Vision care is an important factor to maintaining overall optimal health. With that being said, it is highly encouraged to offer optical coverage to employees to assist in promoting the well-being of your associates.
In Canada, it is approximated that over half a million people live with some sort of vision impairment or vision loss that effects their quality of life. However, with proper eye care and regular check-ups, 75% of vision loss can be treated or prevented.
For adults, it is clear that optical coverage provided by their employers is necessary given the lack of coverage from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). While OHIP offers some coverage of eye examinations for children and seniors; adults aged 20 to 64 are excluded. In addition, there are several other optometrist services not covered by OHIP including:
- Additional eye exams (including those required by an employer or third party)
- Progress checks for contact lenses and eyewear
- Pre and Post-operative laser surgery visits
- Treatments and medications
By offering optical coverage, these oversights by OHIP can be supplemented.
While eye care treatment and prevention are important reasons to offer optical coverage, it is also beneficial to help alleviate the costs of vision care for your employees. It is estimated that over half of working age Canadians who suffer from vision loss are making $20,000/year or less. For those struggling to make ends meet, optical coverage can help to relieve the burden of staggering costs of vision care.
As the Canadian population continues to age, the prevalence of vision loss is expected to increase by 30%. This has an impact on costs for all Canadians on both a financial and emotional level. Evidence suggests that people with vision loss are at an increased risk of isolating themselves and reducing their community engagement. However, regular visits with eye-care professionals can lead to an early diagnosis and ultimately, prevention and treatment of vision loss before it gets out of hand.
In the end, it is in the best interest of all involved to offer optical coverage. Whether you wish to promote the overall well-being of your employees, make-up for OHIP’s lack of coverage, want to assist in the preventable vision loss epidemic that Canada faces, or alleviate costs; it is wise to offer this beneficial coverage. Both your business and employees will thank you because the answer to, “To see or not to see?” is always going to be “to see!”