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Helping Brokers Sell: Vision Insurance for Small and Large Groups

March 4, 2022   |   by Alex Strautman
vision-insurance-guardian

 

The Vision Council says about three-quarters of adults need some sort of vision correction. That includes about 64% of adults who wear glasses, and 11% who wear contact lenses either exclusively or with glasses.

In the U.S., about 164 million people wear glasses, and that number is expected to grow in the next 25 years. Myopia (nearsightedness) is on the rise, and it is projected to affect about half of the global population by 2050.

With so much need, it may surprise you to learn that a Kaiser Family Foundation study found among firms offering health benefits, fewer than half of small firms (44%) offer vision insurance to workers. At larger firms, vision insurance is more common, with 83% offering coverage. Of those offering vision, across all group sizes, about half (47%) offer a contribution to their employees’ vision coverage premium. The majority of employers do not, which presents a sales opportunity for you.

Word & Brown works with more than 20 Vision Insurance carriers and administrators to offer coverage in California and Nevada. The tables below list our partners; those with live links go to provider search tools for those companies.

 

California Vision Care Plan Carriers and Administrators

Nevada Vision Care Plan Carriers and Administrators

Aetna

Ameritas

Anthem Blue Cross

Avesis

BEST Life

Blue Shield of California

CaliforniaChoice

CalCPA

Camden

ChoiceBuilder

Cigna

Delta Dental (EyeMed)

Guardian

Health Net

Humana

Kaiser Permanente

Lincoln Financial Group

MetLife

Nippon Life Benefits

Principal

UnitedHealthcare

Unum

Vision Plan of America

VSP

Western Health Advantage

Aetna

Ameritas

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

Avesis

BEST Life

Camden-Avesis

ChoiceBuilder

Cigna

Companion Life

Guardian

Health Net

Humana

Lincoln Financial Group

MetLife

Nippon Life Benefits

Principal

SecureCare Vision

Seniors Choice

Unum

VSP

 

 

Vision coverage is available to both Small Groups and Large Groups. Some carriers that offer Small Group coverage do not offer Large Group, and some require the group to have more than 25 employees to be eligible for Vision coverage. (Others do write coverage for groups with as few as a single employee.) Be sure to discuss your clients’ needs and group size with your Word & Brown representative, so you can strategize the best solution to the groups’ needs.

If you’re a California broker, and you want to offer Vision in addition to other ancillary coverage, you should know about the ChoiceBuilder ancillary benefits exchange. ChoiceBuilder allows you to offer Vision, Dental, Chiro & Acupuncture, and Life through a single program. You and your clients can choose employer-sponsored or voluntary coverage, or both. ChoiceBuilder Vision options include EyeMed or VSP. As of last year, you can write ChoiceBuilder for groups with up to 500 employees.

Vision plan benefits differ by plan type and administrator or carrier. Most include coverage for preventive eye exams and ophthalmologist visits, prescription eyewear, and contact lenses. Some include discounts on elective vision correction surgery.

Three of the best Vision Insurance companies according to Investopedia are VSP Vision Care, EyeMed, and UnitedHealthcare. The high ratings for these plans are based on premiums, provider networks, the absence of a waiting period, and discount for LASIK (UnitedHealthcare only).

Eye care can be expensive, but Vision Insurance can help reduce costs for your clients’ employees and their dependents. Benefits are greatest when patients visit in-network providers, but some plans do include out-of-network service benefits. While there is typically no deductible for vision services, there are copayments for many covered services.

Talk with your Word & Brown representative about the Vision Insurance options available in your area, and the provider network(s) offered through different carriers and administrators for different group sizes. If you’re not already doing business with Word & Brown, call (800) 869-6989.

 

 

 

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