The Optics on Vision Coverage
Did you know? 5.5 million Canadians have a
major eye disease that could lead to vision loss.
The 2016 Sanofi Healthcare Survey revealed that the optics on vision coverage are not looking good. The results indicated that only 35 percent of surveyed plan members rated their vision coverage as excellent or very good and 21 percent of plan members described their vision coverage as poor or very poor. While this may be acceptable for less conventional benefits, the survey also found that 91% of total respondents stated that vision coverage was somewhat or very important to them, positioning it as the third most important benefit to plan members, just below prescription drugs and dental.
Typical Vision Coverage
The average range of spending limits for a typical vision care plan is between $100 and $400 for both eye exams and glasses and/or contact lenses, every two years. This level of coverage subsidizes vision claims for employees and eligible dependents, but is rarely capable of covering the full expense for plan members in need. The most common argument against more comprehensive vision coverage is that plan members have the ability to prepare and save money for vision-related expenditures. While this may be true, it also creates a cost-barrier for plan members to properly address their vision-related health concerns. An issue that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the digital era, where a growing number of occupations require employees to spend countless hours in front of a computer each day.
What can be done?
At first glance, the most obvious solution may be to provide your employees with a more comprehensive vision plan. However, adequate levels of coverage for glasses and contact lenses tends to be a costly benefit to insure under traditional plans. Plan sponsors may wish to preserve the medically necessary coverage for eye exams under the core benefits plan and provide a more flexible Health Spending Account (HSA) to help offset other vision care expenses. HSA dollars can be used towards a number of different services that directly relate to personal health concerns, including vision care.
For additional information on Vision care coverage or HSA’s, please contact your Silverberg advisor.