Vision care plans available to 23 percent of private industry workers in March 2017

October 13, 2017

October 15 is White Cane Safety Day, a day that celebrates the achievements and independence of people who are blind or visually impaired. The day also highlights the importance of data on vision care benefits. Vision care plans were available to 23 percent of private industry workers in March 2017. Access to other types of healthcare benefits was higher: medical care—67 percent; outpatient prescription drug coverage—66 percent; and dental care—42 percent.

 

 

Percent of private industry workers with access to selected healthcare benefits, March 2017
Type of healthcare benefit plan Access Participation Take-up rate

Medical care

67% 49% 72%

Vision care

23 18 79

Dental care

42 32 77

Outpatient prescription drug coverage

66 48 73

Having access means the benefit is available from employers, regardless of whether employees choose to participate. The take-up rate shows how many workers with access to a plan participate in the plan. The take-up rate for vision care benefits was 79 percent in March 2017.

Workers with higher average wages had greater access to vision care plans than those with lower wages. Access was 6 percent for workers with an average wage in the lowest 10 percent and 41 percent for workers with an average wage in the highest 10 percent. The take-up rate was 65 percent for workers in the lowest 10 percent and 81 percent for workers in the highest 10 percent.

 

 

Percent of private industry workers with access to vision care benefits, by wage category and establishment size, March 2017
Wage category and establishment size Access Participation Take-up rate

Wage category

     

Lowest 10 percent

6% 4% 65%

Lowest 25 percent

8 6 68

Second 25 percent

21 16 78

Third 25 percent

30 24 80

Highest 25 percent

39 31 81

Highest 10 percent

41 33 81

Establishment size

     

1 to 49 workers

14 10 75

50 to 99 workers

22 17 75

100 to 499 workers

27 22 80

500 workers or more

39 32 82

Similarly, workers in larger establishments had greater access to vision care plans than workers in smaller establishments. For establishments with 1 to 49 workers, vision care plans were available to 14 percent of workers. For establishments with 500 workers or more, 39 percent of workers had access.

These estimates are from the National Compensation Survey — Benefits program. For more information, see National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2017.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Vision care plans available to 23 percent of private industry workers in March 2017 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/vision-care-plans-available-to-23-percent-of-private-industry-workers-in-march-2017.htm (visited September 22, 2019).

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