VSP Stays Focused on Healthcare Reform as Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act

VSP Will Continue to Advocate for the Inclusion of Stand-Alone Plans in Insurance Exchanges
Rancho Cordova, CA – The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act today, citing the law to be constitutional. Under the current law, stand-alone vision plans are still not able to directly participate in the Insurance Exchanges that are scheduled to open in 2014.
“We remain steadfast in our belief that stand-alone vision plans – which cover over 100 million Americans – should have the opportunity to participate directly in the Exchanges, and we will continue to advocate strongly for independent doctors and their patients towards this goal,” said Stuart Thomas, O.D., Chairman of the Board, VSP Global. 
A recent VSP survey of independent eyecare providers who are concerned about healthcare reform, provided the following results:
If stand-alone vision plans are excluded from the Insurance Exchanges- 
  • 85 percent of doctors who responded anticipate losing patients. 45 percent of these doctors said they were in jeopardy of losing 26 – 50 percent of their patients. 35 percent anticipated they would lose more than 51 percent of their patients.
  • The number one concern for their patients is that they will be less likely to get an annual eye exam. The number two concern is they will have to switch doctors.
  • The number one concern, from a business perspective, is that they will lose access to their stand-alone vision patients. The number two concern is they risk losing their practice.
  • 53 percent of doctors anticipate having to lay off staff.
“The current law does not fully protect all doctors from discrimination, which means some optometrists are likely to face challenges getting on health plan networks,” said Dan Mannen, O.D., Director, VSP Global Board of Directors. “If you’re concerned about the impact current healthcare reform law will have on your access to patients, I urge you to contact your local, state, and national optometric associations about this issue.”
VSP remains committed to supporting independent optometry’s direct access to all patients and will continue to advocate for stand-alone vision plans to participate directly in the Exchanges. VSP also actively supports a comprehensive eye exam be included in the Essential Health Benefits.    
About VSP Global
VSP Global® includes VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 57 million members; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically-advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity® which offers innovative solutions and the premier management software and technology to improve overall practice management and patient experience; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new technologies, production processes, service and logistics. 
To date, through VSP community outreach programs such as VSP Mobile Eyes® and Sight for Students®, and through relationships including those with the American Red Cross and Prevent Blindness America, VSP has invested more than $147 million in free eyecare and eyewear for nearly 770,000 adults and children in need throughout the United States.




Jace Duval