According to a new study conducted for the National Association of Vision Care Plans (NAVCP) by an independent research firm, health care consumers who participate in full service, standalone vision insurance plans are 33.3 percent as likely to receive an annual comprehensive eye examination as those consumers who have vision care coverage bundled with their major medical plan (16.3 percent).
The study reviewed the eye exam usage patterns of nearly 85 million Americans enrolled in vision benefits programs during 2008 and 2009. The results indicate that vision plan membership has been on the rise, and eye exams have been used at a higher rate than membership, indicating consumers value the wellness component of their vision benefits. These plans often allow for early detection of chronic disease, as well as the need for vision correction. The study further bolsters the NAVCP’s position that standalone vision plans should be included within the health care exchanges contemplated by the recently passed health care reform legislation. This inclusion can be expected to significantly increase the number and frequency of Americans receiving routine, preventive eye care, as well as improve long-term medical outcomes.