Covered California Selects VSP Vision Care to Offer Vision Coverage to Consumers

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RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—Covered California announced today that it has selected VSP Vision Care, to offer access to vision care coverage for adults throughout the state. Beginning today, consumers can visit Covered California’s website which links to VSP’s vision insurance offering. Additionally, consumers will be able to sign up for vision coverage throughout the entire year, instead of only during Covered California’s open enrollment period.

“We are pleased to be chosen by Covered California and have the opportunity to compete in the market and provide adults throughout California with more access to affordable, quality eyecare,” said Jim McGrann, president and CEO of VSP Global. “Comprehensive eyecare delivers proven preventative health benefits and helps keep health care costs down. This decision will help close the gap in access to eyecare for Californians who get their health insurance through the exchange.”

“Vision coverage is important for our members’ overall health and Covered California has made it easier than ever for them to find quality vision care options through VSP, the industry leader in bringing vision coverage to consumers,” said Peter V. Lee, Covered California’s executive director. “This is just another way Covered California is changing the health insurance landscape and is taking a lead role in helping consumers with all of their health care needs,” Lee said.

Assembly Bill 1877 by California Assemblyman Ken Cooley, which was vetoed in 2014, would have created a vision care access council in state government, modeled after the state health benefit exchange. That council would have contracted with vision plans, managed the program and worked with the health insurance exchange. However, in an effort to connect consumers directly with vision care providers through its website, Covered California issued a request for proposal in November 2015, from vision plans interested in offering vision insurance.

According to a VSP spokesperson, “VSP was the only vision care provider selected by Covered California to offer access to vision insurance to adults in the state. While vision care is still not an ‘essential benefit’ for adults under the Affordable Care Act at the federal level, Covered California, recognizing the important role vision plays in overall health, decided to provide a pathway to vision coverage through the state health exchange’s website.”