Nearly half of employees don’t understand their insurance benefits—a staggering 49%.1 An even more shocking statistic is that 80% of employees never actually open benefits communications received.1
So how can human resources leaders and managers effectively reach employees? Read more for simple steps to help educate employees on their vision care insurance benefits.
The big 5: key terms employees need to know
Company policies and insurance plans can be confusing. When educating employees—both old and new— it’s best to start with the basics. Vision benefits can be broken down into 5 key terms they will need to understand: premium, allowance, copay, out-of-pocket cost and in-network.
Premium: The first number employers and benefits decision-makers look at when choosing a plan for their company is typically the price of a plan’s premium. This is the monthly cost employees will pay for their company’s benefits plan. It’s essential to make the distinction clear that premiums are a plan’s price–but this is separate from an individual’s cost of services.
Allowance: An allowance is the dollar amount employees receive as part of their benefits plan that can be applied toward the price of products or services. For example, a members’ plan may include a $150 frame allowance that comes with their benefits.
Copay: Employees will pay a fixed amount for services and goods when visiting an eye doctor, shopping online or in a retail store. EyeMed’s copays are fixed—like our $0 copay for eye exams with Eye360.*
Out-of-pocket cost: The out-of-pocket cost is how much employees will pay at the checkout for their vision care services. It’s key for employees to know that monthly premiums do not count toward out-of-pocket costs.
In-network: In-network providers have contracted with EyeMed to provide vision services at pre-negotiated rates. Members will pay less out-of-pocket when visiting an in-network provider.
3 simple steps to help make benefits easy to understand
With 80% of employees not opening benefits materials provided1, finding a way to effectively communicate and deliver information they will take time to read is critical for your workforce.
1. Simplify communications by using easy-to-understand language when explaining insurance. Break complex concepts down into smaller, bite-sized pieces, covering one topic at a time.
Videos are often a digestible alternative to written communication. Check out this example.
2. Provide educational tools and resources to empower employees to understand their vision benefits. This can be an online portal, a mobile app, or a repository of printed materials you can share with employees.
One of the tools EyeMed provides for members is the Know Before You Go Cost Calculator, which gives a breakdown of the estimated cost employees will pay. Learn more in this video.
3. Extend training opportunities to go beyond onboarding and open enrollment season. Encourage employee engagement by holding virtual benefit fairs year-round. Be sure to have a trusted “benefits champion” that employees recognize and can connect with directly.
Understanding leads to usage
A robust benefits package is often one of the top reasons employees decide to work for an employer. Health benefits boost engagement, increase productivity and loyalty to the company.2 But if employees don’t understand how their benefits work, they won’t use them. That’s why keeping it simple is key—and helping employees get the most from their plan.
Dr. Rashad Haddad, LensCrafters Optometrist, echoes this sentiment from experience:
“Vision benefits support employee health and longevity, in addition to providing coverage for glasses and contacts. When members understand how to use their benefits with ease, it empowers them to take care of their eyes routinely without worrying about the cost. This ultimately improves individual quality of life—and the overall strength of a company’s workforce."
To learn more, speak with your EyeMed representative or visit eyemed.com.
1 Mayer, K.; “Number of the day: benefits knowledge”; HR Executive; hrexecutive.com; May, 26 2021.
2 “Why Employers Should Offer Employee Benefits Packages”; omnipresent; omnipresent.com; Nov. 28, 2023.
*Eye360 and PLUS Providers not available in all states. Offers not valid in the State of Texas. Discounts are not insured benefits. Fully insured plans are underwritten by: Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company®, Kansas City, MO 64111.