Why Poor Vision Care Coverage Plans Cost Employers Directly and Indirectly

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As an employer, you know that it’s your responsibility to provide a safe and comfortable workplace. 

Appropriate vision care can prevent workplace injuries and deterioration of vision caused by eye strain from work activities (e.g. extended screen use). Ensuring employees access to vision care services consistent with the standard of care can mitigate direct and indirect costs of poor vision to you, yet vision care benefits often fall short of the standard of care. 

Poor vision care benefit plans costs you: 

Directly: Employees with sub-optimal vision are likely to make increased claims in other areas with better coverage such as prescription drugs, absence, short- and long-term disability, chiropractic and massage care.  

Indirectly: Employees with vision loss are likely to be less productive, have higher absenteeism and retire earlier than other employees.18 

Why You Shouldn’t Lose Sight of Vision Care Benefits

As an employer, we encourage you to take a closer look at the vision care benefits you provide your employees.  We understand the need to contain costs in other areas of health benefits such as drugs, dental and disability but our research indicates that there is significant value in modernizing your vision care benefits plan.

Here’s why: 

Vision Care Benefits Can Improve Employee Satisfaction and Retention Research shows that only 15% of Canadians are satisfied with their vision care benefits and 21% describe their vision care benefits plan as “poor” or “very poor” so vision care benefits are but one of the many ways you can attract and retain quality employees.  
You Can Optimize Value For Money in Vision Care We understand that you might perceive an increase in vision care benefits as a dollar-for-dollar increase in spending on fashionable frames and lenses but poor vision ends up costing employers more in other benefit lines and indirectly in the form of:
  • impaired productivity
  • presenteeism
  • absenteeism
  • mental health

It’s estimated that nearly 1 million Canadians missed work or school because of vision care problems in 2016.1

A survey of American adults found that 90% reported that visual disturbances are negatively impacting their work.2

1. Canadian Association of Optometrists. The Federal Role in Eye Health and Vision Care Ottawa 2017. [updated May 4, 2017]. Available from: https://opto.ca/sites/default/files/resources/documents/federal_role_in_vision_care_final_print.pdf.

2. Wakefield Research. Transitions Optical Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits Arlington VA 2018. [cited November 5, 2019]. Available from: http://healthysightworkingforyou.org/profSeeWell.aspx.


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