Open enrollment season typically refers to the four-to-six-week period every fall when employees can select their employer-sponsored health and life insurance benefits for the next year.
However, group health decision-makers start considering open enrollment long before that timeframe. In fact, while 2020 feels like it’s just getting off to a start, many group health leaders are already beginning to think about benefit offerings for the 2021 open enrollment season.
It is through this process that health insurance brokers and benefits managers collaborate to take on the difficult — but critical and necessary — task of becoming champions of health for the employees they represent by thoroughly scrutinizing group health plan offerings.
And for good reason. Over the past decade, it has become clear that the right health benefits not only enable employees’ access to care, but also drive human capital for employers — including retention — as businesses more frequently use benefits to compete for rising talent.
Within this process, vision insurance is, often, viewed as a commodity — overlooked and undervalued, in favor of time spent on specialty voluntary benefits, like legal insurance. While those extra benefits are certainly useful, it’s important to be clear that vision care is, in fact, preventative care, and managed vision care is specialty insurance that can mean the difference between employees getting treatment for a condition and going undiagnosed for far too long.
The Benefit of Managed Vision Care
Vision benefits are not just about helping employees obtain a new pair of glasses every two years. Managed vision care as preventative care is the most cost-effective, least-invasive method of connecting the dots between eye health and overall wellness.
A routine eye exam can detect the signs and symptoms of more than 30 different chronic health conditions — from diabetes and hypertension to Alzheimer’s and cancer — long before other types of doctors. In fact, a study published by Population Health Management found that routine eye exams identified signs of high cholesterol 65% of the time, high blood pressure 30% of the time and diabetes 20% of the time — more often than other health care professionals noted signs of these conditions.