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What’s the number one complaint from patients about vision plans? Paying out (a lot) more than they expected at time of service even though they are enrolled in a vision plan. We believe this aggravation is leading to the rise of online optical retail, and that this is the reason many don’t go every year like they should.

When patients find out the price at the end of the process of looking for frames and being sold lenses, they are likely to take their prescription and shop on the internet,, or not get their glasses that year at all.

With the Plus Plan, we provide reimbursements on frames and lenses, and we provide an option through VCD Labs to get complete eyewear (lenses with AR, frames, case and cloth) at a cost of just $15 to the patient, and at a fair profit to your office

It’s very simple. When you check the patient’s eligibility you will see the plan name listed at the top of the eligibilty screen in a blue bar. If the name includes the word PLUS they have a VCD PLUS Plan. Below that you will also see a row of bars with headings including Standard Benefits, Expanded Benefits and One Price Safety Benefits. Click on the bar that says Expanded Benefits to see the coverage.
In the vision plan marketplace, the monthly payment race to the bottom has led to vision plans that are cheap for companies, bad for the employees, and worse for the independent optometrist. Many of those plans, created and controlled by the same companies with corporate chain store retail outlets, are working intentionally to destroy the IECP industry.

It’s an almost perfect machine, but there was one piece of the puzzle they ignored – member satisfaction. With Plus Plans, your patient’s cost at time of service is affordable and your reimbursement profitable. By lowering cost at time of service payments, taking care of optometrists who recognize the benefit, and explaining this concept to business owners and decision makers, we have grown quickly in markets all over the country that we were unable to penetrate before the introduction of Plus Plans.

As a Plus Provider, patients in your area on Plus Plans will seek you out using our online provider directory. To qualify, you must be able to provide the patient with frames and lenses that meet the guidelines outlined in the plus plan. The easiest way to do this is with our Complete Eyewear 60 piece frame kit and the lenses available through VCD Labs. We have contracted with Rochester Optical, a lab that has been in the business for over eighty years, to provide the latest IOT design lenses at unbeatable prices to give ECP’s back the advantage in the lens marketplace. Every job includes AR at no extra charge (a savings of $39 to you), which ensures that the Plus Plan system works for patients, employers, and the optometrist doing the work.
While we created VCD Labs to fulfill the Vision Care Direct plus plans, the affiliation ends there. VCD Labs is it’s own operating entity, meaning it can be utilized by any independent ECP anywhere in the world, for any patient. This means that you’ll file for reimbursements on the plan from Vision Care Direct, but still receive a separate bill from VCD Labs at the end of the month.

While it may seem like an extra step in the process, it is vitally important for us to keep the two business separate. Use of VCD Labs is strictly voluntary, it is just one of many possible options for fulfilling Plus Plans, the difference being the low prices and high quality products.

Plus Plans can be used in one of three ways. The first option provides a VCD Complete Eyewear frame and lenses to the patient for a $15 member payment. This is possible through our Complete Eyewear program, using the frames that we stock at the lab. You purchase a sample kit of the 60 frames to display in your office. When patients are ready to order their eyewear, you help them find a frame that fits, then order the lens and frame together online. The complete order will arrive ready to dispense, without ever shipping a frame into a lab. The best part of this program is that you don’t have to reserve it for VCD patients – compare our prices against other labs, and you’ll see where you can start to increase your offices’ bottom line.
The largest vision plans are now buying labs all over the country, then requiring doctors to only use ‘certified’ labs with their vision plan patients. They do this to control, and artificially inflate prices, as you have surely seen. Compared to this profit making machine, our methods may seem backwards. We have a lab that offers the highest quality materials produced with the latest technological refinements, but we offer our products and pricing to anyone.
VCD Labs was created in order to give you access to affordable materials and to ensure that Plus Plans are profitable, but if you already have solutions for affordable, high quality frames and lenses in place, you can fulfill plus plans any way you like. In order to obtain your Plus Plan Provider status without a VCD Labs account, simply contact Josh Primm at josh.primm@visioncaredirect.com with information on the lenses, frames, and AR coating you will be using.
The VCD Plus Plan is sold as one plan with three options for implementation. Option 1 is the Complete Eyewear package. The patient pays a $15 member fee, chooses one of our 60 Complete Eyewear frames, then you order the frame and lenses online at VCDLabs.com. This option guarantees CR39 clear plastic single vision or progressive lenses. Any lens upgrades or enhancements should be billed to the patient. Option 2 allows the patient to utilize the lens benefit with any frame off your board. The patient pays the $15 member payment and a $40 unbundling fee to then access the $130 frame allowance. Option 3 is what you are used to if you’ve ever used Vision Care Direct before, $130 frame allowance, and lenses are paid out of pocket.
Yes, patients can enhance their glasses by electing to choose additional lens options and treatments. Simply bill the patient for any cost overages as you would with any cash pay patient.
In many cases you may actually receive your full retail charge. This varies by state but the additional $40 unbundling fee may cover the write off amount that you have agreed to take as a VCD provider. For frames that are higher than the patients frame allowance, you will collect the difference between the frame allowance and your retail price + your VCD reimbursement + $40 unbundling fee.
The frame kit is a direct response to our doctors who have asked us to develop a strategy to help them compete with retail pricing from Big Box Stores like Walmart and CostCo, as well as Lens Crafters, Eyemart Express, etc. We were also asked to come up with a strategy to combat walk-outs who are taking their scripts to a retail store, or even worse, to order online with sites like Warby Parker, USA Glasses, Zenni Opticial and now VSP’s online site www.eyeconic.com .

The kit is simply a starting point. It allows us to sell a complete eye wear plan where the patient knows they can get an Exam, Frames, Lenses, and AR with a very low, usually $30*, cost at time of service. This happens regardless of whether they wear single vision, bifocals or progressive lenses. This can occur while at the same time protecting the doctor’s profitabilty. The number one complaint lodged by vision plan subscribers is the high out of pocket costs at time of service. Your patients don’t understand that with most vision plans that cost is governed by the plan and that the plan takes back almost all of that money. Consumers believe that private practice doctors are higher than everyone else and even vision plan patients are starting to take their Rxs to retail locations to access their materials benefit. VCD PLUS plans answer this objection by lowering out of pocket costs for patients and when a doctor elects to use VCD Labs, their cost of goods is reduced therefore, enhancing margins.

The Complete Eyewear Kit is a tool, for your office and our vision plan to establish an entry point that all patients can afford. Patients who prefer brand names or designer styles can easily choose to upgrade their frame by paying a $40 unbundling fee. If you educate your patient about the options they have with their VCD PLUS plan you’ll build satisfaction in your service and value and also in Vision Care Direct. That’s good news since VCD pays you better than any other vision plan.

ALWAYS, display the VCD Labs Complete Eyewear frames on your board along with your other frames. The worst thing you can do is keep the frames in a back room or under the counter. That approach will immediately devalue those frames in the eyes of your patient. We recommend that you find an area on your boord or have a separate display to house the frames. This makes it easy for your patients to know what frames they can choose from for VCD PLUS Plans. As well as when you use the program for creating a walkout strategy, backup plan for your contact lens wearers or for a second pair program.

The purpose of the VCD PLUS Plans and the Complete Eyewear Kit is to help you keep patients in your office and drive profitabilty so you can take better care of your patients. If you take an approach that devalues those frames and your service it will drive patients back to poorer paying vision plans and potentially away from your office.

Yes. You can order uncut lenses and edge them in your lab if that is your preference.

Vision Care Direct does not require doctors to use our lenses or our lab. We have created VCD Labs to pass the profit on to our doctor by lowering the cost of goods. If you have a source that can provide equal quality and benefit to the patient at a price that still maximizes your margin that is your choice.

* cost at time of service may vary depending on plan design. Most VCD PLUS plans have a $15 member payment at time of service on exam and a $15 member payment at time of service on materials for a total of $30.