Survey Says Employees Value Vision Benefits, But Desire Better Eyewear Coverage and Education

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SAN DIEGO—Vision benefits are a key component of an employer’s overall health benefit package for employees and just by offering vision coverage it could set companies apart and increase employee satisfaction, according to the findings of a new survey.

The 2017 Transitions Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, found that 98 percent of employees surveyed indicated that “including vision benefits as part of an overall health package shows that companies care about their employees’ well-being,” according to a Transitions Optical announcement about the survey this week. The survey was among a “new wave of research” that Transitions is releasing.

“Today’s employees want better vision coverage, and more frequent education that goes beyond the enrollment period,” Drew Smith, director of North America channels, Transitions Optical, said in the announcement. “As a strategy for retaining and recruiting top employees, companies should consider offering a vision plan that not only covers premium lens options, like Transitions lenses, but also backs this coverage up by providing information and resources on how the right eyewear can improve and protect eye health, while boosting productivity.”

Smith also noted that this trend is now being seen “across all generations, and particularly among Millennial employees, who are making up an increasing portion of the work force.”

The Transitions survey found that offering a high-quality vision benefit—including coverage of premium lens options—may increase employee retention. Nearly nine out of 10 employees (87 percent) said they would be more likely to stay at a company that offered high-quality vision benefits, such as coverage of premium lens and frame options. Millennial workers were the most likely to strongly agree with this statement, according to the announcement.

Among other key findings, more than eight in 10 employees who are offered vision benefits through their employer indicated that they are choosing to enroll, which the Transitions announcement noted is “in line with dental benefits and nearing general medical coverage.”

Of the employees not previously enrolled in their company’s vision plan, nearly six in 10 (59 percent) said they would be motivated to enroll if they thought that they could be experiencing better vision. Additionally, over half of employees (53 percent) said they would be more likely to enroll after learning that an eye exam can provide insights into their overall health, according to the announcement.

In addition, the survey found that employees are looking for better eyewear options from their vision plans, and they say they are willing to pay higher premiums for this opportunity. Eight out of 10 employees said they would be willing to pay extra per pay period if their plan fully covered premium products, with more than two-thirds of employees saying they would be willing to pay more than $3 extra per pay period, according to the announcement.