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VSP's Individual Plan Thrives in a Starving Economy
Date:6/9/2009

Less Than One in Five Employers Offer Stand Alone Vision Coverage*

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif., June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- VSP(R) Vision Care launched the industry's first fully-insured individual vision plan two years ago and has seen it grow to more than 25,000 members nationwide. In a recent study conducted to analyze the impact of the current economy on health and vision care priorities and costs, VSP polled individual plan members and discovered that more than 16 percent of respondents recently invested in individual vision care benefits due to unemployment or forced reduced hours, and lost access to vision care. And, of the employed audience, more than 50 percent do not have vision coverage available at work.

VSP's survey respondents also acknowledged the importance of vision care in their overall health care routine. While eighty-five percent of respondents agree that a vision exam can help identify serious health conditions such as diabetes; 89 percent completely agree that a vision exam is part of their overall healthcare routine. And, only 44 percent of respondents rated managing their eye health as most important reason for visiting an eye doctor this year.

"A comprehensive eye exam is much more that just a vision assessment. An annual eye exam can reveal serious conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease," said Gary Brooks, VSP Vision Care President. "VSP's individual plan has seen a large uptick in 2009, which we attribute to the plan's personalized service, affordability and the rising market demand as employers look to cut costs in this difficult financial climate."

MetLife also conducted a recent survey and, in parallel with VSP's recent findings, revealed that while 40 percent of employees were highly interested in a wider array of voluntary benefits, only 17 percent of employers have included expansion of voluntary benefits among th
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SOURCE VSP(R) Vision Care
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