New Contact Lens Benefit a Win for Patients and Doctors

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO November 11, 2011

You know, I still remember the day I finally convinced my parents that I needed contact lenses. I was a high school baseball player and was certain that the only obstacle between me and the major leagues was my glasses. Well, I love my contact lenses, even to this day. Unfortunately, I never learned to hit the curve ball.  

Back then, the cost of contact lenses was disproportionately placed on the materials over services. Now, fast forward 40 years…contact lens costs are more appropriately balanced between lenses and services.

VSPis eliminating the Contact Lens Care Program® on January 1, 2012, and is creating a new contact lens benefit that will be phased in with VSP Signature Plan® and VSP Choice Plan® clients over the next several years. Most importantly, the new program separates contact lens services from an allowance for materials. The goal of the new program is to clearly separate services from materials and to enhance the value that patients receive.

Here are the program basics: First of all, patients will pay a copay of up to $60 for contact lens exam services. VSP will then reimburse doctors at 85% of their usual and customary charges filed with VSP, less the patient copay. The allowance for materials will be separate.

In addition to simplifying administration for doctors, I expect the program to result in patients better appreciating the contact lens services they receive from their doctor and provide a true sense of value for the patient on the material side.

Further, by increasing patient value, it improves VSP’s ability to compete in the marketplace. VSP has a singular goal of putting patients in private-practice doctor offices.  We all win when the perceived value of the VSP benefit improves as more contracts will be won and more patients will come to our practices.

As I see it, the new contact lens benefit will provide more value for the patient and improved clarity for the doctor, as services are separated from materials. The end result will be improved patient appreciation of their contact lens benefit.

To learn more about the new program, visit VSPOnline at for all of the details.

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