Vision Benefits: The Surprising Solution to Curb Rising Healthcare Costs

How Vision Benefits Provide Value and Help Battle Rising Healthcare Costs

In today’s economy, the cost of nearly everything is increasing, and health benefits are no exception. With experts forecasting a 7% cost hike in 2024i and inflation squeezing our wallets, companies face a dilemma: absorb the costs or pass them on to their employees.

While companies decide where to focus and what to prioritize for their employees, the importance of vision benefits can often be overlooked. Not only can a routine annual eye exam detect over 270 health conditionsii but having vision benefits can result in lower healthcare costs long term.

In this 5-minute article, you’ll:

  • See how rising healthcare costs continue to be a problem for most U.S. employers.
  • See how vision insurance benefits are an unexpected solution to this challenge.
  • See how VSP® Vision Care is helping to reduce the financial burden of healthcare costs.
  • Get access to a 5-second healthcare savings calculator to see how much you could save.

Prefer video?

Listen to Dr. Valerie Sheety-Pilon, Vice President of Clinical and Medical Affairs at VSP® Vision Care present on the profound impact of vision benefits on eye health and its relationship to cost savings when it comes to chronic conditions. Watch the full 20-minute presentation or see the transcript.

4 out of 10
US adults have delayed or gone without medical care in the last year due to cost

Healthcare Costs Are on the Rise

We all know too well that we’re living in a world of rising costs. The salad or burger we used to pick up at the local drive thru is now $8—up from $5 just a few weeks ago.

While inflation is starting to slow, the rising cost of healthcare continues to trickle down to organizations offering group benefits and their workforce.

PwC Health Research Institute noted in their 2024 medical cost trends report: “In a persisting high inflationary environment, hospitals and providers will ultimately be pushed to seek significant rate increases from payers. Many health plan actuaries said they are facing increasing inflationary pressure on unit cost in 2023 and 2024.”

Pairing these rate hikes with higher costs for pharmaceuticals, healthcare costs in 2024 are forecasted to rise 7%, up from 5.5% in 2022 and 6% in 2023.i

This becomes more concerning when you hear that rising healthcare costs rank as a top financial worry for U.S. adults with 4 out of 10 people saying they have delayed or gone without medical care within the last year due to cost.iii

4 out of 10 U.S. adults have delayed or gone without medical care within the last year due to cost.

Curious about how much you could save on healthcare costs? Take five seconds to find out.

Calculate My Savings

Cost Savings through Preventative Care

Now more than ever, investing in employees' health and well-being is a wise strategy for any organization. Not only does it help create healthier and happier workforces, but there are also positive gains to the wallet too.

Research shows that the average healthy person incurs costs of $1,320 per yeariv. However, as chronic conditions occur, the costs increase significantly. Approximately one in four U.S. adults has more than one chronic condition, and for those with multiple conditions, costs surge by 8.2 times to $10,830.

Over 270 health conditons can be identified through an eye exam.


High Cholesterol


Diabetic Retinopathy

Dry Eye Syndrome

Macular Degeneration

The Benefit of Vision Benefits: Lower Healthcare Costs

A regular eye exam is often an underestimated solution to keep employees in the “healthy” bucket and minimize the costs associated with multiple chronic conditions.

Not only can it detect vision problems but also serves as a preventive measure for various health conditions. As mentioned earlier, over 270 health conditions can be detected through a comprehensive eye exam. Here are just a few:

  • High blood pressure
  • Certain cancers
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Neurological disorders

Spotlight on Diabetes

An independent study found that 34% of diabetes and 39% of hypertension cases were first identified through vision claims rather than medical claims. Early detection through vision benefits allows individuals to seek timely medical care, potentially reducing the likelihood of hospital visits and extra out-of-pocket costs.

The study also revealed that patients who made vision claims required fewer prescriptions, and fewer co-pays, and were more likely to seek further preventive care after their initial vision claim.

  Eye Exam 1st Indicator Likelihood of ER Visit Likelihood of Hospital Admission Required a Prescription Received Preventative Care
Diabetes 34% 27% Less 4% Less 9% Less 12% More
Hypertension 39% 18% Less 24% Less
High Cholesterol 62% 5% Less 16% Less

By including vision benefits in your comprehensive benefits package, you can aid in the detection of chronic conditions, facilitating timely intervention and potentially reducing the long-term impact on employees' eye health, healthcare costs, and overall well-being.

In five seconds, see how much you and your employees could save on healthcare costs with VSP Vision Care.

Calculate My Savings

The Advantages of Partnering with VSP Vision Care

A recent study showed that those with chronic conditions also gain significant cost avoidance by partnering with VSP versus other vision care providers.

Below are the estimated one-year total savings for both the employer and their employee with the following conditions:

  • Hypertension: $2,633
  • Diabetes: $1,773

Employers and employees are curbing their healthcare costs with vision coverage from VSP.

Below are just some of the ways VSP can help you save more:

Covering the costs for critical screenings and additional medical eye exams for members with diabetes.  

Sending free eye exam reminders to members with diabetes, resulting in 22% of this population following up with an exam. 

Exchanging HIPAA-compliant medical data with health plans and disease management vendors at no cost—a critical step in supporting members with chronic conditions. 

See how much you and your employees could save on healthcare costs by switching to VSP Vision Care.

Access the calculator now!

About VSP Vision Care

VSP was founded in 1955 and today is the largest vision insurance company. As the only national not-for-profit vision benefits company, VSP Vision Care provides access to eye care for over 85 million members through a network of more than 42,000 doctors. To learn more about how VSP vision benefits can help your company and employees, visit

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©2023 VSP Vision Care. All rights reserved.
1. Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers 2024, PwC Health Research Institute, August 2023  
2. Full Picture of Eye Health, American Optometric Association, March 2020.  
3. Americans’ Challenges with Healthcare Costs, KSS, 2022.  
4. Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers 2020 PwC Health Research Institute, June 2019.  
5. National Diabetes Statistics Report: CDC, 2020.  
6. Early Chronic Condition Detection, HCMS Group, 2013.