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September, 1988, Vol. 111, No. 9
Employer-sponsored vision care
brought into focus
In recent years, vision care has emerged as a prominent part of the health care package. Vision care benefits provide a variety of services to plan participants that are not usually covered by regular health insurance plans, such as eye examinations, eyeglasses, contact lenses, and orthoptics (eye muscle exercises). In an era when concern over rising premiums has prompted employers to add various "cost containment" features to their health care plans, the growth of vision care represents a significant benefit improvement.
This article is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 1980-86 surveys of benefits for full-time employees in medium and large firms. The 1986 survey data were from a sample of 1,500 establishments, which represented approximately 46,000 business establishments employing 24 million workers.1 Data were tabulated for three broad occupational groups: professional and administrative workers, technical and clerical workers, and production workers. The first two groups are considered white-collar workers, in contrast to blue-collar or production workers.
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1 The 1986 survey results are reported in Employee Benefits in Medium and Large Firms, 1986, Bulletin 2281 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1987). The survey is part of a series of annual studies conducted from 1979 to 1986 in private sector establishments employing at least 50, 100, or 250 workers, depending on the industry. Industrial coverage includes: mining; construction; manufacturing; transportation, communications, electric, gas and sanitary services; wholesale trade; retail trade; finance, insurance, and real estate; and selected services. The 1980-85 results are reported in the following BLS bulletins: 1980 survey (Bulletin 2107); 1981 survey (Bulletin 2140); 1982 survey (Bulletin 2176); 1983 survey (Bulletin 2213); 1984 survey (Bulletin 2237); and the 1985 survey (Bulletin 2262).
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