Why Employers Should Include Dental and Vision Coverage in Benefits Plans

July 29, 2021 |read icon 5 min read

Employees value their benefits, especially health, dental and vision coverage. But often, they don’t find all three plans in their annual employer-sponsored benefits packages. However, as competition for talented workers increases, employees say a robust benefits package makes a difference when looking for a new a job, or deciding to stay with their current employer. Here are four reasons why employers should routinely include dental and vision coverage in their benefits plans.

1. Engages new and current employees

Employees have a greater appreciation for their health benefits due to the pandemic. And they expect their employer to offer the coverage they need. As businesses ask team members to return to work in the office, many people are reviewing other job options. A robust benefits package can make a difference in attracting employees to jobs. It also keeps employees connected to their work, making them less likely to look for other employment opportunities.

Medical insurance is a top benefit employees want. But it’s dental and vision coverage they especially value and use the most. Employees want healthy teeth and eyes so they can look and feel their best.

2. Protects employee health

Providing employees with dental and vision benefits helps keep them healthy all year long. Employees with dental and vision coverage are more likely to schedule annual exams to have their teeth and eyes checked. These regular checkups help dentists and eye doctors develop a baseline of patient health, making it easier to detect changes.

During a dental exam, dentists check for oral health issues and review patients’ overall health. The mouth contains hundreds of harmful bacteria that can cause medical conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Catching dental problems early can save pain and money down the road.

Good vision is essential for employees to complete nearly every task of their job. That’s why employees need regular eye exams. During an exam, the doctor tests the healthiness of the eyes and checks for vision correction needs. In addition, the eye doctor can detect signs of eye issues or disease, including macular degeneration, dry eye, glaucoma or cataracts.

Nearly 85% of people use digital devices daily. About 31% say they use them all the time. Increased screen time can lead to digital eye strain, causing vision discomfort and eye pain. Because of this, about 83% of eye doctors say they have noticed an increase in patient complaints about vision problems.

3. Helps employees manage costs

Without dental or vision insurance, employees pay for dental procedure costs, and eyeglasses or contacts, out of pocket. This includes annual wellness exams, the cost of dental procedures, or the cost for prescription eyeglasses or contacts. However, a yearly preventive exam usually is available at no cost for employees with dental and vision benefits. Or there may be a small deductible. In addition, workers will pay lower costs for dental procedures and eyewear materials with insurance, especially if they have access to dental and vision networks. These insurance benefits add up to significant cost savings, making it easier to budget.

4. Supports employee productivity

Employees’ poor health costs American businesses $575 billion and 1.5 billion days of lost productivity. Many workers take sick time to deal with dental and vision problems. When employees are not at work, businesses struggle to maintain productive operations and meet customer needs.

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