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Aflac, Lincoln Financial expand vision offerings

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Aflac launched Aflac Vision Now, which will offer enhanced benefits with increased benefit payments for regular eye examinations and vision correction procedures with no increase in premium.

“While most vision care plans are limited to eye exams and vision correction materials, Aflac’s Vision Now product offers true vision insurance, paying benefits for eye diseases or disorders, eye surgeries and even permanent visual impairment,” said John Harmeling, senior vice president of Worksite Marketing at Aflac.

Vision Now offers coverage for serious eye conditions, including:

  • Permanent Visual Impairment Benefit: $750–$10,000 for visual impairment.
  • Eye Surgeries Benefit: $50–$1,500 for miscellaneous eye surgeries.
  • Specific Eye Diseases and Disorders Benefit: $1,000 for specific eye diseases and disorders.

The Vision Correction Benefit has three different options, including:

  • $80 for prescribed vision correction materials (such as prescription glasses or contacts) or $130 for refractive error corrections surgery (such as RK, LASIK, etc.). There is no waiting period and the benefit is payable once per covered person, per policy year.
  • $175 for prescribed vision correction materials or $295 for refractive error corrections surgery. There is a 12-month waiting period and the benefit is payable once per covered person during each successive 24-month period.
  • $270 for prescribed vision correction materials or $480 for refractive error corrections surgery. There is a 24-month waiting period and the benefit is payable once per covered person during each successive 36-month period.

In other industry news:

Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) introduced Lincoln VisionConnect, a fully insured vision plan for employer benefit packages.

Available in combination with Lincoln’s other group benefit products, Lincoln VisionConnect covers glasses and contacts to routine and preventive care.

VisionConnect includes:

  • A national network of more than 35,000 providers, with in- and out-of-network benefits;
  • Annual exams in full, after any applicable copay for in-network providers;
  • Discounts for laser vision correction procedures.

After the copay has been made, participants are covered in-full for contact lens fitting and evaluation, two follow-up visits to the vision care provider and up to four boxes of select contact lenses. If participants select lenses outside the specified brands, members receive an allowance toward fitting/evaluation fees and their contact lens purchase. Members can also take advantage of additional discounts through an online ordering program.

For the second year in a row, Lincoln Financial Group, Eagles Youth Partnership and the United Way partnered to provide vision screenings for students across the School District of Philadelphia. Volunteers from Lincoln Financial’s Philadelphia area offices and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey visited 13 elementary schools as an extension of the Eagles Eye Mobile Program.

The Eagles Eye Mobile team and their optometrist have trained Lincoln’s volunteers and offer onsite supervision in each school. Beginning with kindergarteners, volunteers screen as many students as possible throughout the day. School nurses then examine any students who did not receive a screening. Beginning in November and continuing throughout the school year, the Eagles Eye Mobile team will provide full exams and glasses to students who failed the screenings.

The vision screening program began in fall 2011 in response to a lay-off of more than 100 school nurses throughout the School District of Philadelphia. As a result, a limited number of school nurses were assigned to cover multiple schools and many of the nurses were unable to provide the mandated vision screenings. The number of school nurses in the district has not been increased for the current year.

In 2011, over 2,600 students were screened by volunteers from Lincoln. This year, since Sept. 24, approximately 92 Lincoln volunteers have visited seven schools and provided vision screenings to 1,352 students. Their efforts are supported by the United Way’s 365 Days of Caring initiative, which assists dozens of local companies with volunteer projects each year.

Byron UdellThe Life Insurance Direct Marketing Association (LIDMA) awarded Byron Udell, CEO and president of AccuQuote, the 2012 LIDMA Vision Award his care for the customer, his colleagues and co-workers, and the direct response life insurance industry as a whole.

The LIDMA Vision Award recognizes people and organizations that make substantial contributions to the advancement of the direct response segment of the life insurance industry. It is the highest honor that LIDMA can bestow on an individual or organization.

Specifically, the LIDMA Vision Award winner is selected based upon:

  • Innovation:  Specifically in improving the process of how life insurance is delivered to middle America;
  • Dedication: To LIDMA and the mission to distribute more life insurance, enhance industry profitability and protect more American families;
  • Integrity: To combine a keen business sense with care for other people, kindness, and a passion for the benefits of life insurance.

The InVEST program awarded Travelers Select Sales Executive William “Bill” Allen, Jr. with the Dach Award for his contributions in fostering the growth and development of InVEST. The program is a key driver to attract new talent to the insurance industry.

Allen has worked with InVEST since 2008 when he got involved with Esperanza USA, an outreach organization in Philadelphia that works primarily with Hispanic communities and maintains a chartered school. He developed the program by forming a partnership with numerous organizations including Travelers and the Philadelphia Insurance Company. As a member of the National Capitol Central Maryland Chapter of NAAIA in Washington, D.C., Allen continued his efforts by forming a partnership through National Capitol Central Maryland Chapter, Travelers, Marsh and Chubb to bring the InVEST program to Roosevelt Senior High School in Washington, D.C. He also supports the Virginia Association of Insurance Agents by participating in high school career days and volunteering as a guest speaker.

Allen has risen through the ranks with Travelers over the past 39 years. He also spent one year as an independent agent. Allen earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans.