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New Study Links Vision Benefits to Healthier Eye Care Habits

November 17, 2016

The National Association of Vision Plans (NAVCP) has released a study that highlights the benefits of managed vision care, showing that Americans with vision benefits have healthier eye care habits. The study includes results that demonstrate the benefit of managed vision care to member overall health and wellness.

For example, 62 percent of the surveyed population had an eye exam in the last 12 months vs. only 40 percent of those without vision benefits. Results also show that nearly 90 percent of those surveyed, plan to have an eye exam in the next 12 months, compared to only 67 percent of those without vision benefits.

We know that people often visit their eye care provider (ECPs) more frequently than their primary care physician, and because of that, ECPs are the first line of defense for members who have been undiagnosed, or who have been unengaged in the health care system.

Our UnitedHealthcare research shows that eye exams have a direct impact on a member’s overall health and wellness. Eye exams allow for an ECP to find a chronic condition in the early stages, before it develops and causes more problems. Early intervention of high cost chronic conditions can lower average annual long-term health costs, and improve health outcomes.

In fact, 5.6 percent of chronic conditions were first identified through a comprehensive eye exam, and 57 percent of members reported by their ECP to have a chronic condition received care with a doctor or specialist for the same condition, after not being seen for that condition within the last 18 months.1,2

Results show the impact that managed vision care has on providers and their practices as well. Compared to consumers without a vision benefit, almost double the number of consumers with vision benefits used their most up-to-date prescription to purchase a new pair of eyeglasses after having an eye exam. Patients with vision benefits rated their exam and eye wear purchasing experience higher than those without managed vision care.

For additional information, please reference the press release and infographic developed by the NAVCP. Contact your UnitedHealthcare representative if you have questions.

1 UnitedHealthcare. “Impact of Eye Exams in Identifying Chronic Conditions,” 2014.
2 Chous, Linda M. O.D. “Eye Exam Impacts on Re-Engagement for Chronic Conditions.” 2015.





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