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Employers Who Cut Vision Insurance Should Be Ready for Millennials to Bolt, Study Finds

Vision plans ‘appeal to a multigenerational workforce.’

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BATON ROUGE, LA — The elimination of vision benefits could motivate more than a third (34 percent) of U.S. workers ages 25 to 34 to look for a new job, employee benefits provider Unum reports.

These results and others were part of an online poll among 1,227 working U.S. adults conducted by the company in July.

While the likelihood of job-hopping was higher among this primarily millennial age group, other age ranges also reported they would consider leaving their current employer if vision benefits were eliminated:

  • 29 percent of those 18 to 24
  • 24 percent of those 35 to 49
  • 21 percent of those 50 to 64
  • 18 percent of those 65 and older

Vision insurance plans have typically appealed to older workers with aging eyes. But younger workers today are facing more vision problems compared to young adults 40 years ago, according to a study in JAMA Ophthalmology.

“Vision plans help fill a gap in coverage to maintain eye health, appealing to a multigenerational workforce,” said Amy Marko, senior vice president of dental and vision products at Unum. “These benefits can help an employer decrease the cost of health care, increase productivity and minimize the current workforce trend of job-hopping.”

As competition for talent increases, some employers are increasing their benefits offerings to recruit and retain employees. According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual employee benefits reportthe number of employers offering vision benefits has increased 7 percentage points in the last four years.

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In the Unum survey, 50 percent of workers said their current employer offers vision insurance.

“Employers need to offer benefits that employees need and want – like vision coverage,” Marko said.

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