Established in 1984 by optometrists in Rhode Island, the I Care Co-op is a true cooperative of independent optometrists (55 offices) who, by their membership, help chart the direction of the buying group, according to the group’s executives. Members are currently located in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Southeastern Massachusetts. The doctors created the ICC to provide a local, if not regional, option for independents to make purchases associated with running an independent eyecare practice, according to Tim Bonin, chief executive officer of ICC.

Tim Bonin

“As an organization, we like our position in the marketplace and the story we tell to optometrists who are tired of hidden or aggressive charges and/or annual fees. For ODs looking for no frills, trusted and efficient purchasing opportunities, the I Care Co-op is likely for them,” said Bonin.

In addition to the unique ICC offerings and growth programs as well as many “standard” buying group discounts, the I Care Co-op has developed and built an exclusive Revenue Sharing Program. “Now called RSP+, the program separates us from many of our “competitors.” Our Co-op’s motto—Built for ODs, by ODs—defines all we do, including aggressively sharing our year over year growth,” said Bonin.

RSP+ incentivizes Co-op members to utilize the ICC each month, according to Bonin. “We then share our ‘profit’ with participating members; in doing so, our collective buying power increases, allowing us to continuously work for very competitive and exclusive ICC programs and benefits.”

There are no annual or monthly fees with ICC, and Bonin said his members are looking ahead to meeting the challenges ahead in 2023.

“2023, as the years before, will have its challenges,” Bonin predicted. “We will meet them as we have in years past. Optometrists always do!”