California Joins Growing List of States Including Stand-Alone Vision Plans

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO October 31, 2012
The following guest post is the text of an e-mail from Stuart Thomas, OD, chairman of the VSP Global Board of Directors.

  • Hear the conference call hosted by VSP immediately following the decision.

Dear Colleague,

In a major win for patients and for the profession, California on Tuesday voted to join a growing list of states that have chosen to include stand-alone vision plans in their state Insurance Exchanges.

The vote by California’s Health Benefits Exchange Board allows stand-alone vision plans to participate in all facets of the new California Health Benefit Exchange. Also, in recognition of the important role stand-alone plans play, the Board asked that its Director advocate for their inclusion with the leaders of Health and Human Services in Washington and seek approval to move forward and obtain guidance on how best to implement the change.

California joins a growing list of states like Massachusetts, Maryland, and Nevada that have chosen to include stand-alone vision plans in their Insurance Exchanges. These states have also elected to offer a comprehensive pediatric vision benefit, as well as supplemental vision coverage for adults.

This is great news for patients and our profession, as states are creating multiple paths for patients to access optometric services, both through vision and medical coverage. In the meantime, we continue to support the profession’s desire for greater integration with medical and we look forward to working with doctor groups across the country to achieve that vision, while also maintaining the strong patient access optometry enjoys today.

Stuart Thomas, OD Signature
Stuart Thomas, OD
Chairman, VSP Global Board of Directors

VSP would like to thank the California Optometric Association and numerous other doctor and business groups for their support. Each played a critical role in achieving a positive outcome.


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