VSP Vision Care is a system for employers to provide eyecare benefits for their employees. As such, it can be a valuable employee benefit as well as helping employers ensure they meet duty of care obligations and provide a benefit that should also see savings to the employer (including less employee time off work).
The service starts with a full annual eye test (not the usual quick High Street or VDU user test). This itself can highlight a number of health issues not directly eye related, such as diabetes and high cholesterol levels. Clients are reminded each year to have an eye exam.
The cost of the eye test and any subsequent spectacles or contact lenses is then covered up to the plan’s maximum benefit, which is pre-set by the employer. Other than that there is no excess or co-payment. The employee benefits from a 25% buying power increase as the scheme gives a 20% discount on eye exams, frames and lenses.
Employees will usually use an optometrist that is part of the VSP network (VSP says 96% do so). If they choose another practitioner, the employee will get a set allowance to use against the actual cost but the employer will not enjoy any discounts and the employee will have to pay the practitioner direct and must claim their benefit within six months. If a VSP provider is chosen, the employee only pays for any benefits above their benefit entitlement.
Cost is typically £2.50 per employee per month for 24 months, with a benefit limit of £100. A limit of £400 would cost less than £10 a month. VSP claims a very good ROI (return on investment), with 99% retention in the US. The plan is aimed at groups of 50 or more, with schemes for 500 or more particularly attractive. Commission is negotiable up to 10% initial and renewal.
What They Say
President Jim McGrann said: “VSP provides a vision benefit that helps people see clearly, while also supporting their overall health. Our clients have been asking us to bring our benefits offering here, and we’re excited to have a quality product in the UK that addresses the needs of our clients and members.”
What We Say
"Employers have a statutory duty to fund employee eye tests in certain circumstances and many will go further – typically providing benefits through a health cash plan or necessary surgical treatment through private medical insurance.
"VSP’s proposition goes some way beyond that, covering a full examination and information plus glasses and contact lenses up to a limit the employer chooses. Why should an employer pay for all that? Quite simply, regular examinations can help prevent future problems, while good eye health has knock-on effects on employee absence, productivity and even in areas such as reducing workplace accidents."