MANAGED CARE August 2010. ©MediMedia USA
A new study reveals that consumers who participate in full-service, stand-alone vision insurance plans are two times as likely to have an annual comprehensive eye examination as consumers that have vision care coverage through their major medical plan (33 percent versus 16 percent). The study, conducted for the National Association of Vision Care Plans (NAVCP), reviewed eye exam patterns of nearly 85 million Americans during 2008 and 2009.
The high number of eye exams is important — a comprehensive eye examination can detect early signs of some chronic diseases.
Richard Sanchez, president and CEO of Advantica Eyecare, a vision benefit company, and current president of NAVCP, says, “People use their benefit and, importantly, they’re finding value in their benefit.” But why is there more utilization in stand-alone plans than in bundled plans?
“A medical plan isn’t doing anything wrong. The networks in a bundled plan are comparable to the stand-alone plan. But there’s probably more awareness of the benefit on the part of the member in stand-alone vision plans — it’s more single-focused,” says Sanchez.