Promoting Overall Health With Dental And Vision
If your client struggles with adding Dental and Vision insurance, try reframing the conversation. Dental and vision exams are known to help detect serious health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, which means employers can enable their workforce to be more health-conscious and productive.
The National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) suggests that those with dental coverage have healthier attitudes and are less likely to have poor health.1 Experts from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have drawn similar conclusions between vision health and overall health, proclaiming that those with vision problems have a greater likelihood of suffering from physical conditions and mental illnesses like depression.2
It's important that employers understand how offering Dental and Vision insurance coverage to employees can promote greater overall health, which can influence work performance and help minimize losses in productivity. The costs are too great to ignore.
The Price Of Poor Dental Health
According to the American Dental Association, an estimated 164 million work hours are lost each year due to oral disease.3 The actual cost to employers may actually be far greater, considering several studies which indicate a link between oral bacteria, gum disease and general health conditions such as heart disease. More specifically, Mayo Clinic suggests that oral health may affect, be affected by, or contribute to, the following diseases and conditions:4
- Endocarditis (an infection of the inner lining of the heart)
- Cardiovascular disease
- Premature birth and low birth weight
- Alzheimer's disease
- Other conditions such as Sjogren's syndrome (an immune system disorder) and eating disorders
The Price Of Poor Vision Health
Helping employees take care of their eyes can also benefit their overall health. According to the CDC, people with vision problems are more likely than those with good vision to have diabetes, poor hearing, heart problems, high blood pressure, lower back pain and stroke, as well as have increased risk for falls, injury and depression.5
As a result, an employee's uncorrected vision problems can translate to an employer cost. The Vision Council estimates vision problems cost businesses more than $8 billion in lost productivity each year, and on-the-job eye injuries are estimated at $300 million annually.6
The bright side is that offering vision coverage to employees often pays for itself in terms of fewer absences and higher levels of productivity. One study from the National Eye Institute revealed that employers gain as much as $7 for every $1 spent on vision coverage.7
As if those reasons weren't compelling enough, review these eye-opening vision facts:
- A vision plan is one of the top five most-desired benefits, after medical insurance, by employees.8
- More than 75 percent of U.S. residents between age 25 and 64 require some sort of vision correction.9
- Vision problems affect 120 million Americans and, as we mentioned above, cost businesses an estimated $8 billion annually because of reduced productivity.10
- More than 70 percent of Americans reported loss of eyesight as "10" on a scale of 1–10, with 10 being the worst thing that could happen to them – signifying a loss of independence, mobility and quality of life.11
The point to make with your clients is that Dental and Vision insurance coverage can lead to better overall health which can significantly impact their productivity in the workplace.
1 "The Haves and the Have-nots: Consumers With and Without Dental Benefits," National Association of Dental Plans, February 2009
2 Centers for Disease Control, http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HealthyVision/ (accessed May 17, 2012)
3 American Dental Association, http://www.ada.org/4504.aspx (accessed May 17, 2012)
4 Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dental/DE00001/NSECTIONGROUP=2 (accessed May 17, 2012)
5 Centers for Disease Control, http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HealthyVision/ (accessed May 17, 2012)
6 "Vision Care: Focusing on the Workplace Benefit," The Vision Council of America, Fall 2008
7 "Survey of Public Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Related to Eye Health and Disease," National Eye Institute, 2007
8 "Shifting Paradigms: Examining Employee Benefits in the Midst of Economic Uncertainty," Technical Report, LIMRA 2009.
9 Jobson Optical Research
10 "Vision Care: Focusing on the Workplace Benefit," The Vision Council of America, Fall 2008
11 "Survey of Public Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Related to Eye Health and Disease," National Eye Institute, 2007