With major medical premiums jumping 10% to 15% or more at renewal, more brokers are turning to vision care as a way to ease the pain their clients are feeling. The reason: vision is a low-cost way to add a benefit that employees and their dependents actually use and value highly.

"Many times I'm going into a situation that's either competitive, or a customer is looking for added value, or has gotten a huge rate increase," says Patsy Akridge, owner of Akridge Insurance & Financial Services in Martinsville Va. A vision care plan works well at clients who have just been hit with a rate increase because, especially when vision is sold as a voluntary benefit, the cost of the care as a voluntary benefit is low compared to other medical benefits, and the return on investment is so great, she points out.

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