eye vision insuranceAlthough there is a strong interest in company-provided vision insurance, our country’s aging workforce isn’t taking full advantage of it, according to an annual Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits survey conducted by Transitions Optical, Inc.

This unfortunate reality means that employees are missing out on a critical preventive eye care opportunity and leaving themselves at a higher risk for vision problems, eye diseases and other conditions that can impact eye health and compromise productivity, according to a press release. Baby Boomers (ages 45-64) are only slightly more likely than younger employees to enroll in their vision plan (79 percent vs 75 percent). Similarly, 34 percent of Baby Boomers and 23 percent of those ages 65+ who enroll don’t even utilize their benefit to receive a comprehensive eye exam.

“A quality vision benefit is important for everyone, but especially for employees ages 45 and older, who are more likely to experience vision problems that hurt job performance,” said Pat Huot, director, managed vision care, Transitions Optical. “This age group also has a higher risk for developing costly eye diseases and whole body conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, all of which can be detected through comprehensive eye care, and addressed with the right eyewear to correct, enhance and protect vision.”

With ongoing medical cost concerns among employers and employees alike, our survey findings have flagged a serious lost opportunity to help lower potential healthcare [costs] and boost productivity.”

While the survey showed a slight improvement over previous studies, “not having vision or eye health problems” remained the most commonly cited reason for not enrolling in a vision plan, indicating a continued lack of understanding of the importance of preventative eye care.

Too often I see patients who have been paying for a vision plan not come in and take advantage of their benefit.