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Be Prepared: What You Need to Know Before Offering Vision Coverage

Vision benefits are an important part of a complete health package.

Providing the right benefits can boost morale and attract and retain talent. A vision exam is also a mini-physical where a number of medical conditions can be discovered, from skin cancer to diabetes.

In addition, businesses usually can deduct 100 percent of the premiums they pay on qualifying group health plans and reduce payroll taxes by providing a portion of employee wages in the form of tax-free health insurance benefits.

Even very small employers, including those who have only one full-time employee (besides themselves), can have a vision benefit program.

There are a variety of plans, rates and carriers that your broker can present to you.

Since not all plans are the same, carefully read the plan brochures. For instance, some vision plans offer only minimal services while others cover eye surgery. Most vision insurance plans fully or partially cover routine eye health expenses, including eye exams, contact lens fittings, contact lenses and eyeglass lenses and frames.

Adding a vision plan to your health or dental plan may also be an option. There are two types of add-on plans:

  • With optional rider vision insurance, you pay a monthly premium and get access to a fixed-dollar amount of services.
  • An ancillary vision plan gives a fixed discount on all vision-related expenses. You add this coverage to your health insurance plan for an additional fee.

By bundling vision and health plans, you may be able to get a discount. And, an additional benefit of getting lower rates is that you also may be able to upgrade to a better vision or dental health plan than you originally planned.