Survey says: several factors can motivate employees to enroll in vision benefits

image of this article's author, Natasha D'sa
Natasha D'sa
Vice President

You probably already know having and using vision benefits can be a great first step toward making a difference for employee health and wellbeing. But I’m always happy to remind the clients and brokers we work with that eye exams are a simple, non-invasive way to aid in early detection and treatment of many serious and costly health conditions (like diabetes and high blood pressure).

But before vision care can make a difference, employees have to actually enroll in the vision care benefit. So what might motivate employees to enroll in and be happy with their vision plan? Some research from Transitions Optical [1] recently uncovered some of these answers.

The online study asked 1,300 employees (whose employers offered vision benefits, but weren’t necessarily enrolled in them) about their perceptions of vision benefits. While there were some differences based on age and life stage, the consensus was employees view vision benefits as a valuable part of their overall benefits package.

Key motivators to enroll in a vision plan:

Full coverage of premium lens options or enhancements. This was the most popular motivator overall, with almost 57% saying this coverage would persuade them to enroll in a vision plan if they weren’t previously enrolled [2]. An example of a lens option would be Transitions® photochromic lenses, which help filter harmful blue light from the sun and indoor sources like smart phones, tablets and LED TV screens.

Eye exams can detect serious health issues. This was almost as important a motivator as coverage for premium lens options, with more than half (56%) of surveyed employees saying this knowledge would make them more likely to enroll in a vision plan [3]. Older employees were particularly motivated by this knowledge, but even members of the “alphabet generations”— Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z— were motivated to enroll by the potential health benefits of eye care.

Vision benefits can help employees save on overall health costs. Saving money was an important motivator for more than half (52%) of employees, particularly older employees [4]. With health care costs continuing to rise and health benefits becoming skinnier, vision benefits’ ability to help employees reduce costs related to chronic diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, will only increase the importance of access to comprehensive vision benefits.

Other enrollment motivation insights

• Four in 10 employees (and almost half of all Baby Boomers surveyed) said they’d be more likely to enroll in a vision plan if it helped them get eyewear to see better and be more productive at work [5].

• More than one-third (35%) of employees surveyed said they’d be motivated to enroll if the benefits gave them access to eyewear that would help them better enjoy their free time [6] .

The key takeaway should be this: Vision benefits can do a lot for employers and employees. When employees know how vision benefits can enhance their health and well-being, and they understand what’s offered to them, they’re much more likely to enroll.
Choosing the right benefits is only the first step. Communicating the features of the vision plan is the next step. It can be as simple as giving employees access to enrollment resources like this site to help them understand why vision benefits are important for their health and wellness, and sharing articles and interactive content from


1.2018 Transitions Optical Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits survey.
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.