VSP Vision Care Expands EasyOptions Plan


RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—Citing its response to consumer demand for more personalized benefit options, VSP Vision Care is expanding its portfolio of plan offerings with VSP EasyOptions, a new vision plan personalization feature for employer groups whereby members can make benefit selections at the time of service versus the time of enrollment.

VSP EasyOptions, the company noted, is the first-of-its-kind program for the employer market, and “is bringing a new level of customization to the health care industry.” VSP EasyOptions is being offered to employers now, with employees able to use the benefits beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

Over the past year, the VSP EasyOptions plan feature was tested through VSP Direct, the individual and family vision plan offering that consumers can purchase directly from VSP. VSP Vision Care’s direct-to-consumer benefits plans, which was launched in January 2013 in select states, have been expanding and was rolled out to all 50 states recently, as reported by VMail. Today, the company said, nearly 50 percent of all new individual plan enrollees are purchasing VSP EasyOptions plans, demonstrating the desire by consumers for more choices.

The VSP EasyOptions plan add-on allows employers to offer a menu of plan upgrade options to employees. Each member and dependent can pick their own upgrade. Depending on the plan, members can opt for an increase in frame or contact lens allowance, or a variety of fully covered lens enhancements—when they are at their eye doctor’s office.

“Most employees choose their vision coverage at the time of open enrollment, and their plan applies to all dependents. The beauty of VSP EasyOptions is that the coverage decision can be made by each member and dependent in the provider’s office at the time of the appointment,” said Melody Healy, chief strategy and integration officer for VSP Vision Care. “This customization helps members maximize their benefits based on their immediate, individual needs as identified in consult with their eyecare provider.”

VSP cited a MetLife Employee Benefit Trend survey from 2013 which found that employee demand for more personalized benefits is increasing—77 percent of those surveyed said they value benefits geared to their individual circumstances, and 51 percent said they would be willing to bear more of the cost.

“The growing trend is that consumers want tailored options from the right plan to fit their individual lifestyle,” Healy said. “Vision plan personalization is an opportunity for employers to make their benefit offerings more attractive to their employees and provide a variety of choices that suit their needs.”

A VSP spokesperson added that the new EasyOptions plans would not change how VSP network providers would authorize benefits, provide services or submit claims. She said, “VSP will provide tools to help providers determine patient out-of-pocket costs, as we do with other plans and programs.”