Medical and Vision Go Together Just Like PB&J

New WellPoint Survey asks Americans about Pairings that Enhance and Simplify their Lives

Jun 23, 2010, 15:17 ET from WellPoint, Inc.

INDIANAPOLIS, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- What are among life's perfect matches? With life more hectic and complicated than ever, a new WellPoint survey asks Americans about pairings - those that work, those that don't and the things they'd like to combine into one package to simplify their lives.

According to the findings, milk and cookies, peanut butter and jelly, and ham and cheese are matches made in heaven for most. Other pairings, however, are less desirable. For example, the meeting of spouses and former romances was a definite no-no for many, followed by an almost equally strong preference to keep chocolate and wasabi separate. Alcohol and high school reunions were another eyebrow raiser.

However, when it comes to combining the many services in their lives, Americans expressed a strong preference for packaging their health plans, with 82 percent preferring to receive all of their health insurance (medical, dental, vision, life/disability) from the same provider.

Why? Most respondents felt that merging these services might lead to better prices, help them save time and simply keep them from getting "stressed out."

Although most Americans feel they manage their lives well, almost 50 percent agree that it is hard to balance both work and home and manage all the bills and services they use.  They are looking to simplify their lives and believe companies need to find ways to help them.

"Members aren't the only ones who prefer bringing together medical, dental, vision and life/disability services," says Jeff Spahr, staff vice president of Vision and Voluntary Services for WellPoint. "According to a recent WellPoint study, many employers prefer purchasing multiple benefits from the same family of companies as well, because of better pricing, better customer service and the convenience of a single point of contact."

In addition, one of the benefits of obtaining coverage from a multi-line carrier is being the recipient of integrated services. WellPoint's affiliated health plans provide many comprehensive programs that offer a one-stop shop approach to health care coverage.

"For instance, members who have health and dental plans and are pregnant or have diabetes will receive one additional dental cleaning or periodontal maintenance procedure a year," said Spahr. "Similarly, members who have vision coverage and a total health solution program included in their health plan may be enrolled in a diabetes program, which helps them proactively manage their condition if their vision claims include a diabetic-related diagnosis."  

Unifying medical and vision services not only helps employers and their employees reduce health care costs and save money, it also can lead to the prevention or early management of costly medical conditions, such as glaucoma, high blood pressure and diabetes. This was the case recently with a member who learned he was diabetic during his eye exam. He received medical treatment within a week and now follows a diabetes informational program to maintain a healthy life.

In short, when an employer provides its employees with medical, dental, vision, life/disability coverage from a company that offers multiple lines of services or a single point of contact, it becomes a win-win situation with numerous benefits.

The omnibus survey was conducted online among a national sample of 1,000 Americans ages 18+ (balanced to Census). Fielding took place in March 2010 by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS). The survey has a margin of error of +/-3.1 at the 95% confidence level, meaning if the study were replicated, the study findings 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 33 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.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint does business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield or Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (in the New York service areas). WellPoint also serves customers throughout the country as UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at

SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.