How much do they cost your company? With costs starting at as little as $5 per month per employee, vision benefits pay big dividends in improved morale, health, and productivity.
Employers can provide vision benefits through group vision insurance or a discount vision plan.
Group vision insurance works like other employer-provided qualified benefits. Most plans cover exams, glasses, contact lenses, and more. You can also opt to include dependent coverage as well as coverage for popular vision-correction services, such as LASIK.
A discount vision plan is not insurance but gives members discounts on eye care services from participating providers. Members (or their employers) pay an annual membership fee and receive a card that entitles them to discounts.
No-cost benefits with voluntary plans. You can structure your vision benefits to be either employer-paid or voluntary, in which participating employees pay the entire cost. A voluntary plan gives your employees the advantage of group pricing and convenient payroll deduction payments, at absolutely no cost to your firm.
An estimated 11 million Americans have uncorrected vision problems, ranging from refractive errors (near- or far-sightedness) to sight-threatening diseases such as glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration. Vision insurance encourages people to take care of their vision and health. Regular eye examinations can also identify other health conditions, such as diabetes, that can affect the eyes even before an individual experiences noticeable symptoms.
Vision insurance plans have a yearly deductible for each enrolled member, and a co-payment each time a member accesses a service. Vision insurance generally covers the following basic services:
- Annual eye examinations, including dilation
- Eyeglass frames
- Eyeglass lenses
- Contact lenses
- LASIK and PRK vision correction at discounted rates.
For those who don’t have employer-provided medical benefits, many individual medical plans offer vision coverage as an add-on. You can also buy a separate individual vision insurance policy.
Discount Vision Plans
A discount vision plan gives members access to discounts on eyecare services at fixed discounted rates after an annual premium or membership fee. The participant pays the total bill, less the applicable discount, at the time of service. Members must use eyecare providers who agree to discount fees. Unlike insurance plans, discount plans do not contract with providers, who may decline to accept the card at any time. For those who do not have vision insurance, however, a discount vision plan can offer valuable savings.
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