Employees Are Confused about How the ACA Affects Vision Coverage

There is confusion and concern among the majority of Americans when it comes to how health care reform will affect vision benefits, according to a recent survey supported by Transitions Optical. According to the survey, conducted in November 2013, nearly six out of 10 employees don’t understand how health care reform will affect their vision insurance coverage; and more than half are worried about changes to vision coverage due to the Affordable Care Act.

Smith Wyckoff of Transitions Optical said, “The fact that this lack of knowledge is translating into concern is something worth addressing, as vision plans and employers have the opportunity to enhance their relationships with employees by keeping them informed and alleviating their fears.” Employee are  concerned about experiencing cost increases, having different vision coverage than their children, and not understanding how to get covered or reimbursed.

Four out of 10 employees expect their human resources representative to be knowledgeable on this topic while nearly half expect their vision insurance carrier to be knowledgeable. The source most employees (59%) expect to be knowledgeable is their eye care professional. Fewer (30%) expect their primary care physician to be informed.

Despite employee confusion about health care reform, interest in vision benefits is higher than ever, according to the survey, with 83% of employees choosing to enroll – a significant increase over previous years (78% in 2012 and 76% in 2011). Use of the plans for an eye exam is also significantly higher than in previous years — 79% in 2013 versus 64% in 2012. This suggests that education on the importance of preventive eye care may be having a positive effect. But, there is still room for improvement since more than one in five still are not using their benefits for a comprehensive eye exam for themselves or their children. This is a bit surprising, according to Wyckoff, since 92% of employees agree that having vision insurance would make them more likely to take their child for an eye exam. For more information, visitHealthySightWorkingforYou.org.

Last Updated 12/01/2021

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