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Americans Place High Value on Eyesight, Yet Many Still Lack Vision Coverage
Date:10/8/2008

New Report Shows Only 17% of Employers Offer Vision Benefits

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While concerns about the economy have taken center stage in the upcoming election, worries about the rising cost of health care still weigh heavily on the minds of most Americans. For the 120 million Americans with vision problems, as well as many other Americans who place a high value on maintaining healthy vision, the lack of vision coverage is a primary concern.

A new report by The Vision Council, Vision Care: Focusing on the Workplace Benefit, examines consumer and business perspectives on vision care and trends in vision care coverage. According to the report, two-thirds of Americans say they would be more willing to get an eye exam if they had some coverage, yet only 17 percent of employers report offering vision insurance. Vision benefits lag behind health and dental benefits, with as many as 44 percent of employers offering dental coverage.

"We know that in today's tough economy everyone is taking another look at their finances," said Ed Greene, chief executive officer for The Vision Council. "As the second most prevalent health condition in the country, vision disorders affect individuals and businesses, making vision coverage an important benefit for both groups."

Vision health is highly valued by most Americans according to the National Eye Institute. When asked what conditions would most affect their day-to-day living, a majority of Americans rated loss of eyesight as a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10.

"Regular eye examinations are an important part of helping Americans maintain their health," said ophthalmologist Elaine G. Hathaway, M.D. "In addition to detecting vision problems and asymptomatic eye disorders, routine eye exams by an eye care professional can detect major health problems such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes," she added.

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SOURCE The Vision Council
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