Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

We're all in this together

We encourage you to call your eye care professional to confirm their office is open before you seek care. Stay healthy and be well. (Posted October 9, 2020)

Our first concern is always the health and wellbeing of our members and all of the people that make up the vision care ecosystem. During these unprecedented times, we are committed to providing you with the guidance you need to focus on your health.

Since March 16th, the majority of our associates have been working remotely to ensure business continuity while we do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Our leadership team is meeting daily, virtually of course, to ensure that we continue to operate seamlessly in order to serve the 35 million members who count on us. We’re here for you, ready to serve.

Note to Superior Vision members who receive care from providers in the state of New York
The providers in our network have been instructed not to charge our members with fees related to personal protective equipment (PPE). If you have been charged for PPE, you should first contact your treating provider to request a refund. If you are unable to resolve the issue with the provider you can contact Superior Vision by sending an email to CAG@versanthealth.com.

Can I still use my vision benefit?
Yes. While these are uncertain times for all of us, we want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the spread of the virus, adhering to the guidance of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local governments, and taking extra precautions to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for our associates while we continue to serve you.

In keeping with CDC recommendations, many retail and small businesses have limited hours of operations or in some cases have temporarily closed. We recommend you follow CDC guidelines regarding routine eye exams.

For members who require replacement glasses or contact lenses, there are several in-network online options. Through our relationships with Glasses.com and 1-800 Contacts, members have an in-network solution that is convenient, seamless, and allows them to follow the recommended social distancing guidelines. Please reference your member benefits to confirm eligibility and deductible (if applicable).

Will provider offices be closed?
In keeping with CDC recommendations, many retail and small businesses have limited hours of operations or in some cases have temporarily closed. We recommend you follow CDC guidelines regarding routine eye exams.

What if I have an eyewear emergency?
If you have lost, damaged or broken your glasses, please contact our customer service department and we will assist in helping you replace your eyewear. We want this to be the least of your worries.

What if I ordered glasses/contacts and my provider office is closed?
Please contact our customer service team and we will assist in helping you get the eyewear you need.

Can I visit an out-of-network eye care professional?
You are encouraged to use an in-network eye care professional which includes Glasses.com and 1-800 Contacts. Contact customer service for help finding an in-network eye care professional near you. Please be sure to call the eye care professional before you seek care to ensure that the office is open and able to see patients.

If an in-network provider is not available, please contact our customer service team and we will assist in arranging services.

How can I access customer service?
Our call center operations remains open to provide service and expect no interruptions to our service as a result of COVID-19 at this time.

Superior Vision members can access the online portal at superiorvision.com/members or download our mobile app.

Are telemedicine services available for routine eye exams?
In keeping with CDC recommendations, many eye care professionals are not offering routine eye exams.

For medical conditions, Superior Vision current clinical policy allows for the payment of telemedicine services that can be appropriately administered by eye care professionals. This generally includes eye exams for some medical conditions. If you are experiencing an eye problem like blurry vision, discharge, or bruising, please contact your eye care professional directly.

Please call customer service to assist in finding an eye care professional that can provide the service you need.

Note: a comprehensive routine eye exam can be conducted online when the patient is physically in the office and the eye care professional is remote and communicates with you by real time with audio-visual technology.

Is your provider locator updated to reflect closed offices or offices with limited hours?
Please call your eye care professional before you seek care. If you need help finding an in-network eye care professional please contact our customer service team and we will assist in arranging services.

What assistance can you provide for lost or expired prescriptions?
Only an eye care professional can replace your prescription. Please contact your eye care professionals’ office regarding your lost or expired prescription.

Can I order eyewear online?
Yes, and we encourage you to do so if your benefit allows for it. Check your benefit details for coverage, plan and network information. Through our relationships with Glasses.com, 1-800 Contacts, and ContactsDirect, members may have an in-network solution that is convenient for eyewear and contacts that is seamless, and allows you to follow the recommended social distancing guidelines.

What is considered essential medical eye care and where do I go to get it?
Essential medical eye care includes treatment of chronic conditions eye trauma, pink eye, foreign body removal, or other symptoms that will disrupt your daily activities.

If you have lost, damaged, or broken glasses, please contact our customer service department and we will assist in helping you replace your eyewear. We want this to be the least of your worries.

If you are experiencing an eye problem like blurred vision, double vision, visual loss of any type or duration, new onset flashing lights, pain, redness or discharge would indicate a potentially serious eye condition requiring care, please contact your doctor.

I don’t have employer benefits any longer. How can I get vision insurance?
Individual or family plans are a cost-effective way to provide coverage between jobs. Visit visionplans.com to enroll. Plans are available in 28 states.

Individual or family plans are a cost-effective way to provide coverage between jobs. Visit visionplans.com to enroll. Plans are available in 28 states.

Graphic with information about affordable vision care plans

We are committed to serving your eye care business as we navigate the many unexpected and fluid circumstances presented by COVID-19. While eye care professional offices may have closed or have been operating with limited hours, many continue to see emergent patients either in offices or remotely. We are working tirelessly to provide you with the information you need to continue to serve your patients. You can find guidance about telemedicine coverage for essential services in the eye care professional portal.

Will copay fees be waived?
Superior Vision will waive copays where required by state and federal mandate.

How will payment of out-of-network (OON) providers work?
Superior Vision will allow members to see OON providers as required by state or federal mandate, or in instances where in-network access is not adequate. When OON providers are utilized, they will be reimbursed based on Superior Vision’s usual and customary reimbursement. Cost sharing will be applied as required by federal or state mandate.

How will cancellations for non-payment of premiums work?
Superior Vision will comply with state or federal mandates for grace periods and cancellations.

Can the grace period for premium payment be extended?
Superior Vision will only waive premiums as required by state or federal mandate. Superior Vision will comply with state or federal mandates for grace periods and cancellations applied as required by federal or state mandate.

Will appeal timeframes be waived?
For issues that should have been appealed by March 1, 2020 and after, Superior Vision will extend the timeframe to do so unless otherwise required by state or federal mandate.

Will prior authorization requirements be waived?
Superior Vision will apply usual prior authorization policy, processes, and timeline unless otherwise required by state or federal mandate.

How will the reconsideration process work?
After all state or federal restrictions to normal business operations have ended, Superior Vision will resume all reconsideration activities for any services requiring prior authorization or claims requiring medical necessity review.

Will there be exceptions on our breakage warranty?
Superior Vision will continue to apply the existing warranty policy. There is also an existing process where members or providers can contact Customer Service to have materials replaced.

Will there be an extension of benefit utilization?
Superior Vision will consider member coverage/benefit extension on a case-by-case basis, or as required by state or federal mandate.

What happens to employees whose terms of employment have changed?

  • New hires will become eligible for vision coverage according to the employers’ standard new hire policies for benefit eligibility.
  • Terminated employees are not eligible for employer sponsored benefits. A terminated employee becomes eligible for COBRA in accordance with federal law and regulations. Individual or family plans are a cost-effective way to provide coverage between jobs. Plans are available in 28 states. Your former employee can visit visionplans.com to enroll.
  • Furloughed employees may remain on the plan consistent with the insurance policy and as long as the premium is paid through the employer for those employees during the furlough period.
  • Active employees who drop coverage are not eligible under the insurance policy since they are not considered a covered member. The employee (and his or her dependents) becomes eligible for vision coverage during the standard open enrollment period.
  • Existing employees are able to enroll and add vision coverage during the standard open enrollment period.

Please contact your client manager for additional guidance.

To all of our members,

We want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19, adhering to the guidance of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state and local governments. We are taking extra precautions to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for our associates while we continue to serve you.

Importantly, we have also coordinated closely with our business partners to continue seamless fulfillment of eyewear orders. At this time, we do not anticipate any disruption to the availability and production of eyewear products that are supplied through Versant Health’s supply chain, or with our ability to fulfill eyewear orders and process claims.

We remain committed to providing uninterrupted service. Our call center operations remain open to provide service and we expect no interruptions to our service as a result of COVID-19 at this time.

We are extremely proud to serve our members, clients, brokers and eye care professionals despite the current threat posed by COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and remain focused on ensuring that you have continued access to care and service.

Stay healthy, and as always, feel free to reach out with any questions.

Maynard McAlpin

Chief Operating Officer

A message from our Chief Medical Officer, Mark C. Ruchman, MD
At Versant Health, our first concern is always the health and wellbeing of our members. During times like these, I find that members are seeking information and turn to trusted organizations like ours for guidance. Here are some answers to common questions related to COVID-19 and eye health.

Do glasses protect against COVID-19?
Wearing glasses will not provide adequate barrier protection, mainly because the sides, tops and bottoms of the area around your eyes are still exposed. For those of you caring for someone who may be infected by the virus, consider wearing safety goggles for more complete protection.

Is it safe to wear contact lenses?
You may continue to wear contact lenses1, although I do encourage you to be extra vigilant about disinfecting your hands. If you find you tend to touch your eyes more often when you wear contact lenses, definitely consider wearing glasses instead. Also, be sure to wash and disinfect your hands before handling your contacts. Strictly follow the instructions for handling and care of your contact lenses as provided by your contact lens supplier.

Are there any eye related symptoms for coronavirus?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that coronavirus can cause conjunctivitis2, also known as pink eye, although it appears to be rare3. If you suspect you have pink eye and are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, please call your primary care provider
for guidance.

Is it okay to seek routine vision care at this time?
In keeping with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you are encouraged to postpone routine eye exams.

What else can I do to protect my eyes?
The best way to protect your eyes is to follow the guidelines for preventing transmission of COVID-19 set forth by the CDC. You can find detailed instructions at this link.

Sources
1. https://bit.ly/2QOrKc6, 2. https://bit.ly/2QNvESr, 3. https://bit.ly/3aqUXl5

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Superior Vision is a product offering from Versant Health, a company forged from the experience of two leading vision care plans. To proceed with learning more about Versant Health, please click on the button below.

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