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More Gen Z Employees Are Enrolling in Vision Benefits, Finds Transitions Optical Survey

Six in 10 Gen Z employees (ages 18-24) are enrolled in a vision plan.

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(PRESS RELEASE) PINELLAS PARK, FL – While vision benefit enrollment remains significantly higher among older employees, new research from Transitions Optical reveals that this trend may be changing. Today, Gen Z employees—who are expected to comprise one-fifth of the workforce by 2021 —are more likely to enroll in and utilize their company’s vision benefits than they were just one year ago.

According to the 10th annual Transitions Optical Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits survey , six in 10 Gen Z employees (ages 18-24) are enrolled in a vision plan—compared to just half of Gen Z employees surveyed in 2018. Additionally, 44 percent of Gen Z employees say that whether a company offers vision benefits has been an important factor in their decision to accept a job—reinforcing the value of talking up vision benefits when it comes to employee attraction and retention.

The survey also found that today’s Gen Z employees are not only more likely to be enrolled in vision benefits, but they’re also more likely to use them.

  • Two-thirds (65 percent) are likely to visit an eyecare professional within the next 12 months, compared to around half (56 percent) in 2018.
  • Gen Z employees are just as likely to visit an eyecare professional as they are a primary care physician.

When it comes to benefits enrollment overall for Gen Z employees (59 percent), vision isn’t far behind dental insurance (61 percent) or even medical insurance (71 percent). Gen Z employees are also significantly more likely to enroll in vision benefits than they are life insurance (41percent) or a 401k plan (38 percent).

Room for Education

Despite the upswing in vision benefit enrollment and utilization among Gen Z employees, there is still room to grow these numbers. Employees belonging to the Millennial, Gen X and Boomer generations are around 33 percent more likely to enroll in vision benefits (eight in 10 vs. six in 10). Of those who are enrolled in vision insurance, Gen Z employees are also less likely to say they will get a comprehensive eye exam within the next calendar year (eight in 10 vs. nine in 10).

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“This represents an opportunity for employers to provide education to Gen Z—and all—employees about the value of vision benefits and the importance of comprehensive eye exams to ensure proper vision, as well as to check for eye and overall health issues,” said Drew Smith, director, North America channels, Transitions Optical. “There is also an opportunity for employers to talk about the premium eyewear options covered by their company’s vision plan—and how they can help to protect the eyes while improving overall quality of vision.”

According to the survey, eight in 10 Gen Z employees say premium lens options are important to them when selecting eyewear—with three out of four saying they would be more likely to enroll in or keep using a vision plan if it covered eyewear options like Transitions lenses.

To help elevate the importance of comprehensive eye exams and quality eyewear available through vision benefits, Transitions Optical offers a variety of employee and employer focused tools and education. These can be accessed, free of charge, at HealthySightWorkingforYou.org.

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