Auto-enrolment brings corporate benefit opportunity

Jim McGrann, who described VSP as the “biggest insurer by membership in the US that you’ve never heard of”, said those employers who engage with providing benefits such as eye health are not only helping their staff, but protecting their business.

DiseaseSavings over 4 years per 1000 employees in UK
High Blood Pressure£19,913
High Cholesterol£55,318

Mr McGrann said: “We found that, in the US, many employees whose employers used VSP to provide eye care actually discovered early warning signs of other problems.

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“It’s not just about glasses so you can read your screen better; many people were diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol through their eye test, and these early detection signs meant these health issues could be dealt with more quickly.

“This has to be better for the employer and for the employee.”

A study conducted in 2013 in the US found that companies lost a total of 500,000 working days as a result of diabetes, while 4.5 million days were lost through heart and blood pressure-related conditions.

VSP is seeking to grow its presence in the UK. Last year, it launched here by encouraging UK-based subsidiaries of US companies to improve their corporate benefit structure, and is beginning to provide benefits through financial advisers and healthcare specialists more widely.

Mr McGrann added that, with the implementation of auto-enrolment, this afforded more opportunities for financial advisers to discuss the overall protection and benefits package with their employer clients.

Nick Boyton, principal, healthcare and risk, for national corporate advisory firm JLT Employee Benefits, said: “There is a need for better vision care through employers for their staff for both for driver and VDU duties of care.

“We welcome this solution from VSP, since it consolidates these duties, can help detect serious diseases early, and can provide employers with significant productivity gain opportunities. VSP’s launch in the UK can add value to both employers and employees.”