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Halloween Fears: Ghosts, Goblins and ... BlackBerry(R) Blur?

Friday, October 30, 2009 General News J E 4
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A New WellPoint Survey Looks at Vision Problems in the Office

INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 29 -- Halloween can bring out children's fears of monsters in the closet and ghosts beneath their bed.  But what do grown-ups fear?

A new WellPoint survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation finds adults too fear the things they can't see: difficult to read BlackBerry text and fuzzy caller ID.  And nevermind what could happen as a result.  

Should their bosses be fearful too?  Turns out they should.  While one American office worker out of ten worries about misreading information on a phone or wireless device or even sending emails to the wrong person, the same number admit to making these errors, which could lead to disaster.  

"An employee's eyesight is vital to his or her performance and productivity," said Jeff Spahr, staff vice president of Vision Services for WellPoint. "Whether it's eye strain caused by computer usage, or something much worse, poor vision takes a toll on the employee and ultimately the work they do."

According to the Vision Council of America, vision disorders alone account for more than $8 billion in lost productivity each year, and uncorrected vision can decrease employee performance by as much as 20 percent. However, when an employee gets their vision checked and corrected with vision exams and corrective lens and/or procedures, employers stand to gain as much as $7 for each dollar spent on vision coverage.

Employees tend to agree.  According to the survey, a quarter of them feel that having their eyes checked and corrected would improve their productivity.  But what keeps them from seeing the doctor?  Concerns about costs top the list, while one in ten cited lack of a company vision plan benefit.

"We want employers to know that cost shouldn't be what keeps them from offering vision benefits to their employees," said Spahr. "Many employers don't realize vision benefits are one of the lowest cost benefits available and can even be offered at no cost to the employer."

The omnibus survey was conducted online among a census representative sample of 1,000 Americans ages 18+ using the field services of Opinion Research Corporation. This sample was then screened for whether or not respondents worked in an office. Interviews for this survey were completed on October 15-16, 2009, at a 95% confidence level, meaning if the study was replicated, results would be within 3.1 percentage points.

About WellPoint Inc.

WellPoint works to simplify the connection between Health, Care and Value. We help to improve the health of our communities, deliver better care to members, and provide greater value to our customers and shareholders. WellPoint is the nation's largest health benefits company, with more than 34 million members in its affiliated health plans. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.

SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.

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