It is commonly said that the eyes are the window to the soul. While the jury is out on whether or not that is true, it is a fact that your eyes can be a window to your health. Having regular eye exams and getting the right corrective eye wear is an important part of a person’s overall well being.
Often packaged together as an add-on to dental insurance, Vision Insurance is a lesser talked about form of insurance that is often affordable yet disregarded as a necessary coverage. Many plans, such as those through the New York State Bar Association Insurance Program, offer options to fit a policy holder’s needs and budget. Plans often either completely cover or reduce the cost of annual eye exams for the insured (and any dependents on the plan) in addition to offering reduced cost options on contacts, lenses, glasses frames, and other eye health testing recommended or desired (i.e. retinal imaging, laser vision correction, etc.).
But why add the extra expense?
Eye health is a crucial component of a person’s overall well being. Children in particular should be receiving regular checkups on their vision to ensure they are developing correctly and that there are no other serious complications that could greatly impact their health. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vision Health Initiative, there are many common vision disorders seen in children under the age of 18. “In the United States, the most prevalent disabling childhood conditions are vision disorders including amblyopia, strabismus, and significant refractive errors.”1 Despite the severity of these health concerns, less that 15% of preschool aged children in the U.S., as reported by the CDC, have an eye exam and less than 22% get a vision screening of some sort.1
To get an idea of just how important eye health is for developing children, the CDC offers a comparison of vision screenings in children to breast cancer screenings in adult women. “Vision screening for children scored on par with breast cancer screening for women. Other eye diseases affecting this age group include retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), congenital defects, diabetic retinopathy (DR), and cancers such as retinoblastoma.”1 Both the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended that children have their eyes checked regularly at different stages of their development by a pediatrician. See the recommended schedule here.3
All of that said, children are not the only ones who benefit from regular eye exams. According to the CDC, having a comprehensive dilated eye exam is important for not only potentially improving one’s eyesight through glasses or contacts, but also for detecting eye diseases. Common such diseases include glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and/or age-related macular degeneration.2 With this said, the cost associated with regular exams can be a major factor in whether or not children and adults alike adhere to the CDC’s recommendation. This is where Vision Insurance comes in to help reduce the cost of the regular exams, testing and corrective eye wear, therefore encouraging insureds and their loved ones to take their eye health more seriously.
Seeing the bigger picture about Vision Insurance a bit more clearly? Check out what plans your NYSBA Insurance Program can offer you and your loved ones online.
- Vision Health Initiative (VHI): Age and Vision Loss. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved Aug. 16, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/risk/age.htm
- Vision Health Initiative (VHI): Simple Tips for Healthy Eyes. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved Aug. 16, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/risk/tips.htm
- Vision Screenings. (2016, July 19). Retrieved February 28, 2019, from https://healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/eyes/Pages/Vision-Screenings.aspx