How Ancillary Benefits Can Reduce Stress to Improve Employee Productivity

Financial stress affects every aspect of an employees’ life, including their work performance. When employees feel as if they aren’t prepared if illness or injury strikes, their health, and workplace productivity suffers. Employees spend an average of 13 hours per month worrying about money while they’re at work, according to a study by Mercer.

In a recent survey, finance website Bankrate discovered that 60% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $1,000 surprise expense. But even middle managers and top talent in the New York Tri-state are not immune to the fear of bankruptcy or a personal financial crisis should an illness or injury occur.

Insurance brokers are uniquely equipped to solve this pain point for business owners, HR departments, and employees. At the same time, successfully conveying the advantages of a robust benefits package to your customers can help you expand your book of business and increase commissions with existing customers.

A robust ancillary benefits package can help eliminate financial stress for employees, which, in turn, can improve their productivity, reduce sick days, and enhance their creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Ultimately, the right benefits can help create better employees.

The Link Between Employee Health and a Good Benefits Package

Finances, health, and work performance are intrinsically linked. Enriched DBL, along with ancillary benefits, can give New York workers peace-of-mind, knowing they have a safety net in place if they become ill, injured, or even need expensive emergency dental care.

New York State did the right thing for families with a PFL policy that is, currently, the best in the nation. Now it’s in the best interests of business owners to enhance their other benefits packages to make sure all employees have access to the resources they need to help them stay productive as well.

The Right Benefits Package Retains Top Performers

A robust ancillary benefits package, including vision, and dental benefits, can help recruit and retain employees while reducing overall living costs for employees to reduce their financial stress. It can also reduce an employer’s bottom line as an investment in ancillary benefits as part of a package that includes enriched DBL often costs less than employees’ raises.

In fact, many ancillary benefits are voluntary and employee-funded and employers can choose to have employees cover part or all of the premium. Employees have the option to dramatically reduce their out-of-pocket costs on necessary expenses using pre-tax dollars, and employers pay nothing.

For brokers, this makes ancillary benefits an easy sell. And, with DBL Center as your back office staff, benefits administration is easy, too.

What benefits should your customers include in their ancillary benefits packages?

Dental and vision are a good start, offering tremendous bang for the buck for most employees.

The Case for Dental and Vision Coverage

As you create an ancillary benefits package for your customers, consider these statistics about eye care in the U.S.:

    Approximately 75% of all adults in the U.S. wear glasses or contact lenses to correct vision problems, according to the Vision Council of America
    Eye exams cost an average of $114
    Prescription eyeglasses cost an average of $196
    Contact lenses cost wearers an average of $220 to $260 annually

If more than one person in the family needs vision correction and the costs add up. Yet only 35% of employers offer vision coverage. It’s easy to see how your customers can stand out by offering voluntary vision benefits.

Similarly, the average family of four could spend $2,162 on dental care per year without insurance. Nearly 60% of Americans don’t visit the dentist often enough due to the cost, according to some sources.

However, 77% of Americans do have dental coverage, with 90% of those plans offered by employers. It’s important to offer dental coverage to keep pace with your competitors and retain talent.

Insurance Brokers Can Help Create Happy, Healthy, Engaged Employees

Especially as healthcare costs continue to rise, ancillary benefits can play an important role in reducing out-of-pocket costs for employees and employers, alike. And reducing employees’ financial stress can help businesses perform better, with more active and engaged workers.

Brokers should speak to HR directors about developing a robust benefits package that can help keep employees happy, healthy, and engaged.

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Vision Insurance or Flexible Spending?

Give your employees the benefits they need most with vision insurance.

Employees from every generation appreciate vision insurance to help them save money.Vision insurance remains an unsung hero in the world of employee benefits. Although more than 50 percent of the U.S. population requires corrective lenses, and 80 percent of the population over 45, employees don’t look for vision care coverage the way they do dental insurance. In a recent study, 53 percent of employees say they want vision insurance, while 68 percent want dental coverage. Employees are more inclined to use their flexible spending account to pay for corrective lenses – often taking advantage of end-of-year sales reminding people to use their FSA dollars or Healthcare Savings Account (HSA) money before it expires. But vision coverage can represent a far greater value to many employees when bundled as part of their ancillary group benefits package.

Vision Insurance: So Much More than Corrective Lenses

Most people think of their vision insurance as a means to pay for their glasses or contact lenses. But annual eye exams are an important part of a person’s overall health. Not only can detecting vision problems early help preserve a person’s vision, the eyes may also indicate signs of other health problems that require a doctor’s care.

Therefore, vision coverage should be part of any workplace that focuses on employee health and fitness to reduce healthcare costs, reduce employee sick time, and improve productivity.

The Eyes: Windows to Your Health

Blood in the back of the eye, which may be detected by an ophthalmologist during a routine annual eye exam, is one of the first signs of diabetes. Additionally, eye exams can reveal conditions such as brain tumors, skin cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other ailments, large and small, before they are spotted by a physician.

Vision Coverage or Flex Spending?

Just like regular dentist visits, a visit to an eye doctor should be part of every employee’s annual health routine. Vision insurance makes it easy for employees to pay for the vision care they need, without taking money away from other areas.

Using flex spending or a healthcare savings plan to pay for vision care means that employees might have to choose between using that money to pay for prescription medicine, doctor’s visit co-pays, or vision care. Offering vision coverage as part of an ancillary benefits package helps ensure employees will invest in that important annual eye doctor visit.

Vision Insurance: A Cost Effective Benefit

As far as insurance premiums go, vision coverage is one of the most cost-effective health care benefits. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics states that vision benefit premiums come to about $70 to $80 annually, per employee, while healthcare premiums average $4,256 annually.

Not only is preventative vision care affordable in its own right, but it can help reduce overall healthcare costs through early detection of other diseases.

By bundling vision coverage with other ancillary group benefits, such as dental coverage, enriched DBL, and Group Life / AD&D, employers can save even more on monthly premiums.

Getting the Most out of Employee Vision Coverage

However, vision coverage is only effective if employees use it to get the most out of their vision care. Many employees don’t realize the services their vision insurance covers, or only use it for corrective lenses every two years.

Choosing the right insurance broker to educate you on every aspect of your group benefits plan and provide white-glove service in every situation can help you and your employees get the most out of your vision insurance and other benefits.

Let The DBL Center connect you with the best in ancillary group benefits for better employee health.


Seeing the Truth about Vision Coverage

Have you considered offering vision coverage to your customers as a logical upsell to their insurance benefits package?

Vision Coverage

Approximately 75 percent of all adults use glasses or contacts for corrective vision, says a report from the Vision Council of America. With daily wear, disposable contact lenses costing more than $100 for a 6-month supply, and annual eye exams costing between $50 and $100, it’s no wonder 53 percent of employees want vision coverage, according to this infographic compiled by Namely, an all-in-one HR platform. Yet, just 35 percent of employers offer this ancillary benefit. Why is this figure so low?

The Perception of Vision Coverage

Quite simply, employers don’t see the value in offering vision coverage to their employees. Yet, there are many good reasons to provide vision coverage as part of ancillary benefits. Let’s look at five eye-opening reasons for your customers to offer vision coverage to their employees. Share this evidence with your customers and they are sure to see it clearly, too. The additional sales will result in greater customer loyalty and increased commission for your insurance agency.

Better Vision Improves Productivity

The glare of a computer screen and the lighting afforded by fluorescent bulbs are bad enough in an office environment. Eyestrain, headaches, and poor vision are exacerbated when employees are wearing old glasses that may not be the right prescription for their changing vision. They may not understand why they have headaches all the time or need more frequent breaks away from the computer, until they go for an eye exam and realize they’ve been using the wrong prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Hard-working employees should never have to put off an eye exam due to the high costs of vision care. When vision benefits include annual exams and discounted corrective lenses, employees will be more productive.

The Eyes are the Gateway to Holistic Health

Annual eye exams by an ophthalmologist are important even for employees who don’t need corrective lenses. Eye exams can help detect such conditions as Graves’ Disease and certain skin cancers. The condition of someone’s eyes can hint at high cholesterol, autoimmune diseases and a number of other disorders. Early detection of these diseases can improve outcomes and lower healthcare costs for everyone. Eye exams should be part of preventative care for everyone, but employees may shy away from an exam if it’s not covered by insurance.

Employers Can Fill Gaps in Healthcare Coverage with Vision as an Ancillary Benefit

The Affordable Care Act has forced many organizations to reduce their healthcare coverage. Vision and dental benefits were previously offered as part of a company’s healthcare plan. Employers can fill this gap by providing vision coverage as an ancillary benefit so that employees don’t feel the sting of having their benefits reduced.

Better Vision Benefits Give Employers a Recruiting Advantage

Because so few companies currently offer vision benefits, yet so many employees want it, firms
can give themselves a recruiting advantage with an ancillary benefits package that includes vision coverage.

Vision Benefits Increase Employee Loyalty

Eyeglass and contact lens wearers, as well as employees with conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, or diabetes, may hesitate to leave a company that offers good vision benefits. Vision care costs can add up to thousands, annually, especially for families with more than one corrective lens-wearer.

A good vision plan is a strong retention tool, especially for companies who employ many workers over 40 or people of any age with families.

Save Money on Vision Benefits with Multi-Line Discounts

You – and your customers – may be surprised by how affordable a good vision plan can be when you take advantage of multi-line discounts with The DBL Center Ltd. If your customers are already investing in enhanced disability coverage or dental with one of our premier carriers, they may as well enjoy the savings of a solid vision plan, as well.

Contact The DBL Center, Ltd. if you see the advantages of vision coverage as part of an ancillary benefits package.