Small Business

What Types of Vision Plans Are There for Groups?

Updated on December 02, 2019


Generally, small business owners with less than 50 employees are not required to offer access to vision insurance. Although there’s no legal incentive to provide a vision plan, there are still plenty of reasons to get a group vision insurance to cover yourself and your business. Adding vision coverage to your small business benefits package could have significant effects on overall cost, employee satisfaction, and your company’s culture.

What types of vision plans are available for my small business?

There are two main types of group vision insurance that you can purchase for your small business employees:

  • Ancillary Vision Plans– Ancillary vision plans are a form of vision insurance that covers a percentage of the care that your employee receives, regardless of the total cost of that care. To illustrate how this works, imagine that you buy an ancillary plan with 40 percent coverage, and then your employee receives a procedure that costs $200. The insurance provider would have to pay $80, while the employee would cover the remaining $120.
  • Optional Rider Vision Insurance- Whereas ancillary vision plans cover a percentage of the cost of care, optional rider ones cover a fixed amount of spending per year. For example, you might buy optional rider vision insurance that pays for $1,500 worth of care. If an employee receives $1,300 of care, the vision insurance will pay for all of it. But if they get $1,700 of care, they’ll have to pay $200, and the vision insurance will cover the rest.

Both of these vision plans can typically be purchased as add-ons to standard health insurance policies. You may be able to pay an extra premium to your health insurance provider, so all of your payments will be made at the same time and to the same entity.

This article might not reflect how every vision insurance plan works, so make sure to check plan details when shopping online, and make sure you understand the plan benefits and payments.

Which type of vision insurance is best for my business?

Both vision plans have their advantages for your company. To select the right type of vision insurance, you need to consider your employees’ unique needs, taking into account:

  • Age– As people get older, they might require more eye care. Thus if your employees are relatively older, ancillary vision plans may be more valuable, since your employees are likely to go over the covered limit on an optional rider plan. On the other hand, if your employees are relatively young, you may be better off with an optional rider policy.
  • Health Conditions– If you have employees with pre-existing needs for eye care, then you can assume that they’ll be making use of their vision insurance, and you might want to buy a plan with more benefits. But if your employees don’t have these conditions and are otherwise in good health, an optional rider policy might be sufficient enough.
  • Workplace Hazards– If your small businesses presents some kind of log-term or immediate risk to the health of your employee’s vision, then you should definitely consider getting a vision plan with the necessary coverage. Hazards could range from working with metals, to staring at a computer all day long.

If you’ve decided to include vision insurance in your benefits package, it’s important that you make the right decision for you and your employees. To learn more and start shopping for group vision plans, visit eHealth today.

This article is for general information and should not be used as health care advice. If you’re concerned about the conditions of your work environment, then consult a health care provider.

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