Over the years, Danville Family Eye Care has become frustrated with the majority of "vision insurance" companies out there. Truth is, most of them are simply discount plans, that make it their business to convince the average consumer that their policies are necessary to make eye care and eyewear affordable.
Your vision care plan collects a premium from you for coverage. They then tell the provider, not only what to charge you for each item via copays or "cost shares", but they also dictate who we order your lenses through and charge the provider for material costs. Some of those calculations are straight forward, and others try to use confusing calculations that essentially only gives a small percentage off. What is fascinating is that these multi million (actually billion) dollar companies can't seem to negotiate better pricing that your average provider on these goods. Their reimbursement on frames is only around 35% of the allowance. Forcing the providers to pay a higher cost of goods, and raise their prices on the few things they can control in order to stay in business. VSP, Eyemed and all these major vision care plans LOVE this, because then the average private practice provider appears expensive and thus increase the demand for their plans.
VSP and Eyemed are also more than just vision care plans. Both companies are vertically aligned corporations in competition with each other. Eyemed is a wholly owned subsidiary of Essilor - Luxottica. Essilor is the world's leading manufacturer of lenses. Not only do they own 490 labs world wide, they own the Essilor, Varilux, Kodak, Eyezen, Xperio, Transitions, Oakley, Rayban and recently completed the purchase of Shamir lens brands. Frame wise, they own Oakley, Rayban, Costa, Armani, Bulgari, Dolce & Gabbana, Arnette, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Brooks Brothers, Costa, Foster Grant, Oliver Peoples, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Versace, Tiffany, Tory Burch and the list goes on. (You might recognize why we don't carry any of these brands now..)
Essilor Luxottica also competes directly with private practice. They own LensCrafters, Eye Buy Direct, Clearly, Frames Direct, Pearle Optical, Target Optical, Vision Direct, Sunglass Hut, and several other websites and retail stores in other countries. They also are active in the private equity and doctor alliance circles, with ownership of the Vision Source alliance, and several private practices. If we do well with their brands, they will place one of their own branded stores in the area to keep more of the proceeds for themselves.
Vision Service Plan was originally marketed to be the independent provider's choice. However, over the past decade, VSP has modeled itself and their actions after Essilor - Luxottica. They have their own network of manufacturing facilities. Branded their own lenses & coatings. The own Marchon and Altair Frame lines. Brands include Calvin Klein, Chloe, Columbia, Lacoste, Nautica, Nine West, Nike, Ferragamo, Flexon, Dragon, and Karl Lagerfield just to name a few. (Recognize any of these as being able to have that extra allowance under VSP?)
VSP purchased Vision works from Highmark (which owned Davis Vision) in 2019. They also have the Eyeconic website, and are actively using private equity to purchase private practices, and recently purchased PECAA, the largest independent doctor alliance.
If you look at the structure of these two organizations, you can see where they are driving business to support their entire network of products. They are working to divide the eye care industry into two sets of franchises - Essilor-Luxottica or VSP/Marchon. When you pay a premium to Eyemed or VSP, they are hoping you will buy (and incentivize you and the practice!) to purchase their products so they simply move that money from one pocket to another, while collecting a few more dollars from both you the consumer, and us the provider.
We at Danville Family Eye Care believe in practicing independently. A large majority of our patients tell us that they prefer to come to a private practice for their eye care, because they know we care about their vision, and not just selling a product. We understand that if we continue to accept these vision care plans, that we need a way to keep eye care affordable for those who do not have one of these plans, or perhaps an alternative to purchasing one of these plans. This is why we came up with Healthy Optometry Promise for Everyone - or as we like to call it. H.O.P.E.
When we can call the shots, and use our labs and our negotiated pricing, we can operate much more efficiently and reduce the cost of eye care and eyewear. For $150 per adult, or $120 for a child, you will get your comprehensive eye health examination and refraction. We will also include our iwellness retinal screening in that price. Contact lens evaluations / fittings can be performed for 25% off the listed price. Eyeglasses, lenses only, or frames only (hello sunglasses!) will have a 40% discount applied (some exclusions apply due to contracts). This is unlimited - unlike VSP, Eyemed, Davis, and most vision care plans. When an annual supply of contact lenses are purchased, we will double the inhouse rebate. This means a savings of up to $100 on daily contact lenses. There are no forced choices on using a benefit for only contacts or only glasses. No having to wait on frequency limitations, such as frames only every other year, or waiting a week and a day before eligible for a new pair. Just a simple and straight forward discount plan.
We are starting our own "open enrollment" for the 2023 calendar year. If you are interested, please call, text, or message us through the website, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have!