare at a computer screen, a TV screen or a smartphone; the more difficult it becomes for our eyes to focus on anything else.

The American Optometric Association​ reports that close to 90 percent of employees who work using a computer no less than three hours per day suffer from vision issues that can be traced back to computer eye strain. As technology developed over the last 15 years, our eyes might have had trouble keeping up with it.

Vision Benefits Important to Employers

As mentioned earlier, a majority of employers offer their employees vision insurance and that number continues to climb.

A major reason for this is that vision benefits help a company succeed. You might not realize it, but when employees have healthy eyes, they are able to do more while at work.

Healthier eyes make it easier for employees to see their projects, perform normal tasks and much more. When a company’s employees are able to see correctly, fewer mistakes are made, which means less time is required to fix those mistakes.

Healthy Eyes Make for Better Production

Employees who have healthy eyes will be able to produce stronger work and fewer mistakes, as mentioned earlier. So, what does this mean for your company’s bottom line? When you employ people who have healthy eyes, you are increasing your company’s production immediately. No longer do you have to pour over their work to check for mistakes, which could cost the company thousands of dollars in client money or overtime pay. Employees with healthy eyes will also make fewer dangerous mistakes, especially if you use heavy machinery on the job.

Encourage Healthy Vision

Aside from simply offering vision benefits to employees, companies can also encourage healthy vision habits. Remind employees that they should take 10-minute breaks from their computer screens every hour, but do not stare at a smartphone during that break. This will help the employee refresh their eyes and focus their brains. 

Getting regular vision exams and heading for the eye doctor immediately when eye problems arise are two ways to protect employee vision. 

Also, make sure that employees use proper lighting when working in front of computers or other screens so their eyes are not straining too much.

If you operate a dangerous workplace, such as a construction site or a loading facility, make sure your employees are wearing goggles when necessary. This will help to prevent workplace accidents.

Each May is the National Eye Institute's Healthy Vision Month across the country. Be sure to use the month of May each year to promote healthy vision while at work and at home. Also encourage your employees to take advantage of the vision benefits provided. 

Does your company offer employees vision benefits? If vision benefits are already part of the package, are they enough for your employees? Or, do they need more? Consider offering some sort of coverage for the family members of your employees too. Healthy vision is important in so many ways, not just to the success of your company.